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Prison News | General

Recent events concerning the corrections industry and the topic of General. Comments, suggestions and contributions (below) appreciated.

  • US resumes death penalty: morally unacceptable
    Last week, the US government announced it will resume use of capital punishment after a 16-year hiatus and has set execution dates for five convicted murderers. This is a response to President Donald Trump’s call for tougher penalties on violent crimes....[more]

  • County approves $31 million for women’s prison expansion
    Bucks County commissioners awarded eight contracts to six companies at its July 24 meeting to expand the Women’s Correctional Facility addressing over-crowding concerns....[more]

  • West Virginia officials investigating 2 inmate assaults at regional jail
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Authorities have begun an investigation into two inmate-on-inmate assaults at a regional jail in West Virginia....[more]

  • Commissioner says Alabama prison system culture must change
    Much has been reported about the scarcity of staff, overcrowding, and crumbling physical conditions in Alabama’s prisons....[more]

  • Brooklyn prison: Power and heat failure sparks protest
    Protesters outside the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal facility in Brooklyn, chanted: "Where is the heat"?...[more]

  • Overflow Barracks, but No New Prison, in Evers Budget
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers doesn't plan to build any new prisons to accommodate Wisconsin's burgeoning inmate population. Evers released his budget Thursday. The spending plan doesn't call for building a new facility, or replacing the aging prison in Green Bay....[more]

  • Ex-Chicago police officer who killed Laquan McDonald attacked in prison, wife says
    Jason Van Dyke was kept in isolation in Illinois after being convicted in the black teenager's murder...[more]

  • The Future Of Prison Reform In Florida
    Attempts to reform the way criminals are sentenced and how much time they spend behind bars have made...[more]

  • Shakeup in Alaska Prisons Targets “Overuse” of Solitary Confinement -- Reports Find Widespread Isolation and Neglect; Corrections Chief Resigns
    Alaska’s prison system is “broken” according to Governor Bill Walker following a damning review of the Department of Corrections, including its overuse of solitary confinement and a recommendation for the practice to be used “sparingly and appropriately.”...[more]

  • New York City settles inmate death lawsuits for $5.3M
    NEW YORK - New York City has agreed to pay $5.3 million to the families of two inmates who died at its troubled Rikers Island jail complex, a city official said on Tuesday....[more]

  • Jailhouse suicides, heavy use of solitary confinement led to prison shakeup
    Alaska’s governor has replaced his top corrections official after an investigation into the state prison system uncovered a slew of serious problems ranging from inadequate treatment of suicidal inmates to widespread use of solitary confinement....[more]

  • ? Rikers Is Reforming Solitary Confinement—With More Solitary Confinement? How did Enhanced Supervision Housing units become one of the mayor’s “solutions”?
    ? In July, David* was told he was being moved to a new unit. He was taken from a general-population unit on Rikers to one of the recently opened Enhanced Supervision Housing units (ESHU) at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center. The unit was a stark difference from general population: In ESHU you get seven hours out-of-cell time a day; in general population, you’re entitled to 14 hours minimum out-of-cell time, as mandated by the Board of Correction’s standards....[more]

  • Photos Of 1960s U.S. Prison System Attempt To Show That Inmates Are Us
    "I was never afraid of the men," photographer Danny Lyon said of his time spent with Texas prisoners. "I liked them. And I had many friends inside the system that would stand up for me, dangerous men. Anyway, in my heart of hearts I felt I was doing something good for the men, and most of them knew it."...[more]

  • More than a decade after release, they all come back -- SILVESTRE SEGOVIA HAD VOWED THAT HE WOULD NEVER RETURN TO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.
    Languishing in the vast Texas prison system's solitary confinement wings for more than a decade had exacted a heavy emotional toll. And there was so much to discover about a new world that confronted him on a much-anticipated exit that chilly morning, Nov. 15, 2002. A loyal girlfriend waited 255 miles away....[more]

  • In 10 States, Children Can Be Punished With Indefinite Solitary Confinement
    Isolation can permanently change the teenage brain, neuroscientists have found. Animal studies have shown that the pruning of synapses that occurs during adolescence -- a process that allows kids to grow out of behaviors like impulsiveness -- doesn't happen normally in long-term isolation. This means that solitary may, in fact, increase recidivism. When kids are not punished with isolation, they are less likely to act out, some states have found....[more]

  • Why 4 Boys In South Carolina Have Been Shackled In Solitary Confinement For 6 Weeks
    A thirty minute drive from Spring Valley High School, where Officer Ben Fields slammed and dragged a teenage girl out of her desk, several young boys have been shackled and locked in solitary confinement for close to six weeks with little to no human contact....[more]

  • A Play That Confronts the Horror of Solitary Confinement
    On a recent Thursday evening, a small crowd gathered in a sweaty upstairs room in a Lutheran church in Bed Stuy for “Mariposa and the Saint,” a short play composed entirely from the text of letters written by a woman named Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca while she was serving a fifteen-month sentence in solitary confinement. The letters were written to an artist and activist named Julia Steele Allen, who also, by Fonseca’s request, plays Mariposa in the production. ...[more]

  • Curtailing solitary confinement
    IN THE AREA of prison reform, perhaps no method of incarceration has been more controversial than solitary confinement. Prisoner rights advocates have long argued that solitary confinement — the segregation of individual prisoners in small cells for up to 23 hours a day — is inhumane. Correctional officers, meanwhile, have seen solitary confinement as an important tool for disciplining unruly or dangerous inmates....[more]

  • Americans protest human rights violations in US prisons
    A group of protesters have condemned human rights violations and illegal activities that frequently take place in prisons across the United States.

    The protesters gathered near the Rikers facility in New York City on Saturday and called for reform....[more]


  • The Shake-Up at Rikers Island
    Violence and corruption became entrenched at New York City’s Rikers Island jail because officers who ignored or even condoned that culture were moved steadily up the ladder into management....[more]

  • $2.25 Million Settlement for Family of Rikers Inmate Who Died in Hot Cell
    The family of a homeless veteran who died this year in a searing hot cell at the Rikers Island jail complex will receive $2.25 million from the City of New York in a settlement the comptroller’s office announced on Friday....[more]

  • Issue 11 aims to prevent jail overcrowding for female inmates
    Portage County Sheriff David Doak said the jail began to see a spike in its female population about two years ago. Doak attributes the rise in female inmates to drug use and said Portage County isn’t the only jail having trouble with overcrowding....[more]

  • New York sued over so-called owed time in solitary
    A class action lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court says inmates are unduly placed in 23-hour confinement for breaking jailhouse rules in previous detentions, sometimes years earlier. For example, if an inmate is sentenced to a month in solitary confinement but is released or transferred before completing it, he can be forced to serve the remaining time during his next incarceration....[more]

  • 3 New York City Correction Officials to Step Down Amid Scrutiny of Rikers
    In a major shake-up at the New York City Correction Department, three high-ranking officials, including the top uniformed officer, are stepping down amid mounting criticism over the handling of violence and corruption at Rikers Island....[more]

  • Rethinking solitary confinement
    EVERY DAY, state and federal prison authorities subject tens of thousands of inmates to solitary confinement, a psychological and physical hell resulting from near-total isolation in often tiny and windowless cells. Those who go in can come out disturbed. Those who go in with preexisting mental illnesses often get worse. The result is hypertension, panic attacks, self-mutilation and suicide, not to mention extreme difficulties reintegrating into the prison population or society at large. Damon Thibodeaux, who spent 15 years alone in a Louisiana state prison before being exonerated, explained to a congressional committee this year that solitar...[more]

  • Mississippi ranks near top for inmate deaths
    Daniel Cottrell committed suicide on Oct. 14, 2011, in his cell at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian just six years into his 20-year prison sentence for racketeering.

    He was 26 years old.

    From the time Cottrell entered state custody on Sept. 26, 2005, until the day he hanged himself, at least 373 other state inmates also lost their lives behind bars and helped push Mississippi's prison mortality rate to one of the highest in the nation, according to data from the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics....[more]


  • Students Hold Vigil To Protest Solitary Confinement
    Past midnight on Wednesday morning, Rachel P. Thompson ’16 sat outside the Science Center with nothing but an empty square of blue tape pasted on the ground behind her....[more]

  • Two more inmates dead at Lowell Correctional Institution
    Two inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution, a women’s prison north of Ocala, have died in the past week.

    So far this month, three women have died at LCI.

    Jessica Cary, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections, identified the inmates as 80-year-old Jane C. Taylor, who died at 2:22 a.m. Monday, and 48-year-old Michelle Tierney, who died at 9:20 a.m. Thursday....[more]


  • Federal lawsuit alleges Alabama prison is dangerous and out of control
    The Equal Justice Initiative, known for advocating for the civil and constitutional rights of prisoners, filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday that makes claims of violence and lack of institutional control inside St. Clair Correctional Facility....[more]

  • Restraints cited in three deaths at Bridgewater -- State hospital’s harsh patient care raises questions about health care provider
    BRIDGEWATER — Bradley Burns let out a gut-wrenching howl as he lay strapped hand and foot to a small bed, his torso bound by a tightly wound sheet, his head and eyes covered with a helmet and goggles.

    Burns had spent 23 hours a day like that — almost completely immobilized — for 16 months because medical staff at Bridgewater State Hospital felt it was the best way to prevent the sometimes-violent patient with paranoid schizophrenia from hurting himself, or others, as he had in the past. Even for visitors, he was placed in a tiny cell with barely enough room to stand or sit....[more]



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