The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of June 8, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

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

———————————————————————————————————–

Who Runs Rikers? The Rule Says No Solitary For Kids. The Staff Finds A Loophole.

In January, NYC’s Board of Correction, which monitors conditions at Rikers Island, passed a new rule: prisoners under the age of 18 can no longer be sentenced to solitary confinement. But, in the jail complex, the reality is much different …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/02/who-runs-rikers?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

Rikers Inquiry Expands To Include Union Chief’s Financial Dealings

Federal prosecutors have opened a new front in their investigation of Rikers Island, embarking on a far-reaching examination of the financial dealings of Norman Seabrook, the powerful president of New York City’s correction officers’ union …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/nyregion/rikers-inquiry-expands-to-include-union-chief-norman-seabrooks-financial-dealings.html?_r=0

———

With New Commissioner, A Slow Turning In Efforts To Remake Rikers

Despite a genuine effort by the de Blasio administration to remake Rikers, progress has come haltingly. Officials acknowledge that dysfunction is so deeply embedded in the jail culture that, if the mayor is serious about turning things around …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/05/nyregion/with-new-commissioner-a-slow-turning-in-efforts-to-remake-rikers.html

———

Governor Cuomo Announced $3.3 Million In Grants To Help Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $3.3 million for re-entry task forces in 19 counties that coordinate and manage services for formerly incarcerated individuals to successfully transition back to their communities. “This funding will jumpstart …

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-181-million-fund-projects-generating-economic-opportunity-throughout

———

De Blasio On Containing Crime without Boosting NYPD Headcount

Mayor de Blasio argues that despite the rising number of shootings and murders, the NYPD doesn’t need to hire more officers because they have better technology and a track record of success “with the same number of police officers” …

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/05/8569103/de-blasio-containing-crime-without-boosting-nypd-headcount?top-featured-2

———

De Blasio Calls New York “The Safest Big City” Despite Some Crime Statistics

One day after police officials outlined a pronounced increase in shootings and homicides in the city so far this year, Mayor de Blasio reassured residents that New York remains “the safest big city in America,” dismissing any suggestion …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/nyregion/de-blasio-calls-new-york-the-safest-big-city-despite-some-crime-statistics.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

———

A Choice For Recovering Addicts: Relapse Or Homelessness

 “Three-quarter houses are, in my opinion, the frying pan for people who are in the fire,” said JoAnne Page, president of The Fortune Society. “Many of them are firetraps, many are very dangerous, and many are …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/nyregion/three-quarter-housing-a-choice-for-recovering-addicts-or-homelessness.html

———

Rikers Island Health Care Provider May Lose Deal With New York

A private health care company that has been criticized for doing such a poor job at the Rikers Island jail complex that its medical performance contributed to several inmate deaths is expected to lose its contract with New York City …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/nyregion/contract-with-rikers-island-health-care-provider-is-to-be-terminated.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

———

National:
Opinion: Police Unions Must Not Block Reform

The role played by police unions in shielding their members from accountability for excessive force has also contributed to the erosion of trust. Police officers have the authority to use force, but that authority must be effectively monitored and …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/30/opinion/police-unions-must-not-block-reform.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

———

National:
Koch Urges Obama Administration To Speed Up Clemency Program

Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and top officials in his company are calling for the Obama administration to release from prison the thousands of non-violent offenders who qualify for clemency under a Justice Department initiative …

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/2015/06/01/charles-koch-president-obama-release-drug-offenders-clemency/28309233/

———

National:
U.S. Senators Call For Mandatory Reporting Of Police Killings

A plan to force all American law enforcement agencies to report killings by their officers was unveiled by U.S. senators. Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey proposed legislation that would demand …

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/02/us-senators-call-for-mandatory-reporting-police-killings

———

National:
Fatal Police Shootings In 2015 Approaching 400 Nationwide

At least 385 people were shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day. That is more than twice the rate of fatal police shootings tallied by the federal government over the past decade …

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/fatal-police-shootings-in-2015-approaching-400-nationwide/2015/05/30/d322256a-058e-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.html

———

National:
Opinion: 40 Reasons Why Our Jails Are Full Of Black And Poor People

Over 2.2 million people are in our nation’s jails and prisons and another 4.5 million are on probation or parole in the U.S., totaling 6.8 million people, one of every 35 adults. Most of them are poor and Black. Here are 40 reasons why …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-quigley/40-reasons-why-our-jails-are-full-of-black-and-poor-people_b_7492902.html

———

National:
Opinion: Five Myths About Body Cameras

Body cameras  can be effective, but they’re not a cure-all. Here are five myths about the power of body cams, including the claim that body cams capture the whole story, and that they’re filming 24/7. However …

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-body-cameras/2015/05/29/5756c7be-0544-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.html

———

National:
Birth Of A Prison State: The Bipartisan Disaster That Put America Behind Bars

Nixon was the first to embrace mass incarceration, but Clinton forged our prison industrial complex. Clinton was cheerleader-in-chief for the now-infamous federal crime bill of 1994, which authorized $33 billion to build prisons and hire more …

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/04/birth_of_a_prison_state_the_bipartisan_disaster_that_put_america_behind_bars_partner/

———

National:
Formerly Incarcerated Citizens Hope To Implement Fair Chance Hiring

PICO National Network’s Live Free Campaign staff, which includes formerly incarcerated citizens, met with White House officials to discuss recommendations for returning citizens facing employment and housing barriers created by …

http://www.orlandoadvocate.com/?p=2834

———

National:
Opinion: I’m A Black Ex-Cop And This Is The Real Truth About Race And Policing

On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15% of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening and 15% will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70% could go either way depending on …

http://www.vox.com/2015/5/28/8661977/race-police-officer

———

National:
A Flattering Biographical Video As The Last Exhibit For The Defense

Lawyers are beginning to submit biographical videos when their clients are sentenced, and proponents say they could transform the process. The videos are adding a new dimension to the punishment phase of a prosecution …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/25/nyregion/defendants-using-biographical-videos-to-show-judges-another-side-at-sentencing.html?_r=0

———

Alabama:
Alabama, Feds Reach Agreement Over Alleged Prison Abuse 

 An Alabama women’s prison will be overhauled after the DOJ said officers there coerced inmates into sex, watched them in showers and bathrooms and organized a New Year’s Eve strip show. The DOJ filed a complaint …

http://www.dailyamerican.com/news/nation/alabama-feds-reach-agreement-over-alleged-prison-abuse/article_18be126e-8d77-5710-8739-3f0e4e7bf85a.html

———

Louisiana:
Re-Adjusting To Life On The Outside: The Micah Project Helps The Formerly Incarcerated

In New Orleans, over 300 people are returned to the streets every month and, in order for them to assimilate back into society, they need help. The Micah Project is charged with helping the formerly incarcerated, but that task is a big one …

http://wgno.com/2015/05/28/re-adjusting-to-live-on-the-outside-the-micah-project-helps-the-formerly-incarcerated/

———

Maine:
Taxpayers Lose As Maine Counties Jail Indigents Over Unpaid Fines

An ACLU study finds many inmates are behind bars solely for not paying court costs, but the burden on the state is more than what they owe. Taxpayers in Maine are spending tens of thousands of dollars a year to jail low-income defendants …

http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/31/taxpayers-lose-as-maine-counties-jail-indigents-over-unpaid-fines/

———

New Jersey:
Juvenile Justice System Would Be Revamped Under N.J. Bill

A measure to make it more difficult to charge youth offenders as adults and overhaul the juvenile justice system is nearing NJ Gov. Christie’s desk. The law would change the minimum age at which judges can “waive” …

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/juvenile_justice_system_would_be_revamped_under_nj.html

———

Ohio:
Cleveland’s Second Chance At Police Reform

Cleveland officials signed an agreement with the DOJ to impose widespread reforms on the city’s police — the second time federal officials have pushed for reforms there. The Cleveland police have been under investigation by …

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/criminal-justice/clevelands-second-chance-at-police-reform/

———

Ohio:
How To Fix A Broken Police Department

Reforms were slow to take hold in Cincinnati, but when they did, they drove down crime while also reducing arrests. But the lessons of Cincinnati are complicated. Success required not just the adoption of a new method of policing, but also …

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/05/cincinnati-police-reform/393797/

———

Pennsylvania:
Opinion: Prison Reform Grant-Ed

One piece of of good news was the $150,000 grant the MacArthur Foundation gave to the Philadelphia prison system to study ways to shrink the population in city jails. The timing couldn’t be better. Council is set to deliberate a bill to …

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20150529_DN_Editorial__PRISON_REFORM_GRANT-ED.html

———

Washington:
Backup Plan For Overflowing Washington Prisons: Send Inmates To Michigan

Washington’s backup plan for dealing with its prison space crunch might benefit a private company while making it harder on families to visit their incarcerated loved ones. Even if state lawmakers agree to  build a new prison, officials could still …

http://www.theolympian.com/2015/05/31/3753206_backup-plan-for-overflowing-washington.html?rh=1

———

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.