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Article • April 13, 2017
States Adopt Limited Collateral Consequence Reforms; More Needed for Meaningful Impact by Mark Wilson by Mark Wilson Between 2009 and 2014, forty-one states and the District of Columbia enacted 155 laws - 93 in 2013 and 2014, alone - to ease the impact of some “collateral consequences of criminal convictions,” ...
Publication • April 10, 2017
Filed under: Prison Reform
Common Justice - Accounting for Violence Fact Sheet, 2017 Accounting for Violence: How to Increase Safety and Break Our Failed Reliance on Mass Incarceration February 2017 Fact Sheet Violence and mass incarceration in the United States are inextricably connected, although research shows that both can be reduced at the same ...
Article • April 3, 2017 • from PLN April, 2017
State Sentencing Reforms Doing Little to Reduce Nation’s Prison Population by Lonnie Burton by Lonnie Burton With almost 7 million people under some sort of correctional supervision, including probation and parole, the United States continues to lead the world in terms of tough-on-crime policies and incarceration rates. Although there have ...
Publication • March 16, 2017
Filed under: Prison Reform
Common Justice - Accounting for Violence, Danielle Sered, 2017 Accounting for Violence: How to Increase Safety and Break Our Failed Reliance on Mass Incarceration Danielle Sered Accounting for Violence: How to Increase Safety and Break Our Failed Reliance on Mass Incarceration 1 About Common Justice Common Justice develops and advances ...
Article • February 24, 2017
Our Bail System Is Leaving Innocent People To Die In Jail Because They’re Poor by When freedom is only available to those who can afford it, many end up paying with their lives. By Nick Wing, The Huffington Post Of the nearly 750,000 inmates confined in jails around the U.S. ...
At Virginia's Supermax Prisons, Isolation and Abuse Persist Despite Reforms by By Katie Rose Quandt and Jack Denton, Solitary Watch Red Onion State Prison, a supermax complex in the southwest corner of Virginia near the Kentucky border, has long had a reputation as one of the harshest prisons in the nation. ...
Beyond the Bars of Hopelessness: How We Can Revive Parole by By Jean Trounstine, Truthout A newly released Sentencing Project report, "Delaying a Second Chance: The Declining Prospects for Parole on Life Sentences", lays it on the line: Incarcerated people who have been sentenced to "life" but are eligible for parole are serving ...
Article • February 8, 2017 • from PLN February, 2017
Studies on Financing of Judicial Campaigns Indicate Need for Reform by Derek Gilna Several recent reports have examined the impact that skyrocketing campaign spending has on state court judicial elections, and whether the infusion of cash into such races is compromising judicial impartiality and integrity. One study, “Bankrolling the Bench: ...
Article • February 8, 2017 • from PLN February, 2017
California Governor Grants 112 Pardons, One Commutation by On December 23, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown granted 112 pardons and commuted one prison sentence in a continuation of his tradition of issuing pre-Christmas reprieves. Most of the pardons were provided to people who had already completed their sentences for nonviolent ...
Article • February 8, 2017 • from PLN February, 2017
New York State Closes 14 Prisons Amid Decline in Crime Rates by Christopher Zoukis Since 2009, New York State has closed 14 prisons in an effort to reduce costs and better utilize correctional resources as its prison population has decreased. [See: PLN, June 2013, p.1; April 2009, p.1]. While it’s ...
Article • February 8, 2017 • from PLN February, 2017
Death Penalty Opponents File Suit to Thwart California’s Prop. 66 by On November 9, 2016, death penalty opponents led by former state Attorney General John Van de Kamp and former El Dorado County supervisor Ron Briggs filed a lawsuit challenging Proposition 66, which had been approved by voters just a ...
Australia Uses Recidivism-Based Performance Contract at Private Prison by Currently a third of all Australian women prisoners return to prison following their release, but a new pilot program initiated by the government in the state of Western Australia hopes to change those recidivism rates. According to a November 28, 2016 ...
From the Editor by Paul Wright Since we started publishing PLN in 1990, the injustices of the parole system, or that of never-ending punishment and sentences without end, has been an enduring theme. In the 1970s it was prisoners’ rights activists and advocates who called for an end to parole ...
Article • January 13, 2017
Analysis: Sen. Jeff Sessions’s Record on Criminal Justice by By Ames C. Grawert , Brennan Center for Justice This analysis provides a brief summary of Sen. Jeff Sessions’s past statements, votes, and practices relating to criminal justice. Specifically, this analysis finds that: Sen. Sessions opposes efforts to reduce unnecessarily long ...
How Union Contracts Shield Police Departments from DOJ Reforms by Adeshina Emmanuel Even when the federal government cracks down on police abuses, collective bargaining agreements often stymie reforms. By Adeshina Emmanuel, In These Times Few were surprised on December 7, 2015, when U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a civil rights ...
After Prisons: A Supervisory State? by James Kilgore After Prison? Freedom, Decarceration and Justice Disinvesment By William G. Martin and Joshua Price (eds.) Lexington 2016 Reviewed by James Kilgore, Daily Kos After Prisons? is a remarkable book for several reasons.  First of all, it remains strong from start to finish.  Every ...
Model Mental Health Care Diversion System Started by Miami Judge by David Reutter Thanks to the efforts of Florida Eleventh Circuit Court Judge Steve Leifman, Miami-Dade County is leading the way in how police and the courts deal with the mentally ill. As PLN has reported over the years, jails ...
Article • January 10, 2017 • from PLN January, 2017
Constitutional Amendment Ensures Executions will Continue in Oklahoma by Christopher Zoukis Despite a number of botched executions in recent years – which drew widespread criticism for subjecting condemned prisoners to cruel lethal injection practices – Oklahomans have voted to add a provision to the state constitution enshrining and ensuring the ...
Increased Access to Higher Education Programs for California Prisoners by Christopher Zoukis Some California prisoners, including those confined at the notorious Pelican Bay supermax, are enjoying access to higher education courses provided by the state’s community colleges. A 2014 law eliminated the requirement that all classes taught by community colleges ...
Mississippi: Hinds County Jails in Crisis, Face Mandated Reforms by David Reutter The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a letter in May 2015 that described the findings of an investigation which concluded two jails in Hinds County, Mississippi were violating prisoners’ rights. The county has since entered into a ...
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