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Prison News | Issues in Treatment, Education, and Rehabilitation

Recent events concerning the corrections industry and the topic of Issues in Treatment, Education, and Rehabilitation. Comments, suggestions and contributions (below) appreciated.

  • Jail Overcrowding Leads to Repeat Offenders
    LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Police are trying to stop what they say is a cycle of crime here in Little Rock. That's why they're speaking out about repeat offenders and partially blaming the problem on overcrowded jails.

    The sound of the jail door slamming is something Quinton Forney's heard eight times in the past two years....[more]


  • We pay inmates $3 a day to fight California wildfires
    I recently heard a story told by the actor/activist Harry Belafonte about meeting with Martin Luther King back in the ’60s, shortly after the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were signed. King was not in a celebratory mood, said Belafonte, and seemed to be rethinking his stance on racial integration. They were both contemplating the question asked by James Baldwin from The Fire Next Time: What if we just helped integrate black people into a burning house? Belafonte said King thought long on this before responding, “I guess we’ll just have to be firefighters.”...[more]

  • Georgia Approves Aggressive Blueprint for Prisoner Reentry Initiative
    Georgia criminal justice reform will push the pedal hard over the next several months with rapid expansion of the state’s prisoner reentry initiative. Millions of federal grant dollars will become seed money for fifteen pilot project sites starting now through the 2017 calendar year. The goal is to give released inmates a better chance to succeed when they go outside the walls....[more]

  • Judge: State inmates not entitled to minimum wage
    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a Nebraska prisoner who argued that he should be making minimum wage for his work behind bars....[more]

  • Levin: Helping ex-offenders find employment makes us safer
    Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation was quoted this week in the New York Times (Oct. 24) supporting the idea of "ban the box" legislation making it easier for ex-offenders to apply for certain public sector jobs. Here's a notable excerpt:...[more]

  • Holder attends 'graduation' at sentencing program
    LOS ANGELES — Six men and women who faced federal prison time for felonies walked free from court Friday with graduation certificates and the personal praise of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder congratulated graduates of a novel alternative sentencing program that he said was a model for helping criminals rebuild their lives while also keeping the public safe from felons who repeat their crimes after being released from prison...[more]

  • What will happen to the Drug Clemency Program when Holder leaves?
    “Under criteria announced in April 2014, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the Justice Department will consider for early release inmates who have served at least 10 years in prison, are low-level offenders, would have received a substantially lower prison term if sentenced under laws today, don’t have a significant criminal history, and have no history of violence before or since their incarceration.”...[more]

  • Dr. Bryant advocates higher education for convicts
    On Oct. 10, Dr. Maxine Bryant held a lecture at the Ogeechee Theater. She discussed some ideas concerning the future of Armstrong. Bryant wants the school to “open it’s doors to convicts.” Citing ASU’s mission statement, particularly it’s aim for a “diverse learning experience,” Dr. Bryant wants to use “higher education as a desistance factor.”...[more]

  • County Celebrates Water-Saving Landscaping, Composting Project By Jail Inmates
    Inmates dressed in prison stripes mixed with Santa Clara County officials Friday at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas where the Sheriff's Office unveiled water-saving landscaping projects created by teams of male and female convicts.

    The minimum-security inmates were taking part in the county's Sustainability in Jails Project to recycle water, install mulch, drought-resistant plants and drip irrigation systems and convert the jail's food and other waste into compost, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said. ...[more]


  • Panel Discusses Link Between Education, Incarceration and Job Opportunities
    On Friday, September 12, a distinguished panel of guests and academics gathered at the Helen Bader Foundation in downtown Milwaukee to discuss the economic and social issues faced by incarcerated men and women in the state of Wisconsin....[more]

  • Symposium addresses inmate reintegration Performances and discussion focus on importance of restoring Pell Grants to prisoners
    “Our beginnings have already been established, but our ends are nowhere in sight,” voiced performers from the College and Community Fellowship’s Theater for Social Change in a call for prison inmates to gain greater access to education at a symposium Tuesday....[more]

  • Substance abuse programs, under fire at Northampton County Prison, to be reviewed
    Northampton County officials agreed this week that a closer overview of the county prison's multimillion-dollar substance abuse programs was needed after an audit called their success rate into question.

    Controller Stephen Barron reviewed for county council an audit of the Community Education Centers programs offered at the prison. According to the company's own statistics, about 40 percent of graduates wound up back in Northampton County Prison, he said Thursday....[more]


  • We can’t afford to ignore drug addiction in prison
    Many states have shortened prison time for drug crimes, and the federal system is inching toward doing the same, with new guidelines that will be effective Nov. 1 and retroactive releases starting a year later....[more]

  • Ex-offenders get help to make most of their freedom
    Up to 500 people on parole or probation are expected to attend the Summit of Hope, where state and social service agencies and employers will try to link up those who’ve had scrapes with the law with services or jobs, officials said....[more]

  • Poll: Prisons struggling with inmate rehabilitation
    The poll released last week asked 804 registered Wisconsin voters to rate how they think the system is doing at turning inmates into contributing members of society. A little more than 41 percent said the system was doing a fair job and 31 percent said the state was doing a poor job. Almost 18 percent said it was doing a good job and 3.6 percent said it was doing an excellent job....[more]

  • Program Aims To Make Inmates Better Fathers
    WINDHAM, Maine (AP) — A program at the Maine state prison in Windham is trying not just to make inmates better citizens when they’re released, but better fathers as well.

    The InsideOut Dad program at the Maine Correctional Center was developed by the nonprofit National Fatherhood Initiative....[more]


  • Jail inmates volunteer in cemetery cleanup
    JOPLIN, Mo. — Everyone working to clean the overgrown Alexander Cemetery on Wednesday was there as a volunteer.

    The crew included three inmates at the Jasper County Jail, who had volunteered for the workday, and four members of the Jasper County Cemetery Preservation Committee....[more]


  • Inmates grow roses in horticulture program
    PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - Many of the women at the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center expressed skepticism when they first laid eyes on a shipment of what appeared to be nothing more than twigs.

    “They were just these spindly, little Charlie Brown things,” Dina Tyler, a deputy director for the Department of Community Correction, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette....[more]


  • Justice Department's new rules would offer clemency to inmates with no violent history
    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced new rules on Wednesday that potentially would make thousands of federal inmates eligible for presidential grants of clemency, including a requirement that candidates must have served at least 10 years of their sentences and have no history of violence....[more]

  • 3 in 4 Former Prisoners in 30 States Arrested Within 5 Years of Release
    An estimated two-thirds (68 percent) of 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within three years of release from prison, and three-quarters (77 percent) were arrested within five years, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today....[more]

  • State opens probe of work release program
    COVINGTON, La. (AP) - The state inspector general's office has opened an investigation into Northshore Workforce LLC, a privately run work-release program that was shut down by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain in March....[more]

  • College for Criminals
    IN February, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced plans to underwrite college classes in 10 state prisons, building on the success of privately funded and widely praised programs like the Bard Prison Initiative. Mr. Cuomo pointed out that inmates who got an education had a much better chance of finding a job and were much less likely to menace their neighbors after release. He noted that the cost — $5,000 per inmate per year — would be a bargain compared with the $60,000 it costs to incarcerate a prisoner for a year....[more]

  • Congress advances earlier release for convicts - One-sixth of prison population eligible
    Legislation moving through Congress that could result in the early release of an estimated 34,000 federal prisoners has judges and probation officials both intrigued and concerned....[more]

  • NY college for inmates to remain privately funded
    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A senior official says Cuomo administration plans to expand college classes for New York's prison inmates will be privately funded and not financed by taxpayers....[more]

  • Halfway Back to Society
    In 2013, about 30,000 federal prison inmates were released to more than 200 halfway houses around the country. These facilities — where an inmate can serve up to the last year of his or her sentence — are meant to ease the transition back into society by way of employment and housing assistance, drug treatment, and other programs that make it less likely an inmate will end up reoffending and returning to prison....[more]

  • In New Step to Fight Recidivism, Attorney General Holder Announces Justice Department to Require Federal Halfway Houses to Boost Treatment Services for Inmates Prior to Release
    WASHINGTON—In a new step to further the Justice Department’s efforts towards enhancing reentry among formerly incarcerated individuals, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will impose new requirements on federal halfway houses that help inmates transition back into society. Under the proposed new requirements, these halfway houses will have to provide a specialized form of treatment to prisoners, including those with mental health and substance abuse issues. For the first time, halfway houses will also have to provide greater assistance to inmates who are pursuing job opportunities, such as permittin...[more]

  • Recognising International Women's Day in prison
    This Saturday, as part of International Women’s Day, Corrections is celebrating the work it does with women in prison, to assist them in turning their backs on crime....[more]

  • People behind bars: shifting paradigms of American inmates
    “Sixty percent of our offenders will fail within three years of release,” she said. “So we might be doing something wrong.”...[more]

  • Free college courses for prisoners makes good financial and social sense, says UB Law School expert on prison life - Education helps inmates envision a life beyond prison and reduces recidivism
    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal to grant college degrees to prisoners behind bars is a good bet to break the cycle of a broken system with out-of-control costs and far- too-many repeat offenders, says Teresa A. Miller, a professor in the University at Buffalo Law School. ...[more]

  • What if faith-based prison programs just attract better prisoners?
    This continues yesterday’s post about the effectiveness of faith-based prisons, based on my recent Alabama Law Review article, Do Faith-Based Prisons Work? (Douglas Berman’s Sentencing Law and Policy Blog called this a “must read”; see also this discussion on Dru Stevenson’s Privatization Blog. This article is a companion article to Prison Vouchers and The Constitutional Possibilities of Prison Vouchers, though the ideas here are entirely independent of the vouchers idea.)...[more]


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