The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of May 25, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

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

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CEO Corner: JoAnne Page

NYN Media sat down with JoAnne page, president and CEO of the Fortune Society, to get her take on what’s happening in the non-profit sector and at Fortune. See the video interview here …

http://nynmedia.com/news/ceo-corner-joanne-page

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Feds Open Attica Investigation: Justice Department To Study Brutality In Troubled Prison

The DOJ has begun an investigation into inmate abuse at Attica Correctional Facility, the upstate New York prison where three officers pleaded guilty in March to state charges of official misconduct stemming from the horrific beating of …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/05/17/feds-open-attica-investigation?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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NYC Police Boss Pitches Amnesty Idea To Clear 1.2M Warrants

Police Commissioner Bratton said it would be “great to get rid of a lot of the backlog [of outstanding warrants]. He envisions a program in which people would receive a notification informing them that their risk of arrest could disappear if …

http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/william-bratton-pitches-amnesty-idea-to-clear-1-2m-warrants-1.10443855

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Bratton: Millennials Are Too Young To Understand “Broken Windows”

Police Commissioner Bratton says spoiled millennials oppose his signature “Broken Windows” strategy because they weren’t even born yet during the city’s “bad old days.” “They weren’t even alive when this city was going to hell in a handbasket” …

http://nypost.com/2015/05/18/bratton-millennials-are-too-young-to-understand-broken-windows/

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A Millennial’s Guide To “Broken Windows” For Those Who Weren’t Around In “The Bad Old Days”

We asked one of our summer interns whether Police Commissioner Bratton was right about millennials and “Broken Windows.” “What’s ‘Broken Windows?’” she asked. She polled a few of her fellow undergrads who were equally in the dark …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/05/20/a-millennial-s-guide-to-broken-windows?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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Review Board Notes Rise In New York Police Officers’ False Statements

An officer drew his weapon on a bystander but denied using a racial obscenity. The encounter was among two dozen documented in a new report in which the Civilian Complaint Review Board discovered apparently false statements by officers …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/nyregion/civilian-board-notes-rise-in-false-statements-by-new-york-officers-in-2014.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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New Video: “The Nature Of The Crime”

Every year 10,000 people are denied parole, all of whom have served the time required by law for their offenses. This video tells the story of how 13 people on the NYS parole board control the freedom of tens of thousands of men and women …

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hWdfyTiORjQ

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Class-Action Lawsuit, Blaming Police Quotas, Takes On Criminal Summonses

Records show about one-fifth — or 850,000 — of the 3.8M criminal summonses issued by the NYC police between 2007 and 2014 were thrown out on grounds of legal insufficiency, which a federal judge has found was “tantamount to …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/nyregion/class-action-lawsuit-blaming-police-quotas-takes-on-criminal-summonses.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Pregnant And Incarcerated: New York City’s Prison Nurseries

New York is one of just 11 states that gives pregnant inmates a chance to keep their babies with them for up to 1 1-/2 years in prison nurseries. But a reporter found that the two existing nurseries are turning away inmates even though …

http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2015/05/pregnant-and-incarcerated-new-york-citys-prison-nurseries/

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New York Police Dept. Questioning Of Protesters Was Improper, Rights Lawyers Tell Commissioner

Five civil rights lawyers have sent a letter to Police Commissioner Bratton saying that the recent questioning of protesters by detectives violated a federal consent decree and was not conducted by the proper NY Police Department division …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/nyregion/new-york-police-dept-questioning-of-protesters-was-improper-rights-lawyers-tell-commissioner.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0

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Turning On The Tap: How Returning Access To Tuition Assistance For Incarcerated People Improves The Health Of New Yorkers 

Expanding access to college education for people in NY prisons would benefit the overall health and well-being of the communities that formerly incarcerated people return to, as well as the individuals who receive the education …

http://www.turnonthetapny.org/

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Two New York City Jail Employees Arrested On Smuggling Charges

Despite a campaign by NYC officials to crack down on contraband smuggling at Rikers, investigators say that jail employees continue to flout the law. Last week a correction officer and a  jail clinician were arrested in separate cases involving …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/nyregion/2-arrested-on-smuggling-charges-at-new-york-city-jails.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad

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Opinion: Prison Education Can Reform Us All

“Prison education affects all of us. The four of us are students in a course taking place at a maximum-security juvenile facility in upstate NY for young people charged as adults. Two of us are incarcerated there; two of us are …

http://jjie.org/op-ed-prison-education-can-reform-us-all/

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“The Bullpen” To Celebrate One Year Off-Broadway; Closes This June

“The Bullpen,” the one-man comedy, which was produced in association with The Fortune Society and nominated as “Outstanding Solo Performance” for 2015, will celebrate its one-year anniversary and end its successful run at …

http://www.broadwayworld.com/off-broadway/article/THE-BULLPEN-to-Celebrate-One-Year-Off-Broadway-Closes-This-June-20150518

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National:
Obama To Limit Military-Style Equipment For Police Forces

President Obama will ban the federal provision of some types of military-style equipment to local police and sharply restrict the availability of others, administration officials said. The ban is part of a push to ease tensions between …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/us/politics/obama-to-limit-military-style-equipment-for-police-forces.html?_r=0

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National:
Final Report Of The President’s Task Force On 21st Century Policing

The president’s task force on policing released its final report, advising that police embrace de-escalation, community outreach, and a “guardian rather than warrior mindset.” See the complete report here …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/documents/2082979-final-report-of-the-presidents-task-force-on?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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National:
After Baltimore And Ferguson, Major Momentum For Criminal Justice System Reform

Lawmakers working on fixes to the justice system say that unrest in places like Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore is pushing them to act. “The whole idea of a young man dying in police custody, the confrontations with police, the looting and …

http://wnpr.org/post/after-baltimore-and-ferguson-major-momentum-criminal-justice-system-reform

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National:
The Price Of Jails: Measuring The Taxpayer Cost Of Local Incarceration

A new report takes a look at who is currently in jail — and why — and makes it clear that, after decades of rising inmate populations, the costs of jail outweigh the benefits. The fiscal costs of jail are high and actually higher than most realize …

http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/price-of-jails.pdf

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National:
Prisoners Might Get Access To Pell Grants For First Time In Two Decades

The U.S. Department of Education is poised to announce a limited exemption to the federal ban on prisoners receiving Pell Grants to attend college while they are incarcerated. If the project is successful, it would add to momentum for …

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/prisoners-might-get-access-pell-grants-first-time-two-decades/

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National:
Tech Giants Don’t Want Obama To Give Police Access To Encrypted Phone Data

Tech behemoths, including Apple and Google, and leading cryptologists are urging President Obama to reject any government proposal that alters the security of smartphones so that law enforcement can view decrypted data …

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/tech-giants-urge-obama-to-resist-backdoors-into-encrypted-communications/2015/05/18/11781b4a-fd69-11e4-833c-a2de05b6b2a4_story.html?tid=hpModule_88854bf0-8691-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394&hpid=z14

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National:
Opinion: Justice Reform In The Deep South

When states in the Deep South, which have long had some of the country’s harshest penal systems, make significant sentencing and prison reforms, you know something has changed …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/opinion/justice-reform-in-the-deep-south.html

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National:
Ex-inmates Navigate Access To Healthcare As Many Remain In Medicaid Limbo

Prisons are enrolling people in Medicaid in the hope that access to care will cut recidivism and costs in the long run, but it may not be enough. Several studies argue that without healthcare, former prisoners, especially those struggling with …

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/17/medicaid-prisoners-healthcare-access

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National:
An Entrepreneur’s Vision Of How To Break The Cycle Of Prison: TextBehind

Zia Rana came to the U.S. in 2007 and, in 2013, launched TextBehind.com, a communication platform centered around the millions of people incarcerated in the United States. “The challenge was to find an affordable way to connect …

http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2015/05/18/an-entrepreneurs-vision-of-how-to-break-the-cycle-of-prison-textbehind/

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Alabama:
Skyrocketing Prison Costs Have States Targeting Recidivism, Sentencing Practices

It isn’t often the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center find common cause with conservative Republicans in Alabama. But both were scheduled to celebrate when Gov. Bentley signed legislation to substantially cut the number of …

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/05/19/skyrocketing-prison-costs-have-states-targeting-recidivism-sentencing-practices/

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Colorado:
Solitary Confinement Report Cites Colorado Reforms

A report on the use of solitary confinement in prisons, highly critical of the practice and challenging many common myths about who’s in lockdown and why, looks closely at recent reform efforts in the Colorado prison system and concludes …

http://www.westword.com/news/new-solitary-confinement-report-cites-colorado-reforms-6713567

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Illinois:
Independent Experts Blast Quality Of Medical Care In Illinois Prisons

A scathing 405-page expert report filed in federal court alleges sweeping problems in medical care at the Illinois’s state prisons ranging from unqualified and incompetent physicians and nurses to woeful record-keeping and poor sanitation …

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-illinois-prison-medical-care-met-20150519-story.html

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Maryland:
Breaking Baltimore’s Blue Wall Of Silence

Baltimore detective Joe Crystal watched a fellow officer beat up a handcuffed suspect. After he broke ranks and reported the assault, he was run out of town, his career ruined. During his former city’s most chaotic week, he went back … 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/albertsamaha/breaking-baltimores-blue-wall-of-silence#.exvwrqbeW

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Michigan:
Mich. Gov. Unveils Criminal Justice Initiative

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled a wide-ranging policy initiative on criminal justice in which he called for measures to send fewer people to prison and to assure that ex-convicts are able to get jobs and contribute to society …

http://www.officer.com/news/11971966/mich-gov-unveils-criminal-justice-initiative

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Wisconsin:
The “Madison Model”: A Shooting Death Spotlights Wisconsin’s Legacy Of Police Reform

For 20 years, David Couper was the police chief in Madison, WI, which became a laboratory for his “Madison Model” that pushed a theory that “police officers are essentially social workers in blue.” He dressed officers in blazers and shorts …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/05/14/the-madison-model?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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