The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of July 13, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

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

———————————————————————————————————–

Stung By Abuses At Rikers, New York City Acts On Bail Reform But The New Program Would Not Have Helped Kalief Browder

Mayor de Blasio unveiled a $17.8-M plan to reduce reliance on the bail system by expanding a program that keeps nonviolent and low-level offenders out of jail while they await trial. The program would more than triple the number of defendants in …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/07/08/stung-by-abuses-at-rikers-new-york-city-acts-on-bail-reform?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

Cuomo To Appoint Special Prosecutor For Killings By Police

With pressure mounting from families whose loved ones have died at the hands of police, NY Gov. Cuomo says he is preparing to issue an executive order naming the state AG as a special prosecutor for police-related civilian deaths …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/08/nyregion/cuomo-to-appoint-special-prosecutor-for-killings-by-police.html?nytmobile=0&_r=0

———

Cuomo’s Order For Special Prosecutor In Police Deaths Is Criticized

Although many families whose relatives died at the hands of the police applauded Gov. Cuomo’s order that the state AG investigate those types of deaths, others expressed disappointment that the order doesn’t encompass all …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/nyregion/cuomos-order-for-special-prosecutor-in-police-deaths-is-criticized.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

———

NYPD Wants To Add Crime-Predicting Software To Arsenal

The NYPD wants to add a crystal ball to its crime-fighting tool belt. The department expects to implement “predictive policing” in three precincts through a pilot program aimed at stopping crime before it happens. The computer software, called …

http://nypost.com/2015/07/08/nypd-wants-to-add-crime-predicting-software-to-arsenal/

———

NYPD Accused Of Destroying Evidence Showing Cops Issued Bogus Summonses To Meet Quota

The NYPD and city lawyers are engaging in a “stunning pattern” of evidence destruction in a high-stakes class-action case alleging cops have issued 850,000 bogus summonses due to a quota system, new documents charge …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-nypd-accused-destroying-summons-info-article-1.2282345

———

Goldman Sachs Gives Up On Jailed Teens After Its Social Program Fails

A first-of-its kind public-service experiment seeking to reduce recidivism among jailed teens is being terminated after failing to reach its goals said. The Goldman Sachs-funded project, which was launched in 2012, employed two nonprofits to …

http://nypost.com/2015/07/09/goldman-sachs-funded-program-to-curb-teen-recidivism-terminated/

———

A Tough Beat For A Detective: Recruiting Black Police Officers

In his years as an NYPD officer, Detective Yuseff Hamm has stalked drug dealers and chased gunmen. But, as he stood before a black audience, he faced a challenge nearly as daunting — persuading African-Americans to join the NYPD …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/nyregion/police-recruiter-stays-upbeat-as-he-calls-on-skeptical-black-communities.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

———

Opinion: Cuomo’s Unkept Justice Promise

Too many New York families continue to suffer due to a police brutality epidemic. Even in cases with video evidence, local DAs have failed — an abysmal track record that spans decades. This historic lack of police accountability is …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/gwenn-carr-constance-malcolm-cuomo-unkept-promise-article-1.2283047

———

NY Veterans Back Mental Health Reviews In Criminal Cases

NY vets are advocating that criminal courts statewide consider whether defendants who were in the U.S. military suffer from conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder that may have played a role in the offense. The bill would allow them to …

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/22/ny-veterans-back-mental-health-reviews-in-court/

———

National:
Lawmakers Reach Across The Aisle To Draft Criminal Justice Reform

The government can’t list all the federal crimes it could use to charge someone — a symbol of how out of control the national criminal justice system is, said Reps. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. and Robert C. Scott, two senior congressmen …

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/6/james-sensenbrenner-robert-scott-draft-criminal-ju/?

———

National:
Opinion: A New Beginning For Criminal Justice Reform

The U.S. criminal justice system is in a state of crisis — and Congress is finally moving to address it. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) introduced the SAFE Justice Act, an important step in addressing the ballooning …

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/07/a-new-beginning-for-criminal-justice-reform-119822.html#.VZ6GTRvD_cs

———

National:
Obama Plans Broader Use Of Clemency To Free Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Sometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/04/us/obama-plans-broader-use-of-clemency-to-free-nonviolent-drug-offenders.html

———

National:
Waiting To Die In Prison — For Selling A Couple Of Bags Of Pot; Even As More Americans Toke Up Legally, Many Are Still Rotting Behind Bars For Marijuana Offenses

Around 40,000 people are currently serving time for offenses involving a drug that has been decriminalized or legalized in 27 states and Washington, DC. “The world has changed, but these poor bastards are still sitting in jail” …

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/life-sentence-marijuana-pot-prison-commuted

———

National:
Is Google More Accurate Than The FBI? In Tracking Deaths By Police, The Tech World Might Beat Uncle Sam

When escaped murderer Richard Matt was shot by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, he became the 459th person shot and killed by a law enforcement this year, says a new database released by the Washington Post …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/07/02/is-google-more-accurate-than-the-fbi?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

———

National:
Opinion: Solitary Confinement — “One Of The Most Barbaric, Inhumane Aspects Of Our Society”

Shaka Senghor spent 19 years in prison, including 4-1/2 years in solitary confinement, where he was on lockdown in his cell for 23 hours a day. On a panel on mass incarceration, he gave a personal view of what it was actually like to be …

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/solitary-confinement-one-of-the-most-barbaric-inhumane-aspects-of-our-society/397634/

———

National:
Study Documents The Paucity Of Black Elected Prosecutors: Zero In Most States

Sixty-six percent of states that elect prosecutors have no blacks in those offices, a new study has found, highlighting the lack of diversity in the ranks of those entrusted to bring criminal charges and negotiate prison sentences …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/us/a-study-documents-the-paucity-of-black-elected-prosecutors-zero-in-most-states.html?_r=0

———

National:
Inside The Shadowy Business Of Prison Phone Calls

Over the last decade, the prison phone business has become a scandalous industry, characterized by exorbitant fees,  high phone rates, and monopolistic relationships between public jails and private companies that openly …

http://atavist.ibtimes.com/fcc-prison-telecom-industry

———

National:
Opinion: There’s Already A Law For That

U.S. criminal codes are a mess, and every year they become more likely to foster injustice. As sloppy as the state codes may be , the federal code is much worse, listing an estimated 100,000 offenses. A modern code should have 300-500 …

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0703-robinson-reform-criminal-codes-20150703-story.html

———

National:
Let’s Talk About Prison Reform

Of late, the national conversation around reducing lengthy sentences has been focused on low-level offenders for non-violent and/or drug-related offenses. But that’s not enough to make a significant dent in our current prison population …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-m-de-palma/lets-talk-about-prison-re_b_7661150.html

———

National:
Opinion: Why We Need Criminal Justice Reform; Our System Incentivizes Excessive Prosecution And Punishment — As I Found Out

Our judicial system has some serious flaws, particularly its quest for guilty verdicts and incarceration. I first learned about the drive for convictions through an experience with a former employee. He was arrested for getting in a fight with …

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-we-need-criminal-justice-reform/

———

National:
American Prisons: The Caging Of Human Rights

America’s leading cultural historian said “Washington is in no position to scold other countries about ‘human rights’ until it ends mass incarceration of Americans in our prison gulag.” Professor Dr. H. Bruce Franklin stresses …

http://en.mehrnews.com/news/108394/American-prisons-The-caging-of-human-rights

———

Washington:
Opinion: Alternatives To Reform Prisons To Reduce Outsourcing And Reoffending

Prison overcrowding could be far better addressed through sensible alternative approaches. Studies show that offender re-entry programs offering assistance with mental health, chemical dependency, education, and employment help …

http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/alternatives-to-reform-prisons-to-reduce-outsourcing-and-reoffending/

———

International:
Irish Court Blocks Suspect’s Extradition to U.S. Citing Risk Of Solitary Confinement  

An Irish court has blocked a U.S. extradition request because of the conditions of solitary confinement the accused could face if sent to the United States. Ireland’s High Court determined there was a real risk that …

http://solitarywatch.com/2015/07/06/irish-court-blocks-suspects-extradition-to-u-s-citing-risk-of-solitary-confinement/

———

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.