The Fortune Society News Of The Week- the week of August 11, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A wide-ranging collection of news and opinion from the previous week focusing on criminal justice policy, advocacy, and reform.


Opinion: The Death Of Michael Brown

The F.B.I. may be able to answer the questions surrounding the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black student who was a few days from heading off to college when he was shot by a police officer. The shooting of Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, led to …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/opinion/racial-history-behind-the-ferguson-protests.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: Bratton’s Hiding Broken-Windows Data

The death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD gave New Yorkers a rare peek into the grim reality of broken windows policing. To echo the Aug. s broken windows policing strategy is beyond broken …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/bratton-hiding-broken-windows-data-article-1.1895928#hOOWQTb1IDtsrdk6.97

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NYPD #3’s Order To Crack Down On Selling Loose Cigarettes Led To Chokehold Death

An order to crack down on the illegal sale of 75-cent cigarettes in Staten Island came
directly from Police Headquarters, setting off a chain of events ending in Eric Garner’s death. Chief of Department Philip Banks — highest-ranking uniformed cop in the city …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/wife-man-filmed-chokehold-arrested-article-1.1893790

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Author Of “Broken Windows” Policing Defends His Theory

In 1982, after another year of record lawlessness in New York City, two college professors advanced — or, more accurately, rekindled — a plausibly uncomplicated theory that would revolutionize law enforcement in the city …

http://nyti.ms/1lNBlHN

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Opinion: Squeegees And Loosies

These days few city officials are willing to speak up for enforcing the law. So we’re glad to see Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s reaction to our front-page story about the return of squeegee men …

http://nypost.com/2014/08/11/squeegees-and-loosies/

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 Coalition Of Progressives Will March With Sharpton Over Chokehold Death 

The progressive coalition that helped elect Mayor de Blasio is joining forces again — only this time they’ll be rallying against what they perceive as police brutality on his
watch …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/progressives-march-rev-sharpton-chokehold-death-article-1.1894788

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Planned Bridge Protest Over Police Conduct Is Opposed

A plan by the Rev. Al Sharpton to march across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge later this month to protest alleged cases of police abuse is angering Republicans and Staten
Island officials, who say the traffic disruption could paralyze the borough …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/planned-bridge-protest-over-police-conduct-is-opposed-1407376533

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Handling Of NY Chokehold Cases ʺDisappointing,ʺ Review Board Chief Says

The new head of New York City’s police oversight board faulted the Police Department for its handling of officers found to have used chokeholds — a banned tactic that the medical examiner said led to the July 17 death of a Staten Island man in police custody …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/nyregion/handling-of-new-york-chokehold-cases-disappointing-review-board-chief-says.html

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In Chokehold Case, Staten Island District Attorney Faces Big Test

On Staten Island, where all politics is so personal it is practically familial, Daniel M. Donovan Jr., the district attorney, can count many friends in high places — and one very prominent former friend …

http://nyti.ms/1rgdsvk

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Police Changes On Stop-Frisk Draw Closer

A plan by the Rev. Al Sharpton to march across the Verrazano Bridge this month to protest alleged cases of police abuse is angering Republicans and Staten Island officials, who say the traffic disruption could paralyze the borough. The city filed a motion to …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/planned-bridge-protest-over-police-conduct-is-opposed-1407376533

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Former Prison Commissioner Says Let More Aging Inmates Go

 It may seem counter intuitive that someone who spent his career running prisons would say this, but retired state Corrections Commissioner Brian Fischer believes there are too many aging inmates in our prisons who should be released …

http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/218329/former-prison-commissioner-says-let-more-aging-inmates-go/

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Unkind Life For Young And Old

In a wheelchair, the 86-year-old man was getting ready for a parole board hearing to see if he might leave NY’s prison system after 33 years behind bars. It was essential that he express remorse for his crime. But he wasn’t sure he could remember his crime …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/08/nyregion/behind-bars-a-price-to-pay-for-geriatrics.html?_r=0

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Opinion: A ʺCulture Of Violenceʺ At Rikers Island

A much-anticipated investigation by the Justice Department has uncovered what amounted to a chamber of horrors at Rikers Island, where teenagers were beaten
and battered for minor infractions by correction officers who acted without …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/opinion/a-culture-of-violence-at-rikers-island.html

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Why Violence Toward Inmates At Rikers Grew

The portrait that emerged from the s office was of a place with almost medieval levels of violence, meted out with startling ferocity by guards and their superiors. But a critical question that went unaddressed is …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/nyregion/why-violence-toward-inmates-at-rikers-grew.html

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Rikers Riot Breaks Out After Inmates Refuse To Comply With  Early Curfew

The inmates refused to go into their cells and used mattresses and bed sheets as barricades
against the correction officers who then used pepper spray to force them back into their cells. But it took nearly two hours to get all the inmates to obey the new curfew which …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rikers-riot-breaks-inmates-refuse-cells-early-article-1.1900868

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No Charges For Rikers Officers In 2012 Beatings Of 2 Inmates

Even on the most violent cellblocks at Rikers Island, the beatings were astonishing in their
severity. Two inmates were strapped to gurneys, taken to a clinic in a mental health unit and beaten so badly by correction officers that …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/nyregion/no-charges-over-inmates-beaten-at-rikers-island.html?_r=0&assetType=nyt_now

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Judge Recommends Suspension For Two Correction Officers

Two city correction officers face suspension for hitting a handcuffed Rikers Island inmate in solitary, ignoring his pleas for medical help and then keeping the attack quiet. The two hit an inmate who blocked the slot in his cell used to transfer food and other items …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/correction-officers-beat-handcuffed-inmate-judge-rules-article-1.1900025

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NAACP Meets With Police Commissioner Bratton

NAACP chapter presidents and officers met with representatives of the NYC Police Department. The conference was led by the newly elected NAACP national president who urged law enforcement officials that justice be done in the chokehold homicide by police …

http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2014/aug/07/naacp-meets-police-commissioner-bratton/

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Opinion: NYC’s New ʺCriminalsʺ

s the way progressives reassure police that City Hall stands behind them: The new head of the Civilian Complaint Review Board has called for tracking cops the way we do
criminals. Just to make t miss the implication …

http://nypost.com/2014/08/06/nycs-new-criminals/

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Riker’s Bosses Promoted After Managing Jail Where Teens Were Beaten

The foxes might be in charge of reforming the hen house. Two top jail bosses were recently promoted to plum spots in the city Department of Correction even though they ran a Rikers Island facility for troubled teens where a federal report found repeated …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/riker-island-bosses-promoted-article-1.1893293

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Two Fatal Police Encounters, But Just One Video

In a photograph s left eye were held open by fingers in a yellow glove. Around the white of his eye was a bright red ring left by tiny blood vessels that had burst as he was dying. His tongue was …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/nyregion/two-fatal-police-encounters-but-just-one-video.html

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Rikers Health Contractor Fined For Worker Assaults

The New York City contractor that provides medical and mental health services to inmates at Rikers Island was issued the highest level of censure by the federal Labor Department  for failing to protect employees from violence at the jail complex …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/08/nyregion/rikers-health-contractor-fined-for-worker-assaults.html

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NYC Inmates In Solitary Not Getting Exercise Time

More than 90% of NYC jail inmates in solitary confinement aren’t getting their legally mandated one hour of daily recreation time outside their cells, according to a report by the city agency that oversees the jails. Many inmates go multiple days locked in their …

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268748/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=W0MBn8Ld

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  A Healing That Wasn’t: Liberal Activists And the Police Assail City Hall

Confronting the first civil rights test of his administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio is struggling to take command of a controversy over the police and race that has pitted his longtime liberal supporters against the police department he now depends on to …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/nyregion/after-eric-garners-death-de-blasio-seeks-a-tricky-balance.html?_r=0

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 De Blasio To Gather Clergy On Police-Community Divide

Mayor Bill de Blasio, under increasing pressure to contain an escalating controversy over aggressive policing, said that he would convene a meeting of religious leaders led by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan the relationship between the police and …

http://nyti.ms/1uxlAKh

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Opinion: A Mayoral Summit In Black And White

We were not surprised that Mayor de Blasio convened a City Hall round table on police-community s death. The video revealed a deeply
troubling encounter that left a man dead. But we were shocked that …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/mayoral-summit-black-white-article-1.1894476

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New State Re-Entry Council Takes Aim At Recidivism

A new council of criminal justice and social service experts created by the Cuomo administration will examine how the state can make it easier for prisoners to successfully re-enter society, establishing themselves and contributing as citizens instead …

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5200-new-reentry-council-takes-aim-recidivism-cuomo-prison

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Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson Takes On Wrongful Convictions

Kenneth Thompson campaigned for Brooklyn district attorney on a promise that, if elected, he would review more cases involving a police detective accused of coercing false confessions. When he took office in January …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/brooklyn-district-attorney-kenneth-thompson-takes-on-wrongful-convictions-1407547937

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On National Night Out, Vision For A Safer Brooklyn

There are many things that have contributed to the Brooklyn renaissance, but perhaps no factor has been more essential than New York’s transformation into America’s safest
big city. Places like McCarren Park in Williamsburg, a hot spot for drug-dealing …

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5207-national-night-out-safer-brooklyn-eric-adams

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NYPD’s Summer Crime-Fighting Initiative Working As More Community Cops Leads To 25% Drop In Shootings

In areas of Brooklyn and the Bronx targeted by the NYPD’s Summer All Out initiative, shootings have dropped 25% after Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called for cops normally on desk duty to hit the streets …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/exclusive-nypd-summer-crime-fighting-initative-working-article-1.1901541

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Bratton: Criminal Suspects Should Not Resist Arrest

Criminal suspects should just surrender quietly and not resist arrest to avoid ugly
clashes with cops, police commissioner Bill Bratton said. “What we’re seeing over the last several months is a number of individuals just failing to understand that you must …

http://nypost.com/2014/08/12/bratton-criminal-suspects-should-not-resist-arrest/

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De Blasio Administration, City Council Expand Citywide Initiative To Reduce Gun Violence, Launch Gun Violence Crisis Management System

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced the expansion of NYC’s efforts to reduce gun violence through the creation of the “Gun Violence Crisis Management System,” a citywide initiative to …

http://www.ebony.com/black-listed#axzz3AHcPe3Vm

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Public Housing In New York Reaches A Fiscal Crisis

Advocates for homeless people are demanding more apartments for families living in shelters. School officials want space in public housing for new prekindergarten classes. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to use open land in the projects for new …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/nyregion/new-york-public-housing-faces-crisis-as-demands-and-deficits-grow.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Former NYC Prison To Become Reentry Center

New York’s City’s former Fulton Correctional Facility will soon receive a major renovation, transforming the building into a community reentry hub for formerly incarcerated individuals. Empire State Development recently approved $6 million in funding to …

http://www.correctionalnews.com/articles/2014/08/13/former-nyc-prison-become-reentry-center

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Sentencing, By The Numbers

In a recent letter to the United States Sentencing Commission, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sharply criticized the growing trend of evidence-based sentencing, in which courts use data-driven predictions of defendants’ future crime risk to shape sentences …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/opinion/sentencing-by-the-numbers.html?_r=0

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Inmates’ Kids Face Mental And Physical Health Problems Later In Life

Children of prison inmates — particularly those in black and Latino households — stand to suffer from their parents’ absence. A new study found that the likelihood of poor physical and mental health among children with incarcerated parents increased …

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/08/3469316/children-incarcerated-parents/

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Shame Of The Nation: The Fight To Keep Children Locked Up For Life

In 2010, 11-year-old Jordan Brown found himself facing the possibility of being tried in adult court, as well as a life sentence without any chance for parole, for …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-ann-thompson/shame-of-the-nation-the-f_b_5646100.html?utm_hp_ref=crime&ir=Crime

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Opinion: Did The Private Prison Lobby Kill Immigration Reform?

President Obama is poised to make a sweeping decision on immigration soon. Although details of another executive action on immigration are still unclear, it’s likely to benefit millions of people. But not all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants …

http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/08/did_the_private_prison_lobby_kill_immigration_reform.html

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 Utah Leaders Consider Prison Reform

Utah leaders are eyeing reforms to a state prison system where the inmate population is growing faster than the rest of the country. Gov. Gary Herbert and other state leaders that a commission is drafting reform recommendations based on …

 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/6/utah-eyeing-prison-reforms/

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California Prisons Propose Reform Of Use Of Force Standards   

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation proposed new policies for use of force against mentally ill inmates. The new regulations would require prison guards to consider the mental health status of inmates and their ability to …

http://www.corrections.com/news/article/37082-california-prisons-propose-reform-of-use-of-force-standards 

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Former SJPD Police Chief Leads On Reforming State Drug Laws

Any time Samantha Rogers fills out an application—for a job, housing, education or assistance—she freezes. These forms all have the dreaded box and the accompanying question: Have you committed a felony? Rogers knows that telling the truth will …

http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2014/08/07/former-sjpd-police-chief-leads-on-reforming-state-drug-laws/

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Clearing The Path Ahead: One Step Towards Improving Reentry In California

Last month, California passed a $156.4 billion budget, which included a provision that lifts the lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for people with felony drug convictions. This victory for criminal justice and drug policy reform comes amid the growing …

http://www.publicceo.com/2014/08/clearing-the-path-ahead-one-step-towards-improving-reentry-in-california/

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California Crime Surge Is Coming, Says Study

 In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court forced California to deal with the massive overcrowding in its prison system. As a result, local California jails now face more overcrowding than ever, and local law enforcement is saddled with additional costs for …

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/california_crime_surge_is_coming_says_study-142352

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Maryland Frees Close To 70 Inmates Over Faulty Jury Instructions

A state-court ruling that called into question Maryland jury convictions dating to Colonial
times has led to the release of close to 70 prison inmates, fueling a debate over whether decades-old cases should be retried and, in many cases, bringing back to the surface …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/maryland-frees-close-to-70-inmates-over-faulty-jury-instructions-1407346874

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Oregon’s Prison Population Beginning To Decrease

After years of steady growth, the number of inmates in Oregon’s prisons has begun to slowly decrease, and a new study suggests that Oregon could reduce its prison population even further without jeopardizing public safety …

http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/2308666-151/oregons-prison-population-beginning-to-decrease?entryType=0

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“Sending Far Too Many People To Prison”: SCLC Panel Focuses On Overcrowding, Unaffordable Bail

An SCLC panel on prison reform condemned overcrowding in prisons and recommended alternatives to the current bail system that keeps the accused locked up if they can’t afford it. Six attorneys discussed the issues during …

http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2014/08/sending_far_too_many_people_to.html

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Ohio: Moratorium On Capital Punishment Is Extended

A freeze on capital punishment in Ohio will continue through Jan. 15 after a federal judge extended a moratorium set to expire this week. The order highlights the
continuing problem faced by states in obtaining drugs to put inmates to death …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/us/ohio-moratorium-on-capital-punishment-is-extended-.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Georgetown Residents Don’t Want Prison Art Sold Near Their Condos

Safe Streets Arts’ table by the Georgetown waterfront is filled with vivid paintings and copper wire jewelry. And often, parked right behind it, is a police car  marshaled by people in the well-to-do area who fear the former prisoners who run the vending table …

 http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/visual-arts/2014/08/07/georgetown-residents-allegedly-dont-want-prison-art-sold-near-their-condos/

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Opinion: Why Prosecutors Love Mandatory Minimums

In 1996, when he was the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Eric Holder urged the DC Council to reinstate mandatory-minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, which it had abolished in 1994. Two decades later …

http://nypost.com/2014/08/09/why-prosecutors-love-mandatory-minimums/

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Jim McGreevey 10 Years After Resigning: “It’s Been A Messy Journey, But I Believe This Is Where I Was Always Meant To Be”

Ten years after confessing to giving a secret male lover a $110,000 state job and resigning as New Jersey governor in disgrace, McGreevey now lives a very different life counseling
inmates …

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/jim-mcgreevy-10-years-resigning-nj-governor-meant-article-1.1898226

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Rehab Boss Used Patients For “Slave Labor”

They checked in for drug treatment and got sent out for what amounted to slave labor instead. Residents of the taxpayer-funded J-CAP program were dispatched to the home of program manager Murray Kaplan to do cleaning and to his Hamptons house for …

http://nypost.com/2014/08/10/drug-treatment-head-used-rehab-patients-for-slave-labor-staffers/

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Opinion: Discrimination And Inequality Are Fueling America’s AIDS Crisis

As President Obama hosted African heads of state in Washington, the global HIV/AIDS epidemic has been back in the news. But we shouldn’t need an international summit to remind us about HIV/AIDS. The epidemic is quietly raging here at home …

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/discrimination-and-inequality-are-fueling-americas-aids-crisis

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