The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of August 3, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 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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Formerly Incarcerated Activist Leads Organization To Mobilize Hearts And Minds For Decarceration

Despite the challenges, Glenn E. Martin, former director of The Fortune Society’s David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy, is heartened by the growing momentum to change how criminal penalties are meted out …

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32097-formerly-incarcerated-activist-leads-organization-to-mobilize-hearts-and-minds-for-decarceration

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Bratton Says He Won’t Lead Police Through A Second de Blasio Term

Asked whether he would stay on the job through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s second term were he re-elected, NYPD Commissioner Bratton said, “I will not be commissioner for 6-1/2 years. I’d be 75 years old by that time …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/24/nyregion/bratton-says-he-wont-lead-police-through-a-second-de-blasio-term.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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Opinion: Stop Hiding Police Misconduct In New York

There may be an opportunity to limit the reach of a state law that has been used to hide the employment records of police officers, even some who have committed crimes. The law is the only one of its kind in the nation …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/opinion/stop-hiding-police-misconduct-in-new-york.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

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Video: How The NYPD Abused Citizens In The Name Of Data, And How One Cop Exposed It

Exposing police misconduct can be risky, even for a cop. This video tells of an NYPD officer who blew the whistle on the abuse of CompStat, a system to track crime trends in NYC. But, in trying to fix the injustices, he experienced them …

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-the-nypd-abused-citizens-in-the-name-of-data-and-how-one-cop-exposed-it-all/

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NYPD Cop Used Excessive Force By Shoving Handcuffed Teen Through Window In Bronx, Review Board Rules

The Civilian Complaint Review Board has concluded that an NYPD sergeant used excessive force when he shoved a handcuffed 14-year-old boy through the plate-glass window of a hookah bar in the Bronx. Sgt. Eliezer Pabon now faces …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-excessive-force-shoving-handcuffed-teen-article-1.2306055

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$30-Million Program To Help Low-Income New Yorkers Get Mental Health Care

New York is set to begin a $30-million program aimed at providing mental health services to low-income residents with little or no access to care. The program — Connections To Care — will tap existing community organizations that …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/30/nyregion/30-million-program-to-help-low-income-new-yorkers-get-mental-health-care.html?ref=nyregion&_r=1

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At “Begin Again,” Signs Of New Approach To Broken Justice System

On Father’s Day weekend, the Brooklyn DA held an event to lift open arrest warrants related to summonses for low-level offenses ranging from public intoxication to being in a park after closing. The success of that event will lead to …

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5824-at-begin-again-signs-of-new-approach-to-broken-justice-system

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National:
Opinion: How Pell Grants Could Give America’s Prisoners An Education And Save Their Lives

Former prisoners and experts agree that, by far, the most effective tool to combat recidivism is education. And with numerous outlets reporting that the Obama administration is planning to restore Pell grants …

http://www.vice.com/read/how-pell-grants-could-change-the-game-for-americas-prisoners-728

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National:
The Videos That Are Putting Race And Policing Into Sharp Relief

Raw video has thoroughly shaken U.S. policing. Grainy images of questionable police behavior have led to nationwide protests, federal investigations, and changes in policy and attitudes on race. The following videos include graphic …

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/30/us/100000003827209.app.html

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National:
Push To Scale Back Sentencing Laws Gains Momentum

With a push from President Obama and a nod from Speaker Boehner, Congress seems poised to revise four decades of federal policy that greatly expanded the number of Americans — to roughly 750 per 100,000 — now incarcerated, by far …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/us/push-to-scale-back-sentencing-laws-gains-momentum.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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National:
NAACP’s Cornell Brooks Giddy About Obama’s Call For Prison Reform

Following President Obama’s speech, NAACP President Brooks said: “I could not have been more moved because many of the people most affected by what he said couldn’t vote for him today, because they don’t have the right to vote …

http://www.districtchronicles.com/news/view.php/867707/Brooks-giddy-about-Obamas-call-for-priso

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National:
People Who Should Be Released From Jail Are Dying There Instead

The day after Sandra Bland died in a Texas jail, Native American activist Rexdale Henry was found dead with broken ribs in a Mississippi cell. 18-year-old Kindra Chapman hanged herself in an Alabama jail and Ralkina Jones was found …

http://fusion.net/story/174495/sandra-bland-pretrial-detention/

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National:
Senator: Past 3 Presidents Took Drugs, So Reform “Egregious” Drug Sentencing

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) called for criminal justice reform to keep nonviolent drug offenders from serving “egregious” amounts of time in jail, citing the last three U.S. presidents’ drug use to support his position. “President Bush, President Obama …

http://pjmedia.com/blog/senator-past-3-presidents-took-drugs-so-reform-egregious-drug-sentencing/

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National:
Civil And Human Rights Coalition Applauds Higher Education Program For Prisoners, Calls For “Ban The Box” Executive Order

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is urging President Obama to issue an executive order that would “ban the box,” removing the check box from job applications used to pre-screen applicants with prior convictions …

http://www.civilrights.org/press/2015/pell-grants-prisoners-ban-the-box.html

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National:
Opinion: Mr. Chairman, The President’s Clemency Power Is Beyond Dispute

In response to President Obama commuting the sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued a letter to the AG expressing “deep concern” that the president “continues to use his pardon power …

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/249151-mr-chairman-the-presidents-clemency-power-is-beyond

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National:
AG Lynch Says Death In Police Custody Highlights Fears Among Blacks

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said that the recent arrest of a black woman in Texas and her death while in police custody were bringing renewed attention to the fear and anger that characterize the relationship of blacks with the police …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/27/us/politics/lynch-says-death-in-custody-highlights-fears-among-blacks.html?nytmobile=0&_r=0

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National:
Feds Regularly Monitored “Black Lives Matter” Since Ferguson

The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, MO, last summer. Even when events are expected to be peaceful, the Department …

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/24/documents-show-department-homeland-security-monitoring-black-lives-matter-since-ferguson/

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National:
“A Black Man’s Guide To Survival” Rule #1: Comply Now, Contest Later

The recent spate of high-profile police shootings inspired Eric Broyles to write “A Black Man’s Guide To Survival” to provide African-American men a guide for handling interactions with police. In this interview, he reflects on why …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/07/23/a-black-man-s-guide-to-survival?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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National:
The Exploding U.S. Prison Population And Its Skyrocketing Costs, State By State

In 1982, each state in the U.S. combined to spend $15B on the country’s prison system. Now, states spend triple that amount on average, and have for years due to prison populations that have shot up. Here’s a chart showing …

http://mashable.com/2015/07/24/incarceration-cost-prison-population/

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National:
So Much For The “Ferguson Effect”: Killings Of Cops Are Down 25% For The First Half Of 2015

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released its mid-year report on police deaths in 2015. Through the end of June, the number of officers killed by gunfire dropped 25% from last year, from 24 to 18. That’s the same number …

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/07/23/so-much-for-the-ferguson-effect-killings-of-cops-are-down-25-percent-for-the-first-half-of-2015/

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National:
Here’s The Real Story Behind The Apple Of Prison Tech

In early July, JPay unveiled its newest product — the JP5Mini, a $70 tablet that’s outfitted with wireless capabilities. Prisoners can now download music and send e-mails from this personal device — inside their cells, in the weight room, or wherever …

http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-of-prison-techs-real-story-2015-7

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Delaware:
New Contract Dials Back Inmate Phone Rates

Calls don’t come cheap in prison, but in Delaware, they are getting cheaper. A new contract with Global Tel*Link, the leading provider of technology for correctional facilities, lowers the rates for the inmate phone service by about 30% …

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2015/07/23/new-contract-dials-back-inmate-phone-rates/30597085/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

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Florida:
Over 10% Of Florida Adults Are Barred From Voting

A study by the Sentencing Project, a prison reform group, estimated that 5.85 million Americans, a quarter of them Floridians, were unable to vote in the 2014 midterm elections due to disenfranchisement …

http://watchdog.org/230597/florida-felons-barred-from-voting/

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Florida:
Opinion: Right Time For Prison Reform

When President Barack Obama and the Koch brothers agree on an issue, it merits attention. So Florida’s leaders should consider why the left-leaning president and the conservative activists believe the nation is imprisoning too many people …

http://tbo.com/list/news-opinion-editorials/right-time-for-prison-reform-20150726/

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Michigan:
Startup To Hire Former Inmates To Make Classic American T-Shirts

After a year and a half of research, development, and the hunt for the perfect cotton, two Detroiters are getting ready to launch a sustainable men’s clothing line — starting with a white T-shirt and ex-inmate employees …

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150727/NEWS/150729905/corktown-start-up-to-hire-formerly-incarcerated-citizens-to-make

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Ohio:
Shooting Death Of Samuel DuBose

County Prosecutor Joe Deters is so outraged over the shooting of an unarmed man during a traffic stop he will personally prosecute the case. His passion was evident as he announced that officer Ray Tensing had been charged with murder …

http://www.cincinnati.com/topic/b20e8a5f-364f-48e1-afba-bf339e1305f0/shooting-death-of-samuel-dubose/

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Texas:
In America, Mass Incarceration Has Caused More Crime Than It’s Prevented

A paper estimates each year in prison boosts the odds a prisoner will reoffend by 5.6% a quarter. Even people who went to prison for lesser crimes wound up committing more serious offenses subsequently …

http://qz.com/458675/in-america-mass-incarceration-has-caused-more-crime-than-its-prevented/

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