The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of January 5, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

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


Opinion: Black And Blue Lives Both Matter

In an opinion piece, Fortune CEO JoAnne Page observes: “The entire country is grieving the lives of the two NYPD officers murdered on Dec. 20. If their killer had lived, he would surely have been arrested, indicted, tried, convicted and …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/joanne-page-black-blue-lives-matter-article-1.2066193

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NYC Mayor Declines To Apologize To Police

Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to offer an apology for his remarks at the center of continuing tension with some members of the police force, rebuffing union leaders and others who say it would help mend the rift. “I just don’t want to do that …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/nyc-mayor-declines-to-apologize-to-police-1420669559

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Bratton Responds To NYPD Critics In Eulogy For Murdered Cop

In his second eulogy in just over a week, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton defended the police against the criticism of protesters at the funeral for slain Officer Wenjian Liu. Bratton seemed to strike back at …

http://observer.com/2015/01/bratton-responds-to-nypd-critics-in-eulogy-for-murdered-cop/

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For Second Week, Arrests Plunge In New York City

For two straight weeks, NYC police have sharply cut back on making arrests and issuing summonses throughout the five boroughs, magnifying the growing divide between the city’s police force and its mayor. Officers made half as many …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/06/nyregion/decrease-in-new-york-police-arrests-continues-for-a-second-week.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Life In New York City, Where Arrests Are Down And Tickets Are Rarities

In a city of more than eight million people and 33 million subway rides a week, police officers arrested or ticketed just 22 people for jumping the turnstile last week. In the same period a year ago, nearly 1,400 fare-beaters were caught. Similarly …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/nyregion/life-in-new-york-city-where-arrests-are-down-and-tickets-are-rarities.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: No Justice, No Police

Mayor de Blasio has been in office barely a year, and already forces of entropy are roaming the streets, turning their backs on the law, and defying civil authority. No, not squeegee-men or turnstile-jumpers. We’re talking about the cops …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/opinion/no-justice-no-police.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: How Bill de Blasio, Pat Lynch, The NYPD And New Yorkers At Large Can End The Cop-Citizen Standoff

With the end of the holidays and the completed funerals of Detectives Ramos and Liu, we can expect full-throated political demonstrations to resume and the
city’s still-seething police-union leaders to devise new ways to embarrass …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/errol-louis-ending-cop-citizen-clash-article-1.2066705

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Opinion: An Enemy Of Reform In New York Jails

The Justice Dept.’s decision to join a suit against NYC’s Correction Dept. has prepared the way for reforms proposed by Mayor de Blasio to root out corruption at Rikers. But success depends on the cooperation of Norman Seabrook …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/02/opinion/an-enemy-of-reform-in-new-york-jails.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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After NYPD Murders, A Rift In The City Council On Police Issues

Few would characterize the NYC Council as a shy and reticent legislature. But some of its members feel it’s time to speak up — in support of the NYC Police. “Those of us who support the police are the silent majority, and we’re gonna be …

http://observer.com/2015/01/after-nypd-murders-a-rift-in-the-city-council-on-police-issues/

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Opinion: Why We Need Broken Windows Policing

In an opinion piece, Commissioner Bill Bratton said that recent tragic incidents involving the New York City Police Dept. — including the deaths of Eric Garner and Akai Gurley — have reinvigorated police critics, especially in the context of …

http://www.city-journal.org/2015/25_1_broken-windows-policing.html

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Mayor’s Support For Broken-Windows Policing Gets Scrutiny

Mayor de Blasio told police union officials he has no plans to change course on broken windows, a philosophy in which minor offenses are aggressively pursued. But a day before two officers were slain, he signaled being open to changes …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/mayors-support-for-broken-windows-policing-gets-scrutiny-1420423732

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Judge Sets Date To Consider Release Of Eric Garner Grand Jury Records

A Staten Island judge ruled that he would hear arguments over whether to release grand jury transcripts in the case of Eric Garner. The grand jury’s decision not to bring any criminal charges against the officer who was seen in a video … 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/06/nyregion/arguments-set-eric-garner-grand-jury-records.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Two New York City Police Officers Shot In The Bronx

Two plainclothes NYC police officers were shot while responding to a robbery in the Bronx, launching a manhunt for the suspects. The wounds didn’t appear to be life-threatening. “This is another indicator of the dangers that our officers face …

http://online.wsj.com/articles/two-new-york-city-police-officers-shot-in-the-bronx-1420518318

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The NYPD Officers Who See Racial Bias In The NYPD

In interviews, all but one of 25 African-American male officers on the NYPD reported that, when off duty and out of uniform, they had been victims of racial profiling — being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed …

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/01/the-nypd-officers-who-see-racial-bias-in-the-nypd/384106/

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Rikers Inmate Found Dead Despite Suicide-Watch Alert

The warning was sent at 4:45 PM on New Year’s Eve: A Rikers inmate, distraught over an imminent prison sentence, was threatening to harm himself and was possibly suicidal. According to jail policy, correction officers should have …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/03/nyregion/rikers-inmate-found-dead-after-threatening-to-harm-himself.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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A Short History Of Police Protest: From Calvin Coolidge To Bill de Blasio 

The image of the New York cop has changed. No more is there a kindly dedicated officer in blue twirling his nightstick and polishing an apple on his beat. Make way for the new look: the young man interested in high salary, early retirement …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/01/06/a-short-history-of-police-protest?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20150107-86

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His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside

Smartphones, the Internet, job-seeking. For prisoners released after decades behind bars, the modern world is difficult and confusing I met Otis J. the night he arrived at “The Castle.” Sprung from prison after doing 40 years for …

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/03/his-first-day-out-of-jail-after-40-years-adjusting-to-life-outside.html

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National:
FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use “Stingrays” In Public Places 

The FBI is taking the position that court warrants are not required when deploying cell-site simulators in public places. Nicknamed “stingrays,” the devices capture locations and identities of mobile phone users and can intercept calls and texts …

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/01/fbi-says-search-warrants-not-needed-to-use-stringrays-in-public-places/

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National:
Obama’s Drug-Sentencing Quagmire

President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to commute the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders who were caught up in the disparities in laws governing crack and powder cocaine is lagging, burdened by vague guidelines, lack of …

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/barack-obama-drug-sentencing-policy-113954.html

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National:
Butterfield Takes Helm Of Congressional Black Caucus, Promises Focus On Criminal Justice Reform 

The Congressional Black Caucus will focus on criminal justice reform, U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield said when he was sworn in as the group’s new chairman. “There is a well-founded mistrust between the African-American community and law …

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/01/06/252170_rep-gk-butterfield-takes-helm.html?sp=/99/200/365/&rh=1

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National:
The Overcriminalization Of America: How To Reduce Poverty And Improve Race Relations By Rethinking Our Justice System

As Americans, we like to believe the rule of law in our country is respected and fairly applied, and that only those who commit crimes of fraud or violence are punished and imprisoned.  But the reality is different. It is surprisingly easy for …

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/overcriminalization-of-america-113991.html#ixzz3O8bvRmUh

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National:
Grassley Sets Timetable For Loretta Lynch Hearings

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley plans to hold confirmation hearings for Loretta Lynch the last week of January or the beginning of February. Lynch, chosen to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, will be …

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/loretta-lynch-confirmation-hearings-114044.html

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National:
Opinion: We Can’t Ignore Family Roots Of School Behavioral Problems

There’s no question that black men face substantial barriers to employment. As the demand for men with limited educational credentials has declined, firms increasingly screen out all men they perceive are from at-risk groups: those with …

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5494-we-cant-ignore-family-roots-of-school-behavioral-problems-cherry

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Alabama:
Opinion: Pursuing Prison Reform

Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, for once appear unified on something — fixing Alabama’s prison system before it implodes under its own weight. The problem is, one part of the solution might not be popular with …

http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20150106/NEWS/150109896

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Arkansas:
Opinion: How We See It: Prison Reform A Challenge For Lawmakers

A jail at maximum capacity isn’t a pleasant place, and not just for inmates but also the people in charge of keeping control. So it’s good news the numbers in jails have been on decline, but an Arkansas prison official says it’s only temporary …

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2015/jan/03/how-we-see-it-prison-reform-a-challenge/?opinion

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Florida:
Senate Committee Starts Effort To Fix Abusive Prison System

After a spate of questionable inmate deaths in the state prison system and a steady increase in the use of force by guards, a Senate committee began discussions into what it described as substantial reforms to Florida’s prison system …

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article5472549.html

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Maine:
Opinion: Maine Prison System Won’t Be Corrected Until People Outside Demand Reform

A former guard’s new book shines light on bleak situation. Robert Reilly was in prison for seven years. By choice. He was a prison guard. And his story, told in “Life In Prison — Eight Hours at a Time,” is shocking, scary, and …

http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/01/07/maine-prison-system-wont-be-corrected-until-people-outside-demand-reform/

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Maryland:
Opinion: A Cop, A Kid In A Ski Mask, And A Decision Not To Shoot

W. Baltimore’s Officer Jason Shreves recalls turning a corner and seeing someone dressed all in black, wearing a ski mask, and carrying what looked like an AR-15 assault rifle. But when the police officer took off the ski mask, he saw …

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-reimer-annapolis-police-air-rifle-20150107-column.html

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Massachusetts:
Bill Bars Extended Confinement Of Mentally Ill Inmates

The confinement of inmates diagnosed with a serious mental illness in a segregated unit for more than 30 days would be prohibited under a bill lawmakers sent to the Mass. governor’s desk. The legislation is one of a number of bills …

http://wwlp.com/2014/12/29/bill-bars-extended-confinement-of-mentally-ill-inmates/

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Nebraska:
Prison Reform Will Consume Heaps Of Time And Energy This Session

If there’s one sure bet floating around the Omaha Statehouse, it’s that prison reform will generate ample proposals and abundant debate in the 2015 session. “It goes without saying that the No. 1 issue the Legislature needs to address is …

http://journalstar.com/legislature/prison-reform-will-consume-heaps-of-time-and-energy-this/article_0af440d3-f633-5599-a420-0c7b31bb39fa.html

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Ohio:
Mental-Health Treatment Key To Safety, Fairness

On any given day in Franklin County’s jails, 25-35% of the population struggles with mental illness. For many, self-medicating with alcohol and drugs became the solution. Housing these incarcerated, nonviolent offenders is costly …

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2015/01/08/1-mental-health-treatment-key-to-safety-fairness

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