The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of September 28, 2015

Monday, September 28, 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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Cuomo Reduces Barriers to Reintegration of Released Prisoners

Gov. Cuomo has accepted 12 recommendations aimed at easing re-entry and reintegration for ex-convicts. To Stanley Richards, a former inmate who is now senior VP of The Fortune Society, his announcement is welcome news …

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-09-23/criminal-justice/cuomo-reduces-barriers-to-reintegration-of-released-prisoners/a48249-2

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Inmate Bill of Rights Among New Wave of Rikers Reforms

The New York City Council passed eight bills in an effort to mandate greater transparency into and oversight of the Dept. Correction and to reduce violence within the city’s jails. One of the bills creates an inmate Bill of Rights and …

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5897-inmate-bill-of-rights-among-new-wave-of-rikers-reforms

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What If James Blake Had Been John Doe? The NYPD Needs
To Systematically Track All Use Of Force By The Police

After an innocent black man — a famous tennis player — is viciously thrown to the ground by a police officer and handcuffed, newspapers  rushed to cover the story.  But what about all the others who every day get pushed against walls …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/lieberman-dunn-james-blake-john-doe-article-1.2361680

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Bratton Tries a Community Policing Approach — On The New York Police

After years of aggressive, centralized enforcement of its most minor rules, the NYPD is changing the way it disciplines its officers. Commissioner Bratton is giving his commanders in the field far more authority in deciding how …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/nyregion/bratton-tries-a-community-policing-approach-on-the-new-york-police.html?_r=0

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Inmate Takes Plea Deal After Nearly 7 Years In Rikers Without Trial

 A Manhattan man who has spent almost seven years in ​​Rikers ​without a trial copped to manslaughter ​​in exchange for 13 years in ​state ​prison. Prosecutors made the offer to Carlos Monter​o​, 24, weeks after the NY Post revealed …

http://nypost.com/2015/09/10/inmate-takes-plea-deal-after-nearly-7-years-in-rikers-without-trial/

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The Program That’s Keeping Women Out Of Prison — And Saving Money

 In New York, the Women’s Prison Association, a group that has been advocating on behalf of female offenders for over 150 years, has gone a step further with Justice Home, a new program that removes the punitive aspect almost entirely …

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/17/justice-home-program-keeping-women-out-of-prison-saving-money

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New York Grilled-Cheese Truck Wins Top Street Food Award

A New York grilled-cheese food truck whose proceeds go to help formerly incarcerated youths has won the top Vendy award for best street fare. The winner, Snowday, specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches with a touch of maple syrup …

https://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/food_dining/2015/09/new_york_grilled_cheese_truck_wins_top_street_food_award

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National:
Catholic Criminal Justice Reform Advocates Hope Pope’s Visit Will Spark Conversation in U.S.

Prison reform is an issue close to the Pope’s heart. It’s been a vital part of his ministry, whether calling prisoners from Rome or serving them in Argentina. When he visits the U.S., he will be visiting a nation with 2.3 million people behind bars …

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/09/18/catholic-criminal-justice-reform-advocates-hope-popes-visit-will-spark-conversation-in-u-s/

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National:
Pope Francis’s Philadelphia Prison Visit Highlights Crisis In U.S. Justice System

Behind barbed wire and under guard towers on the edge of Philadelphia, Pope Francis will meet more than 100 men and women from a dangerously overcrowded prison population drawn largely from the poor, civil rights advocates say …

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/21/pope-francis-philadelphia-prison-bail-system

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National:
Soft On Crime — Part 2: The GOP’s Criminal Justice Scare Tactics Put Reform At Risk

Has the criminal justice reform movement’s moment passed? Suddenly, being “tough on crime” looks, from a political standpoint, much more appealing. In fact, it has became de riguer for GOP hopefuls to pin growing “lawlessness” on …

ttp://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2015/09/18/has-2016-tough-on-crime-talk-already-doomed-criminal-justice-reform

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National:
Sanders To Push A Plan To Ban Private Companies From Running Prisons

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled a plan to ban privately run jails and prisons, which he says have a “perverse incentive” to increase the number of incarcerated people in the country. Under the proposal, the federal government would have …

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/09/17/sanders-to-push-a-plan-to-ban-private-companies-from-running-prisons/

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National:
Obama Just Acknowledged How Little He Can Do To Reduce The Prison Population

President Obama just acknowledged something that politicians at the national level generally don’t — that the federal government can’t do all that much to reduce the country’s massive prison population …

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/09/18/obama_on_criminal_justice_reform_president_acknowledges_the_limits_of_what.html

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National:
Media Spin On Violence Against Police

News stories of officers being attacked and killed while in the line of duty have become regular features of the nightly news, but does this increase in coverage reflect an increase in reality? My analysis suggests no. A count of stories …

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2015/09/14/media-spin-on-violence-against-police/

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National:
Blair Horner: The Debate Over Educating Prisoners

Prison is a revolving door. Despite prisons being called “correctional facilities,” they do a dismal job in turning lives around.  According to the U.S. DOJ, nationwide about two-thirds of released state prisoners were re-arrested within …

http://wamc.org/post/blair-horner-debate-over-educating-prisoners#stream/0

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National:
Opinion: Can We Wait 88 Years To End Mass Incarceration?

Given recent policy changes, why has there been such a small reduction in the number of people held in prisons? First, many sentencing reforms have understandably focused on low-level offenders. While a necessary first step …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-mauer/88-years-mass-incarceration_b_4474132.html

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National:
Families Pay The Heftiest Price For Mass Incarceration, New Study Says

Mass incarceration may cost the U.S. a whopping $80B a year — but the bulk of the burden falls on the families of those imprisoned, says a report that estimates the average costs incurred by an inmate for court-related fees alone is …

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/families-pay-heftiest-price-incarceration-study-article-1.2365951

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National:
Should People With Criminal Histories Be Banned From Public Housing?

HUD Secretary Juliàn Castro says the agency is reconsidering rules that make it difficult for ex-offenders to access public housing. A new report explains the costs of discrimination against the formerly incarcerated …

http://www.citylab.com/crime/2015/09/should-people-with-criminal-histories-be-banned-from-public-housing/406015/

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National:
Even If Prison Time Is Over, It’s A Life Sentence For Many

Jeanne Mendoza is passionate about wanting to work with at-risk youth, but she can’t. The mother of three, who earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from University of the Pacific, is a felon …

http://www.recordnet.com/article/20150919/NEWS/150919600

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National:
18 States Packed Their Prisons Over Maximum Capacity

Eighteen states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons operated their prison facilities at more than 100% capacity at the end of 2014. Prison overcrowding can jeopardize the safety of both prisoners and staff. Inmates may not have access to …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/18-states-have-packed-prisons-over-maximum-capacity_55fb3025e4b0fde8b0cd9ea1?crcc8fr

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National:
Prisoners In 2014

New stats show small but consistent decreases in state and federal prison populations, but there are still 1.5M citizens locked up in prisons (and hundreds of thousands more in jails). Nearly 20% of all federal prisoners are in private …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/documents/2426815-prisoners-in-2014-department-of-justice?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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National:
Five Things You Didn’t Know About Clearing Your Record: A Primer On The Complicated Road To Expungement

Expungements are a legal process that can clear arrests, charges, and minor convictions from someone’s record. Here are some things you should know about expungements and sealed records …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/09/17/five-things-you-didn-t-know-about-clearing-your-record?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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Florida:
Opinion: Miami-Dade Has Shown How To Combine Prison Reform And More Humane Treatment Of Mentally Ill

Miami-Dade County had a jail for the mentally ill that was so inadequate it was shocking. Now, 15 years after Judge Steve Leifman began his crusade to improve the quality of treatment for the mentally ill, he has created a national model …

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2015-09-14/story/miami-dade-has-shown-how-combine-prison-reform-and-more-humane

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