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Articles by Jordan Arizmendi

Prolonged COVID-19 Visitation Restrictions Net Georgia Jails Over $1.5 Million in Telecom Kickbacks

by Jordan Arizmendi

According to a report by the Georgia Current on April 14, 2023, jails in several of the state’s coastal counties were still profiting by extending COVID-19 visitation bans, forcing detainees and their loved ones to use more expensive phone calls or video calls to stay in touch. ...

Biden Commutes 31 Federal Drug Sentences

by Jordan Arizmendi

On April 29, 2023, Pres. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D) reduced the federal prison sentences of 31 people, each serving time on home confinement for nonviolent drug-related convictions. The commutation of sentences was one component of a strategy to help people transition from incarceration to employment, the ...

Connecticut GOP Lawmakers Force Governor to Replace Pardon Board Chair, Stopping All Commutation Hearings

by Jordan Arizmendi

A spate of Connecticut commutations in 2022 didn’t come close to resolving the backlog in applications, only one of which had been granted in two years. But it piqued the ire of reactionary GOP lawmakers, like state Sen. John Kissel, who loudly called on Gov. Ned Lamont ...

Flooding Causes Evacuation of 1,075 Detainees from California Jail

by Jordan Arizmendi

On New Year’s Day January 2023, as storms swelled California’s Cosumnes River near Sacramento, officials at the county’s Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) evacuated all 1,075 detainees, as well as all staff, to other nearby lockups.

The Sacramento County Sherriff’s Office said that an emergency operation center ...

Prison Looks Different for Two Celebrity Women

by Jordan Arizmendi

On May 30, 2023, over a year after her felony conviction for fraud and conspiracy, Elizabeth Holmes, 39, founder of bogus and bankrupt blood-test maker Theranos, arrived at her home for the next 11 years: the Federal Prison Camp (FPC) in Bryan, Texas.

Photographs showed Holmes entered ...

Guantanamo Prison Down to 30 Detainees

by Jordan Arizmendi

My name is Majid Khan, and I am a real person. I am a human being. I am a Muslim man, and I first want to thank God for freeing me.”

With that, the 43-year-old Pakistani was transferred to Belize from the U.S. Military Prison ...

States Take Legislative Action to Address Family Separation by Incarceration

by Jordan Arizmendi

When incarceration begins for a prisoner, a separate punishment also begins for his or her children. On February 27, 2023, Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) published its findings in How 12 States Are Addressing Family Separation by Incarceration – and Why They Can and Should Do More. ...

Biden Granting More Pardons Than Trump, Fewer Than Obama

by Jordan Arizmendi

A raft of Presidential pardons for federal marijuana-possession convictions ballooned the total number of clemencies extended to current and former prisoners by Pres. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D). But even without those pardons, Biden had by April 2023 far out-paced his predecessor, Pres. Donald J. Trump (R) ...

FCC Requires Prison Telecoms to Provide Services for Deaf Prisoners

by Jordan Arizmendi

Life in prison is difficult for anyone, but especially for deaf people. Without a video phone or teletypewriter (TTY), a deaf person cannot communicate with loved ones by phone. Under a new rule that takes effect in 2024, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will require prison phone ...

Nebraska Parole Board Members Showing Up to Work More Often

by Jordan Arizmendi and Chuck Sharman

Attendance at parole hearings by all five members of the Nebraska Parole Board has improved, after a 43-month stretch from 2018 to 2021 when all five showed up for just 37% of parole hearings. [See: PLN, Nov. 2022, p.53.]

When media reports in ...