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Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Study Tracks Decline in Use of Solitary Confinement as Reform Bill Stalls in U.S. Senate by Lonnie Burton by Lonnie Burton A November 2016 report found that 67,000 prisoners were held in restrictive housing throughout the United States – also known as solitary confinement or segregation – in both state ...
Pressure from Advocacy Group Leads University of California to Partially Divest from Wells Fargo by Christopher Zoukis by Christopher Zoukis Following demands from the Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC), the University of California has agreed to terminate $475 million worth of contracts with Wells Fargo Bank. According to a press release ...
Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Massachusetts: Reform Legislation Introduced after Study on Solitary Confinement Published by Lonnie Burton by Lonnie Burton A “white paper” published in November 2016 by Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts (PLSM) found that while the use of solitary confinement in the state was widespread, it did not produce provable cost-effectiveness or ...
Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Filed under: Voting, Voting Rights Act
New Zealand Court Decision: Voting Ban Violates Human Rights of Prisoners by Monte McCoin by Monte McCoin On May 26, 2017, the Court of Appeal of New Zealand issued a decision in the case of Attorney General v. Taylor, which upheld High Court Justice Paul Heath’s July 25, 2015 determination ...
Article • December 5, 2017 • from PLN December, 2017
Federal Judge Expresses Frustration in New Orleans Jail Reform Litigation by The fight to reform unconstitutional conditions at the New Orleans parish jail in Louisiana has resulted in litigation, a 2013 consent decree and the construction of a new facility. The consent decree stemmed from a federal lawsuit filed by ...
Article • November 30, 2017
Community Funds, Federal Legislation Challenging Bail System from Different Angles by Christopher Zoukis by Christopher Zoukis Kalief Browder was a 16-year-old arrested in New York City in 2012 on charges of stealing a backpack. The charges were later dismissed, but not before he sat in jail on Rikers Island for ...
Article • November 7, 2017 • from PLN November, 2017
Obama Publishes Commentary on Criminal Justice Reform in Harvard Law Review by Christopher Zoukis by Christopher Zoukis Barack Obama made history by becoming the first president to contribute to legal scholarship by having an article published in a law journal while in office. The article, titled “The President’s Role in ...
Colorado Narrowly Rejects Ballot Measure to End Slavery as Punishment for Crime by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke In November 8, 2016, Colorado voters rejected a ballot measure that would have amended the state constitution to remove 140-year-old language allowing slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for crime. The removal ...
The Elusive Dream: Closing Rikers Island by David Reutter, Matthew Clarke by David M. Reutter and Matt Clarke New York City’s Rikers Island, one of the nation’s largest jails, has a notorious history of violence – both by guards and prisoners. City leaders have long sought to solve the problem ...
ICE Detainee Sent to Solitary Confinement for Encouraging Protest of “Voluntary” Low-Wage Labor by Spencer Woodman by Spencer Woodman, reprinted with permission from The Intercept In June, officials at a privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia sentenced an immigrant detainee to a month in solitary ...
Article • October 10, 2017 • from PLN October, 2017
Filed under: Voting
Two Federal Courts Find Prison Gerrymandering Unconstitutional by David Reutter by David Reutter Two federal district courts, one in Florida and the other in Rhode Island, have held prison gerrymandering unconstitutional, though one of the orders was overturned on appeal. The rulings are the first of their kind. “This is ...
Article • October 10, 2017 • from PLN October, 2017
Filed under: Discrimination, Advocacy
Seattle Council Approves Protections for Renters with Criminal Records by Nathalie Graham by Nathalie Graham, Seattle Weekly Fifteen months in prison, three years of probation. A $30,000 fine. Sue Mason paid her debt to society long ago – 14 years, to be exact – yet, it feels like she’s still ...
Article • September 30, 2017
US Parole Activists Aim to Overhaul a Failing System by Jean Trounstine by Jean Trounstine, originally published September 30, 2017, Truthout.org. The United States has the shameful reputation of being the world's largest jailer, and as the Prison Policy Initiative reported in March, 2017, 2.3 million people are currently locked up in ...
Article • September 1, 2017
Filed under: Hunger Strikes, Food, Suicides
New York Courts Affirms Prison's Right to Force Feed Prisoner by Lonnie Burton by Lonnie Burton On December 29, 2016, a New York appellate court ruled that prison officials did not violate a prisoner's rights by medically force feeding him. The court found that the prison's responsibilities for "safety and ...
Article • August 31, 2017
Filed under: Protests
Supreme Court Holds Demonstrators May Be Arrested for Trespassing Jail Grounds by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke On November 14, 1966, the Supreme Court of the United States held that demonstrators may be arrested for protesting on jail property. A group of about 200 students were protesting on a nonpublic ...
Article • August 30, 2017 • from PLN September, 2017
Prisoner Rights Event Prompts Florida Prison System Lockdown by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna The "Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March," held in Washington, D.C. on August 19, 2017, apparently prompted a statewide lockdown by the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) to prevent any displays of solidarity with the free-world ...
Article • August 30, 2017 • from PLN September, 2017
Filed under: Private Prisons, Advocacy
No Private Prisons in King County, Washington by On August 14, 2017, the King County Council in Washington State voted 8-1 to pass an ordinance prohibiting the county from contracting with private prison companies. The county does not currently use for-profit prisons and has contingency arrangements with other counties should ...
Article • August 30, 2017 • from PLN September, 2017
Filed under: Voting
Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Automatic Disenfranchisement for all Felony Convictions by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke In a June 30, 2016 opinion, the Iowa Supreme Court held that all felonies were “infamous crimes” under the voter disqualification provision of the state’s constitution. Kelli Jo Griffin was convicted of the class ...
Article • July 28, 2017 • from PLN August, 2017
California Court Vacates Prison Infraction Charging Prisoner for Refusing Meals by Lonnie Burton by Lonnie Burton The California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Two, has invalidated a prison infraction that charged a hunger-striking prisoner with “participating in a riot, rout, or unlawful assembly,” as it was unsupported by ...
Article • July 28, 2017 • from PLN August, 2017
Filed under: Voting
First Circuit Allows City to Include Prisoners in Census Counts by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna The First Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court’s order barring the city of Cranston, Rhode Island from counting the 3,433 prisoners held at the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI), located in that ...
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