Prisons and Corrections in the News
U.S. and International - Prisons and Corrections in the News
Response to COVID-19 Pandemic:
- America's prison business thrives as pandemic ravages economy (AP: May 8, 2020)
- How American jails and prisons became coronavirus epicenters
(NPR "On the Media": Apr. 24, 2020) Audio interview with Ashley Rubin, sociology professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
- Small Business Owners with Criminal Records Shut Out of Aid Programs
(PBS: Apr. 21, 2020)
- Alarm grows as Cook County, state struggle with what to do with the incarcerated in the face of COVID-19 (ChicagoTribune: Mar. 31, 2020)
- Stateville Inmate Dies, Several Others on Ventilators After Testing Positive for Coronavirus (NBC-Chicago: Mar. 30, 2020)
- ACLU prison policy project on what some counties have done
(ACLU: March 2020)
- Prison inmates and employees exposed to a positive COVID-19 case are asymptomatic after eight days (Daily Times: Mar. 15, 2020)
- We must release prisoners to lessen the spread of coronavirus
(WashingtonPost, Mar. 17, 2020)
- How Prisons and Jails Can Respond to the Coronavirus (NewYorker, Mar. 14, 2020)
- South Carolina Prison Reform Proposal (NPR: Mar. 1)
- New lawsuit: Mississippi prison has 'abhorrent conditions' (Feb.27)
- DOJ To Investigate Mississippi Prisons After Spate Of Inmate Deaths (Feb. 6)
- In Los Angeles, A Program To Get Those With Mental Illness Away From Jails
(Feb. 25, 2020) The largest mental health treatment centers in the U.S. are often jails, including in Los Angeles. LA officials are struggling to try to change that through an innovative diversion program.
- Can You Talk Your Way Out of a Life Sentence? (NYTimes: Jan. 30, 2020)
California is giving a second chance to thousands of inmates who had no hope of parole. But first they have to prove to a panel of strangers that they’ve truly changed.
- San Francisco's New DA: 'What We Have Been Doing Is Not Working'
(NPR podcast: Jan. 19, 2020)
Interview with Chesa Boudin, who was recently sworn-in as San Francisco's district attorney, about his vision for the office and using restorative justice in the criminal system.
- 'American horror story': The prison voices you don't hear from have the most to tell us.
(MontgomeryAdvertiser: Jan. 7, 2020)
Interviews with Alabama prison inmates.
- California jails use kinder approach to solitary confinement (Dec. 26, 2019)
- Prepping for Parole (The NewYorker, Nov. 25, 2019)
Volunteers with the Parole Preparation Project are helping incarcerated people negotiate New York's prison parole system.
- Over 100 Inmates Were Bailed Out in the Largest Mass Bailout in History (Jan.7, 2019)
- Reentry Central is a national website for news and information on the subject of reentry and related criminal justice issues (requires $35 annual subscription to access news stories).
- Jail or Bail? There's a New Option (New York Times: Feb. 1, 2019)
"Supervised release" allows judges in New York City to let those who cannot afford bail be released before trial on a kind of parole (with similarities to what happens in New Jersey and some other cities).
- Don't Count on the Census (PRX radio podcast: Feb. 1, 2020)
The last segment of this one-hour podcast looks at how mass incarceration of African Americans is skewing the census count. In Wisconsin and other states, prisoners are counted in the districts where they serve time instead of where they come from. This has the effect of shifting political power away from black urban communities and to rural white ones.
- How Prison Gerrymandering Strips Power from Communities of Color
(In These Times: Aug. 16, 2018).
Also, see this related story on Pennsylvania:
Census Bureau policy costs urban Pennsylvania political clout in legislature.
- Modern Day Debtors' Prisons (NY Times editorial: Aug. 6, 2018)
The time has come to end cash bail, a major factor in inequality in the court system.
- Denouncing America's "Debtor Prison" System, Sanders Introduces Bill to End Cash Bail (Common Dreams: July 25, 2018)
Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced the "No Money Bail Act" (PDF summary), and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has introduced a companion bill in the House.
- Vera Institute of Justice - links to many national news stories on mass incarceration
- America's outcasts: the women trapped in a cruel cycle of exploitation
(The Guardian, June 29, 2018)
- Pain and terror: America's history of racism (The Guardian, 4/26/2018)
Report about a new museum in Montgomery, Alabama, founded by Bryan Stevenson, the prison reform lawyer -- on America's history of lynching and the link to the present, our present.
- Mental Health Disorders Are Pervasive in the Juvenile Justice System. Here's How One State Is Addressing It (Sojourners: Mar. 22, 2018)
- Voter Opinion Towards Prosecutors Prior to 2018 Elections (ACLU: Dec. 12, 2017)
This ACLU survey shows strong voter support across the country for District Attorneys who are committed to criminal justice reforms.
NEW JERSEY - end of cash bail:
- New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform (CJR) - many news stories, reports, and publications on New Jersey's bail reform.
- Crime Rates Plunge in New Jersey, And Bail Reform Advocates Are Gloating
(WNYC: Nov. 28, 2018)
- Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of New Jersey's Bail Overhaul (NPR: July 10, 2018)
- In New Jersey, Sweeping Reforms Deliver Existential Threat To Bail Bonds Industry
(NPR: July 6, 2017)
- New Jersey Eliminates Cash Bail For Some Crimes
(NPR: March 27, 2017)
- New Jersey Eliminates Cash Bail for People Accused of Some Crimes
(marketplace.org, Jan. 9, 2017)
- Criminal justice (bail) reform in New Jersey
(nj.com, Dec. 30, 2016)
- Bail & Pretrial Justice Reform in New Jersey. "3 Days Count." Pretrial Justice Institute interview (PDF) with Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance and one of the leaders in the effort to improve the state's pretrial system. This report describes the significant legislative and constitutional improvements to New Jersey's pretrial justice system that passed the legislature in 2014 and went into effect on January 1, 2017, and how it came about.
For other resources, see POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration