Corrections Media Clips

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Coalition of Criminal Justice Groups Oppose HUD’s Proposed Change to Disparate Impact Rule

A coalition of criminal justice groups issued a statement today voicing opposition to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) recent proposal to amend its so-called “disparate impact” rule under the Fair Housing Act. The disparate impact rule permitted people to bring legal claims against housing policies and practices that, while not motivated by discriminatory intent, predictably harmed protected groups, including people of color.

Women in Jail and the Criminalization of Survivors

For too many women who survive abuse and violence, particularly women of color and women living in poverty, the support and the care needed to cope with and heal from pain and trauma is simply not available in prisons or jails.

Aging in Prison: The Forgotten Plight of Women behind Bars

Data indicate that women aging in prison, like their male counterparts, are sicker than non-incarcerated women. Because of this, the National Institute on Corrections and some state prisons systems classify inmates at “elderly” when they turn age 50.

The Surprising Benefits of Serving Prisoners Better Food

Corrections facilities often cut corners on food in an effort to save money. But this may cost taxpayers more in the long run. According to a 2017 analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative, after staffing, health care is the public prison system’s largest expense, setting government agencies back $12.3 billion a year.

The Future of Prison Reform in Florida

Republican State Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg recently filed Senate Bill 642, the “Florida First Step Act,” which would allow judges to depart from mandatory minimums for drug trafficking charges. It also calls for allowing inmates to earn more time off of their sentences if they earn a diploma or participate in an entrepreneurship program.

A Second Chance for Prisoners, and Their Warden

One of Ron Jackson’s first acts as warden after being appointed by the tribal executive board in 2016 was to gather the inmates in a circle and lead them in a prayer for redemption. He also allowed prisoners to travel overnight to powwows and other Native ceremonies. Although many of them struggle with substance abuse, they all passed drug tests on their return.

Illinois Agrees to Health Care Reforms at All Prisons

Reviews by court-appointed experts in 2014 and 2018 reported pervasive problems in the health care provided in Illinois prisons. The most recent report attributed numerous preventable deaths to the poor quality of care, according to court records.

‘Ear Hustle’ Host Is Freed, but Prison Podcast Will Go on

Walter “Earlonne” Woods, 47, was recently released from San Quentin State Prison after California Gov. Jerry Brown commuted his 31-years-to-life sentence for attempted armed robbery. Brown cited Woods’ leadership in helping other inmates and his work at ”Ear Hustle,” a podcast he co-hosts and co-produces that documents everyday life inside the prison.

Expanding Our Knowledge on Local Incarceration Trends

The state of incarceration in America is such a massive problem that it can feel abstract and distant. But it’s actually quite tangible, proximate, and solvable. And as Vera Institute’s Incarceration Trends tool shows, it’s a problem that’s actually in all of our backyards because it is city and county officials—such as police, prosecutors, and judges—who decide who and how to arrest, prosecute, and sentence.

“Prisons Need Newspapers for the Same Reasons That the Public Needs Newspapers”: Interview with Juan Haines of San Quentin News

I met Haines the first time I visited San Quentin State Prison. He has worked in various editing positions at San Quentin News, one of the country’s only prison newspapers, for almost a decade. There, he helps produce a 20-page paper every month with only a few computers and no Internet access. The results reach 30,000 incarcerated and free subscribers across the United States.

To Lower Prison Health Costs, Maryland Serves Healthy Food

The women, who have had a say in the new menus, report greater satisfaction. More are coming to the dining hall rather than eating food they buy in the commissary. They say that has improved morale in the prison, which could translate into fewer squabbles and heightened safety.

In Prison, Discipline Comes Down Hardest On Women

Women can lose “good conduct credits” that would shorten an inmate’s sentence, causing them to spend more time behind bars. In California, between January 2016 and February 2018, women had the equivalent of 1,483 years added to their sentences through good-credit revocations, and at a higher rate than for male prisoners.

More Women Are behind Bars Now: One Prison Wants to Change That

Connecticut is trying to push back by focusing on one group that is especially likely to return to prison: young women, ages 18 to 25. It began in the summer of 2015, when Scott Semple, who runs the Connecticut state prison system, spent a week visiting prisons in Germany.

Commentary: The Myth That Crime Rises as Prisons Shrink

Research found that California’s Prop 47 had no appreciable impact on crime in the year following its enactment. Specifically, it had no effect on rates of homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery or burglary.