The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of October 6, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

 

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


Bill Clinton: Prison Reform Will Be Hot-Button Issue In 2016 Election

According to President Bill Clinton, a main issue on voters’ minds going into the 2016 election will be prison reform. “We took a shotgun to a problem that needed a .22 — a very significant percentage of serious crimes are committed by only …

http://www.gopusa.com/news/2014/10/09/bill-clinton-prison-reform-will-be-hot-button-issue-in-2016-election/

———

White House: Empowering Our Young People And Stemming The Collateral
Damage Of Incarceration

Officials from the White House, the Dept. of Justice, and the Dept. of Health and Human Services announced a series of steps aimed at providing support to help children with incarcerated parents succeed and overcome the obstacles they …

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/10/08/empowering-our-young-people-and-stemming-collateral-damage-incarceration

———

Opinion: The Death Of Solitary For Minors At Rikers

Imagine being locked in a small room with little to no sunlight for 23 hours a day. Maybe you’ll get fed, maybe you won’t. You might be in there for weeks, months, or even years. Says JoAnne Page, CEO and president of The Fortune Society …

http://affectmagazine.com/2014/10/the-death-of-solitary-for-minors-at-rikers/

———

Correction Commissioner Would Like Teens Off Rikers Island

Department of Correction Commissioner Joe Ponte said he supports a U.S. attorney’s office recommendation to move all adolescents off Rikers Island. Mr. Ponte said the department was actively looking at alternative sites but …

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2014/10/08/correction-commissioner-would-like-teens-off-rikers-island/

———

 Council Grills D.O.C. Chief Over Rikers Promotions

City Council members grilled corrections commissioner Joseph Ponte over his decision to promote two high-ranking officials at Rikers who reportedly failed to produce accurate violence incident reports involving teenage inmates at the jail …

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/10/8554231/council-grills-doc-chief-over-rikers-promotions?top-featured-2

———

Eric Garner’s Family To Sue New York City, NYPD For $75 Million

The family of Eric Garner, the New Yorker who died while being arrested by the NYPD, filed a notice of claim to sue in a civil suit against NYC and its police. The $75-M suit questions New York’s “broken windows” policy, a method of …

http://thegrio.com/2014/10/08/eric-garner-chokehold-lawsuit-nypd/

———

Review Finds Complaints Of Police Chokeholds Increased As Definition Narrowed

One police officer described it as a headlock. Others called it a “yoke hold” or a “face lock.” All denied using a chokehold, banned for two decades by the NYC Police, as they restrained suspects. But none received serious punishment …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/nyregion/review-finds-use-of-police-chokeholds-increased-as-definition-of-banned-tactic-narrowed.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Brooklyn Cops May Be Indicted For Pistol-Whipping, Punching Teen Suspect

Two cops have been disciplined after a disturbing video surfaced showing a 16-year-old boy pistol-whipped and beaten by cops — and now criminal charges could follow. The video showed Kahreem Tribble running from police and apparently …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/brooklyn-suspended-pistol-whipping-teen-article-1.1965977

———

Bratton Says New York Police Dept. Must Dismiss Bad Officers

Commissioner Bratton delivered a blunt message as he opened a conference of NY Police Department commanders:  “We will aggressively seek to get those out of department who should not be here. The brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/nyregion/bratton-vows-to-root-out-bad-new-york-police-officers.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

NYPD Changing Forms Cops Must Fill Out After A Questioning Or Frisk

The NYPD is revising the standard form cops must fill out after stopping someone for questioning or a frisk — replacing a checklist-based format with a section that requires a written explanation justifying the stop. The new form will provide …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-changing-forms-cops-fill-questioning-frisk-article-1.1965662

———

Opinion: De Blasio’s New Progressive Criminal Justice Initiatives Overshadowed By Prospect Of More Police

The de Blasio administration has announced three initiatives designed to reduce over-relying on criminal justice solutions to solve community problems. Instead, they need to come out against hiring additional police …

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5369-de-blasio-new-progressive-criminal-justice-initiatives-overshadowed-prospect-more-police-vitale

———

Opinion: Break The Prison To Poverty Pipeline

The fight for “Rikers Reform” is important for the welfare of inmates behind that particular set of bars, but it also shines a light on the issue of the other 7 million people under correctional control in America. The way we treat prisoners …

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2014/10/07/rikers-island-prison-reform-a-good-first-step-but-more-must-be-done

———

New York City Proposal Would Limit Detention Of Migrants

NYC would stop honoring detention requests issued by United States immigration authorities without a warrant from a federal judge, according to a proposal. The bill also  stipulates that even with a judge’s warrant, the Police and …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/nyregion/city-would-stop-honoring-many-immigrant-detainment-orders.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Opinion: New York’s Sensible Immigration Shift

The NYC Council is about to take a welcome step toward more sensible immigration policies. Its speaker plans to introduce two bills to limit the city’s cooperation with federal authorities in jailing immigrants and to …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/opinion/new-yorks-sensible-immigration-shift.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad&_r=0

———

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Agreement With Party City To End Discrimination In Hiring Based On Criminal Records

A new agreement ensures that job opportunities will not be automatically denied to individuals with criminal histories. JoAnne Page, president and CEO of The Fortune
Society, said: “The opportunity to obtain gainful employment is …

https://www.longislandexchange.com/press-releases/a-g-schneiderman-announces-agreement-with-party-city-to-end-discrimination-in-hiring-based-on-criminal-records/

———

“They Were Just Walking Down The Street”: Park Slope Cops Tell Black Teens To “Get Out Of The Neighborhood,” Witness Says

In their patrol cars with lights and sirens on, cops followed the teens before demanding they leave the neighborhood. A commanding officer said there’s been trouble with teens loitering at Atlantic Center Mall — a mile and a half away …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/cops-black-teens-park-slope-witness-article-1.1960584

———

Rikers Inmate Scalded During Fight Club-Style Initiation

A Rikers inmate claims a guard told fellow jailbirds to scald him in a twisted Fight Club-style initiation ritual. James Parker, locked up for allegedly punching his girlfriend, says in a claim against the city that a correction officer named …

http://nypost.com/2014/10/07/rikers-inmate-scalded-during-fight-club-style-initiation/

———

Former Inmates To Learn Beekeeping At Bronx Rooftop Apiary

Beekeeping may be on its way to the roof of a former Bronx prison as part of an effort to transform the building into a center for the formerly incarcerated. The Osborne Association is planning a range of skill-training programs, including …

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20141007/claremont/former-inmates-learn-beekeeping-at-bronx-rooftop-apiary

———

NYC Proposes Changes To Make It Easier For Transgender New Yorkers To Change Their Birth Certificates

Legislation was introduced in the New York City Council that removes the surgical requirements for transgender New Yorkers to change the gender markers on their birth certificates. This legislation will eliminate antiquated barriers …

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2014/pr039-14.shtml

———

Ferguson Remains On Edge As 4-Day Protest Looms

Protesters in this small Midwest city measure time by counting the number of days Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson has remained free since killing Michael Brown. Here, after 58 days, almost everyone is waiting for …

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/05/ferguson-remains-on-edge-as-mass-protest-looms/16766607/

———

Opinion: Cruel Punishment Is All Too Usual In U.S. Jails And Prisons

The Eighth Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment. Yet it happens every day in prisons across the country. As a litigator and constitutional lawyer, I have heard appalling stories from the nation’s prisons and jails …

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/sunday-commentary/20141003-eight-amendment-attorney-cruel-punishment-isnt-that-unusual-in-prisons.ece

———

Reform Eyewitness Identification

The National Academy of Sciences issued a groundbreaking report that provides strong scientific confirmation about the reliability of eyewitness identifications — that they’re not nearly as reliable as we’d like to think. In fact …

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/10/02/eyewitness-misidentifications-reliability-criminal-justice-column/16531987/

———

Opinion: 2016 — When Republican Presidential Candidates Will Finally Take Drug Policy Reform Seriously

Unlike past cycles, Republican presidential hopefuls are actually eager to talk about new ways to combat drug addiction, heralding what many observers believe might be the first major right-of-center discussion about the government’s role in …

http://news.yahoo.com/why-drug-policy-issues-might-actually-be-taken-seriously-in-the-next-republican-presidential-race-214935540.html

———

 “I Never Want Anyone Else To Go Through What I Did”

On a sunny afternoon, six women sat in a windowless auditorium to share their stories. Each woman had spent time in the New York State prison system within the past five years. And none  could forget the inhumane medical treatment and …

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26646-i-never-want-anyone-else-to-go-through-what-i-did

———

Sesame Street Inspires Physicians To Advocate For Criminal Justice Reform

The authors of an article in “Annals of Internal Medicine” say physicians are getting a wake-up call about the effects of mass incarceration from an unexpected place — Sesame StreetSesame Street Goes to Jail: Physicians Should Follow argues …

http://phys.org/wire-news/174071594/news-from-annals-of-internal-medicine-tip-sheet-oct-7-2014.html

———

How Obamacare Could Reduce Crime And Incarceration

By expanding coverage for substance abuse treatment, Obamacare could potentially help reduce crime and incarceration — provided that beneficiaries can actually access the help they need. Researchers at Emory University found that …

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/how-obamacare-could-reduce-crime-and-incarceration

———

Critics Point To Problems In Louisiana’s Reformed Juvenile Justice System

On paper, Louisiana is called a “model” state by reform agencies. But people close to the system say Louisiana’s reform efforts haven’t gone far enough to be considered a model for anything …

http://jjie.org/critics-point-to-problems-in-louisianas-reformed-juvenile-justice-system/

———

Opinion: A Vibrant City And Its Ex-Incarcerated Population

Currently, our backs are turned on the prisons nestled within our city borders, and on the steady return of the ex-incarcerated to the streets of Nashville.  Our nation leads the world in skyrocketing incarceration rates, and Tennessee is a standout …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/project-return/a-vibrant-city-and-its-ex_b_5923782.html

———

Opinion: How We Are Successfully Dismantling The School-To-Prison Pipeline In Denver

When we started our End the School-To-Jail Track campaign 10 years ago, the zero-tolerance policies that led to the expulsion, and arrest of students of color for minor misbehaviors constituted a problem with no name. We now know …

http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/perspectives/how-we-are-successfully-dismantling-the-school-to-prison-pipeline-in-denver-20141002

———

Group Advocates For Juvenile Law Changes

Advocates are pushing for changes in Michigan’s criminal justice system to keep more teenagers out of adult prisons.”Sending them to the adult system is one of the worst things we can do,” said Lois DeMott whose son, Kevin, was 13 when he …

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/story/news/local/2014/10/02/group-advocates-juvenile-law-changes/16614053/

———

California Voters To Decide On Sending Fewer Criminals To Prison

Twenty years ago, amid a national panic over crime, California voters adopted the country’s most stringent 3-strikes law, sentencing repeat felons to 25 years to life, even if the third offense was a minor theft. But now …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/us/california-voters-to-decide-on-sending-fewer-criminals-to-prison.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Opinion: Prop. 47’s Sentencing Reform Should Go To Legislature, Not The Ballot

Proposition 47, which would reduce penalties for drug and theft crimes, is an initiative that should never have been on the state ballot. The (CA) Legislature and governor get paid to deal with such things. And when they do, we’re usually …

http://www.latimes.com/local/politics/la-me-cap-prop47-20141009-column.html

———

Violent Crime In California Falls To Lowest Rate Since 1967

Crime in California dropped in 2013 even as the state has undertaken a prison overhaul that has resulted in fewer people being locked up. The data mirror a national trend of falling crime and incarceration rates …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/violent-crime-in-california-falls-to-lowest-rate-since-1967-1412360177

———

Calif. Bans Forced Sterilizations In Prisons Following Investigations By CIR

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new bill banning forced sterilization as a form of birth control in state prisons, a medical procedure commonly given to women without their consent. The new law will protect women in …

http://www.goldengatexpress.org/2014/10/06/forced-sterilization-prisons-ban/

———

Opinion: The First To Fear Gunplay

No one may have a more intimate reading of the unstable behavior of a potentially dangerous gun owner than his own family. This is the driving force behind a new California law that, for the first time in the nation, allows family members to …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/opinion/california-wisely-includes-families-in-gun-seizure-law.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Opinion: Enable Probation Agency To Oversee More Offenders

South Carolina’s probation and parole agency has asked for at least $2.2M more next year to help keep nonviolent offenders out of prison. We think that would be money well spent. The Corrections Dept. is making real progress in reducing …

http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/10/05/6391387_enable-probation-agency-to-oversee.html?sp=/100/105/&rh=1

———

Projected Prison Population Grows Slightly

Projections for Oregon’s prison population ticked up a bit in the Department of Corrections’ latest forecast, but overall numbers are still expected to fall for several years in the wake of sentencing reforms that went into effect in …

http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/2468189-151/projected-prison-population-grows-slightly?entryType=0#

———

Opinion: All Easy Prison Options Are Gone

If anything is clear from the research presented at the meeting of the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force, it is that there is no easy or inexpensive way of dealing with the state’s crushing prison overcrowding problem. The result of decades of …

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/10/03/easy-prison-options-gone/16664639/

———

Rape And Harassment In Women’s Prison Often Ignored

When inmates at a notorious Alabama women’s prison came forward to complain of sexual abuse and harassment, state investigators time and again classified the complaints as unfounded or unsubstantiated and often recommended that …

http://thegrio.com/2014/10/03/rape-harassment-womens-prison/

———

Alabama Investigators Find Tutwiler Inmate Sex Abuse Claims Unfounded Contrary To Federal Reports

Alabama investigators who reviewed sexual abuse claims at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women determined most of the allegations were unsubstantiated. Only a slight number of the 49 reports were considered credible. Follow-ups were not …

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/nyregion/solitary-confinement-to-end-for-youngest-at-rikers-island.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

 A Faculty Member Helps The Incarcerated Find Peace

Inmates from the Cheshire County Dept. of Corrections facility are finding serenity with the help of a Keene State College (NH) faculty member and his “drop-in meditation” program. “I walk in, the guard yells, ‘Meditation!’ and whoever is …

http://keene-equinox.com/2014/10/a-faculty-member-helps-the-incarcerated-find-peace/

———

 

 

 

Categories: News

Contact

No appointment necessary!
Call us or stop by our main
office in Long Island City
headquarters during visiting
hours to learn more about
our programs and services.

Long Island City (Main Office)

29-76 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101

N/R/Q | Get Directions

(212) 691-7554
Mon-Thurs: 8am - 8pm
Fri: 8am - 5pm

Castle Gardens

625 W. 140th St.
New York, NY 10031

Get Directions

No walk-ins accepted at this location. Please call or visit our main office in Long Island City.

The Castle (Fortune Academy)

630 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10031

Get Directions

No walk-ins accepted at this location. Please call or visit our main office in Long Island City.