The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of February 16, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

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


Cop Involved In Fatal Shooting Of Akai Gurley Has Been Indicted On Manslaughter Charges

Rookie cop Peter Liang was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury for the deadly shooting in November in an unlit stairwell in the Pink Houses. He’ll face criminal charges that can send him to prison for up to 15 years …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/involved-fatal-shooting-akai-gurley-indicted-article-1.2109892

———

Officer’s Indictment In Akai Gurley’s Death Brings Little Solace To Brooklyn Residents

Akai Gurley carried no weapon, they said. All he did was step into a darkened stairwell. And the officer who shot him? Time to bring him to justice, the men and women of the Louis H. Pink Houses said over and over after learning that …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/12/nyregion/officers-indictment-in-akai-gurleys-death-brings-little-solace-to-brooklyn-residents.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Council Speaker Calls For More Tickets, Fewer Lock Ups For Non-Violent Offenses

Turnstile jumpers will no longer be put on the fast track to Rikers under a proposal announced by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in her State of the City Address — although cops said that would further handcuff their crime-fighting …

http://nypost.com/2015/02/11/council-speaker-calls-for-more-tickets-fewer-lock-ups-for-non-violent-offenses/

———

Increase In Budget for Rikers Is Applauded

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to add about $54 million to the Correction Dept. budget was praised by inmates’ advocates and long-time department critics who said it demonstrated a commitment to rein in the brutality and corruption that …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/nyregion/de-blasios-budget-proposal-for-rikers-is-praised-by-advocates.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Substantiated Complaints About NY Police Department’s Use Of Chokeholds Increase

A a police oversight board substantiated six complaints by people who said NYC officers had restrained them with a chokehold, a banned maneuver that was used in the fatal encounter with Eric Garner. The number is a notable increase …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/nyregion/substantiated-complaints-about-police-use-of-chokeholds-increase.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Youth Justice Defies Easy Fix

Gov. Andrew Cuomo ’s recent proposal to treat the state’s 16- and 17-year-old defendants as juveniles, rather than adults, would end a practice that some have long decried as counterproductive and inhumane. But raising the age at which …

http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-gov-cuomo-wants-to-treat-16-and-17-year-old-defendants-as-juveniles-1423447525

———

Top Prosecutor Challenges “Cycle Of Violence” In Prison

Preet Bharara, NY’s top prosecutor, puts a lot of people behind bars. But, unlike some prosecutors, he is also using his office to reform how convicts are treated once they wind up in prison. “Just because you are behind bars doesn’t mean …

http://www.msnbc.com/the-cycle/preet-bharara-new-york-prosecutor-tough-crime-prison

———

Start Me Up: Is Entrepreneurship The Way From Prison To Prosperity?

Marquis Hayes, a 34-year-old Bronx native, is a chef with an entrepreneurial spirit.  As a teen, he made a small fortune (each week he grossed as much as $30K) cooking high-quality crack cocaine. In prison, he turned an old bed frame into …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/02/06/start-me-up

———

National:
Jails Have Become Warehouses For The Poor, Ill, And Addicted, A Report Says

Local jails are built to hold people deemed too dangerous to release pending trial. This, however, is no longer primarily what jails do or whom they hold, says a new report, “Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America” …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/us/jails-have-become-warehouses-for-the-poor-ill-and-addicted-a-report-says.html?_r=0

———

National:
Bill To Abolish Some Mandatory Prison Sentences Is Revived In Senate

Several U.S. senators from far-reaching ends of the political spectrum, including some with presidential aspirations, will reintroduce a bill to abolish mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent drug offenders. The bill would allow …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/11/prison-reform-bill_n_6665598.html

———

National:
Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Reform Federal Prison System

Republicans Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC) joined with Democrats Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to introduce the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act that uses risk assessment tools to reduce recidivism, lower …

http://chaffetz.house.gov/press-release/lawmakers-introduce-bipartisan-bill-reform-federal-prison-system

———

National:
Report Focuses On How To Eliminate Racial Inequity Inside The American Criminal Justice System

The Sentencing Project’s report “Black Lives Matter:  Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System” is another scathing indictment of over-policing in Black and Brown communities and its adverse effects. The report surveyed …

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_102135.shtml

———

National:
New Report: Increased Incarceration Had Limited Effect On Reducing Crime For Over Two Decades

Since 1990, increased incarceration had a limited impact on reducing crime nationwide, concludes a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. Among the report’s new findings are …

https://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/new-report-increased-incarceration-had-limited-effect-reducing-crime-over-two-decades

———

National:
Opinion: Juvenile-Justice Reform: What Are We Waiting For?

Latino and Black youth are disproportionately impacted across the juvenile and
criminal justice systems and more likely to be incarcerated than white youth,
even for the same category of charges. The national ratio of …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/national-council-of-la-raza-/juvenile-justice-reform-w_b_6653794.html

———

National:
Opinion: Newest Wave Of GOP Governors Should Support Prison Reform

With a wave of new Republican governors taking office — including Larry Hogan of Maryland, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Bruce Rauner of Illinois — the question on the minds of every criminal justice advocate is this: which brand of Republican …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexa-van-brunt/newest-wave-of-gop-govern_b_6617656.html

———

National:
Inside The Koch Campaign To Reform Criminal Justice

The corporation led by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch is holding discussions with a coalition of strange bedfellows to tackle criminal justice reform. The Koch brothers are homing in on reducing overcriminalization and …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/09/koch-brothers_n_6646540.html

———

National:
Obama Budget Recommends Continued Funding For 2nd Chance Act, Justice Reinvestment Initiative, Justice And Mental Health Collaboration Program

President Obama unveiled his nearly $4-trillion budget proposal for 2016, which allocates $1.14 billion for state and local law enforcement assistance. The proposed budget provides $120 million in continued support for …

http://csgjusticecenter.org/jc/presidents-budget-recommends-continued-funding-for-second-chance-act-and-justice-reinvestment-initiative-and-justice-and-mental-health-collaboration-program/

———

National:
Now That Police Are Always On Body Cams, Who Gets To Watch?

A poll found that 86% of Americans are in favor of mandatory use of body cameras by police and it is estimated that one in six officers now use cameras. The question now is not who will use the cameras, but who will be allowed to see the footage …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/02/10/our-body-cams-ourselves?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20150211-111

———

National:
Happiness Is A Family Sleepover

Despite considerable evidence that extended family visits — or “conjugal visits” — lower dangerous tensions and contribute to rehabilitation, the practice is rare and becoming rarer. Only 3 states have meaningful programs, and no federal …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/02/11/heaven?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20150211-111

———

National:
Opinion: The United States Prison System Must Be Reformed

One major change that needs to happen for us to enact prison reform is to end privately run prisons which are for-profit businesses, meaning their priority is profit over rehabilitation. These prisons have hostile living environments for …

http://www.collegiatetimes.com/opinion/article_649838c0-b172-11e4-8c06-9bd372685a92.html

———

Alabama:
Alabama Prison System Sticking With Same Company For Inmate Medical Care

The Alabama Dept. of Corrections is sticking with the same company to provide health care for inmates for 2-1/2 more years. The DOC is fighting a  lawsuit filed by two groups representing inmates who claim that DOC’s failure to provide …

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/alabama_department_of_correcti_1.html#incart_river

———

California:
California Prison Health Care Provider Agrees To Reforms In Settlement

Prison health care provider Corizon Health has agreed to reform its hiring and staff training at California prisons. The plan is part of a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Corizon — which operates in 27 states — after …

http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2015/2/11/calif-prison-health-care-provider-agrees-to-reforms-in-settlement

———

Florida:
What Does Florida’s Omnibus Prison Reform Package Look Like So Far?

In a few weeks, a Senate panel will take up a prison reform proposal aimed at fixing Florida’s troubled prison system. It’s been months since Senate President Andy Gardiner tasked the Senate Criminal Justice Committee chairman with …

http://news.wfsu.org/post/what-does-floridas-omnibus-prison-reform-package-look-so-far

———

Florida:
New Prison Policy Punishes Investigators Who Speak Out

Two days after Florida legislators asked a series of questions of the top inspector at the Dept. of Corrections, the agency has banned inspectors from discussing any investigations, releasing any public records relating to agency probes, or even …

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article9371633.html

———

Illinois:
Rauner Wants More Guards, Fewer Inmates In State’s Prisons

Bruce Rauner says he wants to end years of explosive growth and understaffing within Illinois’ sprawling prison system. Under a prison reform plan contained within the Republican governor’s “Turnaround Agenda,” Rauner calls for …

http://herald-review.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/rauner-wants-more-guards-fewer-inmates-in-state-s-prisons/article_bd193de9-a4fe-5adb-a8d9-cb5c61a47d29.html

                                                                            ———

Illinois:
Opinion:  Don’t Know What to Tell Your Children To Do if They’re Stopped By Police? Watch “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival”

This video is a heartbreaking reminder that once your children leave home, they have to arm themselves with knowledge about how to deal with law enforcement. Giving tips on how to interact with police is something black parents are now …

http://www.theroot.com/blogs/the_grapevine/2015/02/don_t_know_what_to_tell_your_children_to_do_if_stopped_by_police_watch_get.html

———

Missouri:
Ferguson One Of Two Suburbs Sued Over Gantlet Of Traffic Fines And Jail

Herbert Nelson Jr. was 18 the first time the police pulled him over. The ticket, for
speeding, felt small. But more tickets piled up, as did warrants for failing to appear in court or pay his fines. So Nelson, now 26, has found himself repeatedly jailed …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/us/ferguson-one-of-2-missouri-suburbs-sued-over-gantlet-of-traffic-fines-and-jail.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

 ———

Nebraska:
Platte Institute Report Offers Suggestions For Reform; New Prisons “A Last-Resort Option”

One of the first groups to call for prison reform in Nebraska weighed in with a report containing ways to avoid costly state prison construction, including increased use of drug courts, providing incentives for those on probation to hold jobs, and …

http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/platte-institute-report-weighs-in-with-suggestions-for-nebraska-prison/article_0decb87d-1c5d-5b28-8c2a-44c88f4ea049.html

———

Pennsylvania:
Two Philly Cops Charged In Brutal Beating

Philadelphia DA Seth Williams announced charges against Officers Sean McKnight and Kevin Robinson for allegedly assaulting Najee Rivera in 2013. “This type of behavior has absolutely no place in our city and I will prosecute these officers to …

http://citypaper.net/news/da-announces-arrest-of-two-officers-in-beating/

———

Texas:
Texas Prisons Overuse Solitary Confinement, Report Says

A new report criticizes Texas for keeping 4.4% of its inmates in solitary confinement — 6,564 in September 2014, or more than the combined prison population of 12 states. “On average, prisoners remain in solitary confinement for almost …

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/texas-prisons-overuse-solitary-report-says/nj5RD/

———

Texas:
Opinion: The Texas Way On Juvenile Justice

Texas has made huge strides in reforming its once hellish juvenile justice system. Young offenders in state facilities were once subjected to brutality, neglect, and sexual abuse. But after revelations of those conditions led to a public outcry …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/06/opinion/the-texas-way-on-juvenile-justice.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

———

Texas:
Rockwall-Based Nonprofit Celebrates 10 Years Of Helping Formerly Incarcerated Men

One Man’s Treasure Clothes Closet celebrated 10 years of positively impacting the lives of formerly incarcerated men, during its Mardi Gras Volunteer Appreciation Get-Together. The event honored the hardworking volunteers of …

http://blueribbonnews.com/2015/02/rockwall-based-nonprofit-celebrates-10-years-of-helping-formerly-incarcerated-men/

———  

Utah:
Criminal Justice Reform In Utah Appears Linked To A New State Prison

The Utah Department of Corrections unveiled some bold new initiatives in its budget tied to plans to alter the criminal justice system. “We’re over incarcerating. We’re putting people behind bars that are drug offenders and mentally ill,” said …

http://fox13now.com/2015/02/09/criminal-justice-reform-in-utah-appears-linked-to-a-new-state-prison/

———

Virginia:
Bill Could Change Application Process For Formerly Incarcerated

A bill, making the application process a little bit easier for people with an arrest record, will now work its way through the Virginia House of Delegates. The state senate has already passed a bill eliminating a box on state job applications …

http://www.wcyb.com/news/Bill-could-change-application-process-for-formerly-incarcerated/31138444

———

 

 

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.