The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of August 25, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

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


Broken Windows Is No Replacement For Stop And Frisk

According to Fortune Society’s JoAnne Page, Mayor de Blasio’s vision of New York as a city that is “safe and fair” is within reach. With welcomed reforms to stop and frisk, and new leadership at the Civil Complaint Review Board … he is on the right track. But this progressive agenda will quickly be derailed, if …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joanne-page/broken-windows-is-no-stop-and-frisk_b_5701608.html

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Constantinides Introduces Gun Registry Bill

Fortune Society’s JoAnne Page finds a new bill introduced by Councilman Costa Constantinides “troubling.” The legislation would make the NYC’s gun registry information publicly available online. “The worry with this law,” she says, “is that it puts barriers in the way of people being able to become solid, law-abiding …

http://queenstribune.com/constantinides-introduces-gun-registry-bill/

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New Law Requires Data Reporting On Solitary Confinement In NYC Jails

Mayor de Blasio signed into law a bill providing transparency on who gets placed into solitary confinement in the city’s jails. Inmates sentenced to solitary confinement typically spend 23 hours a day in isolation. Passage comes …

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/920821-new-law-requires-data-reporting-on-solitary-confinement-conditions-in-nyc-jails/

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New York’s Top Jail Investigator Resigns After Inquiry On Rikers Brutality

The top investigator at the New York Correction Department resigned under pressure from city leaders who are facing a federal mandate to regain control of the Rikers Island jail complex, where widespread brutality and corruption by …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/nyregion/investigations-chief-for-new-york-city-jails-steps-down-amid-rikers-brutality-reports.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: What’s Really Wrong With Rikers

A recent investigation by the Department of Justice concluded that a culture of violence permeated the jails on Rikers Island in New York City, particularly the facilities housing adolescent detainees. These reports have led many to blame …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/opinion/whats-really-wrong-with-rikers.html?_r=0

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Council To Hold Hearings After Chokehold Death

The New York City Council will hold an oversight hearing next month on a police department review of its training procedures in the wake of the chokehold death
of an unarmed Staten Island man …

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140827/POLITICS/140829861/council-to-hold-hearings-after-chokehold-death

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Hanging Tough On Crime

Exhibiting typically clear-eyed good sense, New Yorkers overwhelmingly support the NYPD’s crime-fighting strategy of cracking down on low-level quality-of-life offenses. And backing for this “broken windows” policing is solid across …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/hanging-tough-crime-article-1.1919456#ixzz3Bh20sBbN

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 New Yorkers See No Excuse For Police Actions In Chokehold Death: New Poll

New Yorkers think there was no excuse for police actions in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. A poll found that the NYPD’s job approval rating has fallen to 50% with 42% approving, its lowest level in 14 years. Large majorities think …

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/poll-excuse-actions-garner-death-article-1.1918981

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Hip-Hop Stars Perform At Rikers To Keep Violence Down

Rikers inmates are regularly treated to concerts by big-time rappers as a reward for good behavior — and to keep them from “stabbing each other.” Hip hop artists like LL Cool J and Treach from Naughty By Nature have spit rhymes for prisoners …

http://nypost.com/2014/08/27/hip-hop-stars-regularly-perform-for-rikers-inmates-as-a-reward/

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Sharpton’s March, And De Blasio’s

This weekend’s march and rally on Staten Island in memory of Eric Garner spotlights a dilemma that will haunt Mayor de Blasio all the days of his administration: the fact that the dramatic, confrontational style and imagery of …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/sharpton-march-de-blasio-article-1.1910962

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Opinion: A March For A Safer City

The protest promises to be a galvanizing moment for New Yorkers angered at the death of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old African-American who was unarmed when he was fatally assaulted by police. In one sense, the protesters have already won …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/opinion/staten-island-protest-over-eric-garner-chokehold-death.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: Why We March, What We Want: Rev. Al Sharpton, In His Own Words, On This Weekend’s Eric Garner Demonstration

It’s hard to believe that this Saturday marks 25 years to the date when Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black kid, was shot to death after being chased by a bat-wielding mob of whites in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. As we marched …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/march-article-1.1912421

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Many In Poll See Sharpton As ʺPositiveʺ

The Rev. Al Sharpton, whose profile has been raised recently amid the outcry over the death of Eric Garner while in police custody, is considered a “positive force” in the city by nearly half of New Yorkers …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/many-in-poll-see-sharpton-as-positive-1409106424

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Staten Island District Attorney Stands By His Request For Grand Jury

The Staten Island district attorney defended his handling of the investigation into Eric Garner’s death, saying his office is prepared for the high-profile case. “We did a thorough investigation,” Daniel Donovan said …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/staten-island-district-attorney-stands-by-his-request-for-grand-jury-1408929784

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NYPD Commissioner Bratton’s Approval Rating Drops After Garner Death

A Quinnipiac University poll showed 48% of New York City voters approve of Bratton compared to 57% in June. Bratton is polling lower than Ray Kelly at any point in his 12 years as commissioner …

http://www.amny.com/news/nypd-commissioner-william-bratton-s-approval-rating-drops-after-eric-garner-death-poll-finds-1.9156479?cmpid=amNewYork

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Bratton Spurned 25% Of Board’s Police Misconduct Findings In First Half

In the first six months of 2014, the department has declined to sanction officers in over 25% of cases in which the board found cause for discipline. That rate is near the high end of what was seen during the last years of the Bloomberg …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/nyregion/bratton-spurned-25-of-boards-misconduct-findings-in-first-half-of-14.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: “I’m A Cop. If You Don’t Want To Get Hurt, Don’t Challenge Me.

A teenager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America. But cops are not murderers. No officer goes …

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/19/im-a-cop-if-you-dont-want-to-get-hurt-dont-challenge-me/

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De Blasio Attends Crime Data Briefing

Mayor Bill de Blasio attended his first CompStat meeting — a crime statistics briefing with top police officials — at a time when the city is grappling with a new wave of gun violence. But analysts said Mr. de Blasio’s appearance also sent …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/mayor-de-blasio-attends-top-crime-data-briefing-as-new-york-struggles-with-increase-in-shootings-1408668373

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De Blasio, Seeking Calm In Chokehold Case, Turns To Clergy

Mayor Bill de Blasio gathered with religious leaders  in a renewed attempt to ease tensions surrounding the death of a black Staten Island man in police custody, as he strives to show leadership on a controversy that has aggravated racial …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/nyregion/21mayor.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Heroin’s Death Toll Rising In New York, Amid A Shift In Who Uses It

A heroin crisis gripping communities across the country deepened in New York last year, with more people in the city dying in overdoses from the drug than in any year since 2003. In all, 420 people fatally overdosed on heroin in 2013 out of …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/nyregion/heroins-death-toll-rising-in-new-york-amid-a-shift-in-who-uses-it.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Michael Brown Laid To Rest In Ferguson

Thousands of mourners packed the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Ferguson, MO for the funeral of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Family, clergy,
community leaders, and celebrities were among those who …

http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2014/aug/25/michael-brown-laid-rest-ferguson/

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Opinion: Constructing A Conversation On Race

The killing of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, by a police officer, Darren Wilson, and the protests that have followed have brought about calls for the much-ballyhooed — or bemoaned, depending on your perspective — conversation …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/opinion/charles-blow-constructing-a-conversation-on-race.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Poll Shows Broad Divisions Amid Missouri Turmoil

A poll taken since a white police officer in Missouri shot dead an unarmed black teenager shows blacks and whites sharply divided on how fairly the police deal with each group, along with a rising feeling, especially among whites, that …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/us/on-ferguson-unrest-poll-shows-sharp-racial-divide.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: Is Everyone A Little Bit Racist?

Let’s start with what we don’t know: the precise circumstances under which a white police officer in Ferguson, MO shot dead an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown. But here’s what evidence does strongly suggest …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/opinion/nicholas-kristof-is-everyone-a-little-bit-racist.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad&_r=0

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Opinion: Ferguson Needed A Robert F. Kennedy, Not A George S. Patton

All across the world, we watched as police deployed armored vehicles, snipers, and officers in military combat gear against protesters in Ferguson, MO after the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Hasn’t history repeatedly shown us that …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/burke-e-strunsky/ferguson-needed-a-robert-f-kennedy_b_5698555.html?utm_hp_ref=crime&ir=Crime

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Opinion: How The Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops

A grand jury was convened to examine the evidence against the officer who killed Michael Brown. But if the conclusion is that he acted improperly, the ability to hold him or Ferguson, MO accountable will be restricted by none other than …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/opinion/how-the-supreme-court-protects-bad-cops.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Activist Jailed After Clearing Of Zuccotti Park Now Works To Reform Prison

Menacing police dogs and correctional officers in bulletproof vests greeted activist Cecily McMillan when she returned to Rikers Island last week. While the sight was familiar to the Occupy activist, recently released from 58 days in the jail following …

 http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/08/21/occupy-rikers

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Study: Parental Incarceration May Be Worse Than Divorce

Prison isn’t just bad for the emotional and physical health of inmates. It’s bad for their children, a University of California-Irvine study says. The study found that significant health problems and behavioral issues were associated with …

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/25/parents-prison-incarceration-children-health/14457071/

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Homelessness Increases Under de Blasio Administration, Residents Protest New Shelters In Their Neighborhoods

The city has seen a 6% increase in homelessness since the mayor took office in January. In response, Mayor de Blasio added several new shelters to the city, sparking protests from affected neighborhoods …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/homelessness-increases-de-blasio-administration-article-1.1914000#ixzz3BPhZkaUI

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Prison Reform Claims Greeted With Skepticism

Amid reports inmates were abused, sometimes fatally, in his facilities, Florida’s prisons boss has announced changes. With his agency reeling from a series of questionable inmate deaths, Fla. Dept. of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews …

http://www.bradenton.com/2014/08/20/5313880_prison-reform-claims-greeted-with.html?rh=1

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Opinion: Let’s Reserve Costly Prison Beds For Dangerous Offenders

Utah has an exceptional history and tradition of industry, personal responsibility and support for essential, self-governing institutions, such as faith and the family. It is time to apply these principles to the criminal justice system. As the economy …

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865609241/Lets-reserve-costly-prison-beds-for-dangerous-offenders.html?pg=all

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Graying Of SC Prisons Will Cost State’s Taxpayers

An inmate at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution for women keeps a wheelchair tucked away in the corner of her small, cinder-block cell. She has a walker, too. The wheelchair and walker are just two of the signs of …

http://www.thestate.com/2014/08/23/3636250_graying-of-sc-prisons-will-cost.html?sp=/99/132/&rh=1

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 Budget Cuts Threaten A Unique Alabama Prison Education Program

The inmates at Tutwiler Prison have access to a unique state-funded education program that offers GEDs and other skills that inmates need after release. The problem is, this program, which might ease overcrowding, is threatened by …

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/23/342249911/budget-cuts-threaten-a-unique-alabama-prison-education-program

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Opinion: Board Of Pardons And Parole Needs Support, Attention And Reform

The Tribune recently reported on Utah’s “Justice Reinvestment” effort, undertaken with support from the Pew Public Safety Performance Project. These reports mention reforms that, if adopted, could reduce Utah’s prison population …

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58319009-82/board-parole-utah-justice.html.csp

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Demonstrators Rally Against Wisconsin’s Broken Prison System

Members of a faith-based coalition rally in Milwaukee, urged the governor to “use the authority granted by the people of Wisconsin to reform this cruel, unjust, inefficient, and dangerous system NOW …

http://www.mintpressnews.com/demonstrators-rally-wisconsins-broken-prison-system/195699/

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Opinion: What Would Texas Do? 7 Lessons On Prison Reform From Someone Who’s Been There

“What would Texas do?” That question is what Alabama’s public officials are asking as they prepare to tackle prison reform for the 2015 legislative session.The Texas Model has been praised nationally by Democrats and Republicans for …

http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/08/texas_prison_reform_lessons_alabama.html

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Report: Nebraska Could Reduce Prison Crowding By Sentencing More Nonviolent Felons To Probation

Nebraska could significantly reduce prison crowding by sentencing more nonviolent felons to probation instead of prison and by finding alternatives to incarceration for inmates serving sentences of less than a year. Those were two …

http://www.omaha.com/news/crime/nebraska-could-reduce-prison-crowding-by-sentencing-more-nonviolent-felons/article_9012878b-cc30-5e35-a1bb-f154a75ef735.html

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Donor Of The Day: A Good Reason To Go To Prison

The life of an undergraduate often flows between dorm room, classroom, and elsewhere on campus. Rarely does it involve regular time inside a correctional facility. The Petey Greene Program sends college students into local prisons to …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/donor-of-the-day-a-good-reason-to-go-to-prison-1409104164

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Oregon’s Prison Reform May Partly Hinge On A New Police Squad

County justice officials will appear before the Portland (OR) City Council to ask to commandeer two Portland police officers and a sergeant. In exchange for their part-time help keeping tabs on offenders who would have been locked in prison …

 http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/special-forces/Content?oid=13398339

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