The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of June 22, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

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

———————————————————————————————————–

Fortune’s Ronald Day Comments On City Council Passing The Fair Chance Act

“The Fortune Society applauds the City Council for passing one of the strongest ‘ban the box’ provisions in the country,” said Ronald F. Day, associate VP at Fortune. “Fortune serves hundreds of clients who show up to training on time …

http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/city-council-passes-the-fair-chance-act/article_fda2a459-ddcf-52c0-b677-e95b22c515ab.html

———

Rikers Guards May Soon Wear Body Cameras

After several reports of widespread brutality and corruption at Rikers, NYC officials tentatively agreed to sweeping reforms that would introduce body cameras for its prison guards, bring in a federal monitor to oversee the facility, and establish …

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/06/18/rikers-guards-may-soon-wear-body-cameras.html?via=newsletter&source=CSAMedition

———

Bill Banning Solitary Confinement For Inmates Under 21 Moves Forward In New York State

The New York State Assembly passed a bill banning solitary confinement for all inmates under 21. It would be the first such ban of any U.S. state if it is enacted into law. The bill would also ban solitary confinement for all inmates with …

http://fusion.net/story/150973/bill-banning-solitary-confinement-for-inmates-under-21-moves-forward-in-new-york-state/

———

Why New York Dropped Corizon: It’s Not Just The Big Profits And Dead Inmates

Starting next year, the NYC agency that runs its public hospitals will assume responsibility for health care at Rikers, ending the 15-year relationship with Corizon, the country’s largest private contractor of medical services to prisons …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/11/why-new-york-dropped-corizon?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

Opinion: The City Council’s Background-Check Fiasco

The City Council won the year’s award for bad timing by passing new hiring protections for ex-cons, even as a major city contractor landed in hot water for . . . hiring ex-cons. We’re talking about the Fair Chance Act or the “ban the box” bill …

http://nypost.com/2015/06/14/the-city-councils-background-check-fiasco/

———

The Corizon CEO On Losing Its Contract With Rikers

Corizon Health is the largest provider of correctional health care in the country. It just lost a contract to manage the care of prisoners at Rikers. An interview with CEO Dr. Woodrow Myers about the pros and cons of privatization …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/16/ceo-of-private-medical-provider-corizon-on-losing-its-contract-with-rikers?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

Recent Suicides Raise New Questions About Rikers Island’s Role In Inmates’ Mental Health

Rikers Island houses some of the toughest men and women in New York City. But The Fortune Society’s Stanley Richards, a former Rikers inmate, says the conditions inmates endure behind the barbed wire are criminal …

http://pix11.com/2015/06/11/recent-suicides-raise-new-questions-about-rikers-islands-role-in-inmates-mental-health/

———

Prison Guard Corruption Remains Dire Issue As Advocates Work To Prevent Assaults

A week can’t go by without new allegations of prison guard abuse occurring at some correctional facility. Some cases are more severe than others, but each merits a closer look at the prison system, how these incidents occur, and …

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/06/16/prison-guard-corruption-remains-dire-issue-as-advocates-work-to-prevent-assaults/

———

Opinion: Fighting Brutality At Rikers Island

The house-of-horrors stories that federal prosecutors keep uncovering at Rikers bear a striking resemblance to the torture that transpired at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq — when prisoners were threatened, beaten, shocked, stripped, and …

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/11/fighting-brutality-at-rikers-island/?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

———

Congressmen Sound Constitutional Alarm Saying Kalief Browder’s 6th Amendment Rights Were Violated

Members of Congress are calling Kalief Browder’s treatment unconstitutional. Sen. Rand Paul said: “Even if you’re convicted of a crime, are we going to let people be raped and murdered in a prison. And [Kalief] wasn’t even convicted” …

https://www.ijreview.com/2015/06/343435-despite-calls-action-booker-paul-congress-stays-mum-kalief-browder-suicide/

———

A Push To Reform “Ass-Backwards” Bail System After Kalief Browder’s Death

In a country where defendants are innocent until proven guilty, Kalief Browder spent 3 years in jail awaiting trial because he couldn’t afford bail. If his story doesn’t prompt the state to overhaul its bail system, legal pros don’t know what will …

http://observer.com/2015/06/a-push-to-reform-backwards-bail-system-after-kalief-browders-death/

———

Opinion: Stop Punishing Poor Defendants: Cash Bail Is An Insult To American Values And A Huge Cost To American Taxpayers

At Rikers alone right now, there are more than 400 people who have been awaiting trial for more than two years. For many, it’s simply because they can’t afford to get out. That’s because our criminal justice system puts a price on your freedom …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/cherise-fanno-burdeen-stop-punishing-poor-defendants-article-1.2260235

———

How All New Yorkers Killed Kalief Browder 

In his short eulogy of Kalief Browder, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote that the teenager’s death “must necessarily be laid at the feet of the citizens of New York because it was done by our servants, and it was done in our name” …

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/06/how-all-new-yorkers-killed-kalief-browder.html

———

Activist Demands, A Year After Garner’s Death

It’s been a year since Eric Garner died. Since then reform advocates have pushed a number of demands for changes to rules surrounding policing and prosecuting, with mixed success. One group demanded “the immediate firing of Officer …

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/06/8570220/activist-demands-year-after-garners-death

———

Beyond The Chokehold: The Path To Eric Garner’s Death

Official scrutiny and public outcry regarding the death of Eric Garner narrowed to focus on the actions of a single officer. But documents provide a fresh understanding of how the seemingly routine police encounter began …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/nyregion/eric-garner-police-chokehold-staten-island.html?_r=1

———

Man Arrested As Teen Has Waited 7 Years In Rikers For Trial

A Manhattan man has spent nearly all of the past seven years locked up on Rikers Island awaiting trial — a dubious record for pretrial incarceration that is not likely to end anytime soon, experts said. Carlos Montero, who entered the jail at age 17 …

http://nypost.com/2015/06/15/kid-arrested-at-17-has-been-at-rikers-awaiting-trial-for-7-years/

———

Opinion: Raise The Age, And More

The issue: NY still routinely treats 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults. The stakes: Do we want to reform adolescents — or cultivate adult criminals? One can only imagine the despair any person would endure if he were imprisoned for …

http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-opinion/article/Editorial-Raise-the-age-and-more-6322334.php

———

Suit: Rikers Officer Broke Female Prisoner’s Arms, Then Lied

A Rikers Island correction officer broke an elderly, mentally challenged woman’s arms by ​tossing her to the floor for throwing a paper cup into a garbage can — then lied to investigators that the 106-pound woman had fallen down by herself …

http://nypost.com/2015/06/15/rikers-officer-broke-female-prisoners-arm-then-lied-suit/

———

Lessons For Bratton On How To Recruit Black Officers: A Conversation With Atlanta’s Chief Of Police

NYC Police Commissioner Bratton came under fire for blaming the lack of diversity in the department on black men themselves — too many of them, he said, have arrest records. But at least one U.S. big city offers a challenge to Bratton’s claim …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/11/lessons-for-bratton-on-how-to-recruit-black-officers?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

National:
Here’s The Latest Evidence Of How Private Prisons Are Exploiting Inmates For Profit

The for-profit prison industry sells itself as a cost-effective option for cash-strapped states, but according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin, privatized prisons are keeping inmates locked up longer in order to boost profits …

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/06/private-prisons-profit

———

National:
Pressure Builds For Feds To “Ban The Box”

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C. have passed laws making it easier for ex-offenders to find jobs in the labor market. Now civil rights and community groups that advocate for returning citizens are pushing the White House to do the same …

http://greenecountydemocrat.com/?p=14099

———

National:
Poor People Rely On Public Defenders Who Are Too Overworked To Defend Them

Money can buy you a great defense team, but what if you can’t afford one? More than 80% of those charged with felonies are indigent. As a result, they are unable to hire an attorney and instead rely on representation by a public defender …

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/17/poor-rely-public-defenders-too-overworked

———

National:
More States Are Meeting Federal Rules Intended To Stop Prison Rape, But Idaho Still Opting Out

All but four states have either met or are working toward meeting federal guidelines intended to prevent prison rape, the U.S. DOJ says. But Idaho, Arkansas, Alaska, and Utah continue to reject the federal rules. Meanwhile, 10 states say they are …

http://www.startribune.com/more-states-comply-with-federal-rules-to-stop-prison-rape/307460411/

———

National:
Why Do We Still Shackle Kids?

When Skye Gosselin came to the Biddeford District Court on the coast of Maine to answer a disorderly conduct charge, a marshal put her in handcuffs and metal leg irons. She was 12 years old. Nearly five years later, the memory still haunts her …

http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/inside-criminal-justice/2015-06-why-do-we-still-shackle-kids

———

National:
Opinion: Flawed Humans, Flawed Justice

What would it take to achieve true criminal justice in America? Imagine that we got rid of all of the cops who cracked racist jokes and prosecutors blinded by a thirst for power. Imagine that we cleansed our courtrooms of lying witnesses and …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/opinion/flawed-humans-flawed-justice.html?

———

National:
From Solitary To The Street: What Happens When Prisoners Go From Complete Isolation To Complete Freedom In A Day?

Every year, prisons across the country send thousands of people directly from solitary confinement back into their communities. They go from complete isolation one day to complete freedom the next, yet they are in many ways …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/11/from-solitary-to-the-street?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

California:
Opinion: Protest Banning Of Formerly Incarcerated Workers From Building $5 Billion Apple Campus 2

Apple portrays itself to be a progressive company. So it is particularly hypocritical for its recent actions on its large construction project, the Apple Campus 2, where it required union workers to undergo criminal background checks and …

http://sfbayview.com/2015/06/monday-june-22-protest-banning-of-formerly-incarcerated-workers-from-building-5-billion-apple-campus-2/

———

California:
Opinion: Community Efforts Urged To Curb Mass Incarceration 

The Black community should take a larger role in curbing mass incarceration and be less reliant on public officials to slow prison growth, says Rev. Hebert Brown III, leader of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore. “In addition …

http://www.lasentinel.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15465:community-efforts-urged-to-curb-mass-incarceration&catid=81&Itemid=171

———

Florida:
Florida Still Sticks Juvenile Inmates In The Box

Florida sends more juveniles to adult prisons than any other state. Today it incarcerates 100,873 and, of that number, 20,705 were juveniles at the time of their offense. Its adult prisons also have the youngest offenders, as young as 12 …

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fred-grimm/article23904103.html

———

Maryland:
“Rat Cop” Joe Crystal Shunned From Baltimore Police Department After Reporting Officer Brutality

Former Detective Joe Crystal scanned the room filled with police officers for any friends he still had left.  Crystal, 34, was  a pariah. He had informed on two other cops who engaged in police brutality. And it had cost him his livelihood …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/16/baltimore-joe-crystal_n_7582374.html

———

Ohio:
Judge Finds Probable Cause For Murder Charge Against Officer Who Killed Tamir Rice

A Cleveland Municipal Court judge has found probable cause that police officer Timothy Loehmann should face murder and other charges in the slaying of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The judge did not find probable cause that …

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/06/judge_finds_probable_cause_for.html#incart_m-rpt-1

———

Ohio:
Tamir Rice Investigation Released: The Big Story

The 224-page report of the investigation into the fatal police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice includes accounts from witnesses — none of whom heard officers issue a warning before one of them opened fire. That contrasts with statements …

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/06/tamir_rice_investigation_relea.html#incart_m-rpt-1

———

Oregon:
Oregon Legislature Votes To “Ban The Box” On Job Applications

The Oregon Senate passed HB 3025 by a vote of 21 to 8. The legislation will prohibit employers from including questions about applicants’ criminal history on job applications. HB 3025 now heads to the House for a concurrent vote and then …

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june112015/ban-the-box-oregon.php

———

South Carolina:
The First Statewide Police Body-Cam Law Comes With A Major Caveat

South Carolina’s Nikki Haley is the first governor to sign a law directing every SC police department to implement body-worn cameras. Just one thing: The footage captured by all those cams isn’t subject to the state’s open records laws …

http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/south_carolina_police_camera_public_records.php?utm_content=buffer0c111&utm_medium=social&utm

———

Texas:
Taser Is Charging Stunning Fees To Handle Police Video

The increasing use of body cams to record police encounters has raised questions about how to store all that video — and what to pay for it. The Fort Worth police, for instance, are paying nearly 23 times what Amazon charges for video storage …

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-16/taser-is-charging-stunning-fees-to-handle-police-video

———

International:
Part One: How Germany Does Prison — Americans On A Mind-Boggling Incarceration Road Trip

The Vera Institute of Justice is taking a group of prison officials, prosecutors, and activists from the U.S. to tour German prisons. Vera’s hope is that they will take the European lessons seriously, and then have the clout to enact changes …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/16/how-germany-does-prison?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

International:
Part Two: Germany’s Kinder, Gentler, Safer Prisons

Imagine a prison in which “correctional officers knock before entering. Prisoners wear their own clothes … cook their own meals … and have opportunities to visit family, learn skills, and gain education. The report from Germany continues …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/17/germany-s-kinder-gentler-safer-prisons?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

International:
Part III: Can German Prisons Teach America How To Handle Its Most Violent Criminals?

For the American visitors, the preventative detention unit at Tegel Prison in Berlin, Germany offered a radically different way to approach those we might call the “worst of the worst” — criminals who, for all the talk of rehabilitation, remain …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/18/can-german-prisons-teach-america-how-to-handle-its-most-violent-criminals?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

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.