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Articles by Michael Fortino, Ph.D

Utah State Auditor Finds Grave Deficiencies in Prisoner Placement Program

Open Prison: Lessons from the Past

Open prison is unthinkable today in the United States, though in Scandinavia such institutions are heralded as models of civility and rehabilitation. The U.S. experimented with open prisons back in 1941, which proved there were better ways to rehabilitate and reduce recidivism. Unfortunately, those lessons were ...

California Prison Officials Put Hold on Policy That Led to “Gladiator Fights”

In September 2019, California prison administrators and officials agreed to put a hold on a policy known as “incremental release” after complaints from prisoners and their relatives that it had been used to promote a “divide-and-conquer” strategy at state prisons by orchestrating “gladiator fights” among prisoners, ...

As Coronavirus Spreads, New York Governor Exploits Prison Labor to Produce Hand Sanitizer

On March 9, with fears of coronavirus spreading, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York held a press conference to announce the debut of a new hand sanitizer called NYS Clean. It will be produced by state prisoners paid approximately 16 cents per hour through CorCraft Products, ...

GEO Group, Largest Private Prison Contractor, Cranks Up Political Contributions During Trump Years

In August 2016, just after an Obama administration decision to stop contracting with for-profit private prisons sent its stock price tumbling, GEO Group, Inc., the country’s largest private prison contractor, donated $100,000 to a super PAC aligned with then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.

Through a wholly ...