The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of October 5, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 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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NYPD Officially Debuts Stop-And-Frisk “Receipts” And New Rules For Cops

The NYPD has formally introduced the “receipt” cops will now be required to issue to anyone they question during street stops. Patrick Lynch, head of the largest NYPD union, called the new paperwork “another nail in the coffin of …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/nypd-debuts-stop-and-frisk-receipts-new-rules-cops-article-1.2374455

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Opinion: Reform Rikers Or Shut It Down

Rikers Island is, simply put, a bad prison. The level of violence and mistreatment of prisoners is far too high to continue unchecked. Rikers represents the justice system’s continual failure to rehabilitate its prisoners, as two-thirds of …

http://www.nyunews.com/2015/09/28/09-29-house/

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Opinion: The Real Roots Of ’70s Drug Laws

The draconian Rockefeller drug laws — the model for much of our current drug policies — were promoted and supported by an African-American leadership trying to save black lives. After the Harlem riots of 1964. polls showed that …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/28/opinion/the-real-roots-of-70s-drug-laws.html?_r=0

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Why It’s So Hard To Fire An Abusive Prison Guard

Since 2010, the New York State has sought to fire 30 prison guards accused of abusing inmates through a convoluted arbitration process that is required under the union contract. Officials have prevailed only eight times, according to …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/09/27/why-it-s-so-hard-to-fire-an-abusive-prison-guard?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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Correction Officer Busted For Trying To Smuggle Knives Into Rikers Jail

A NYC correction officer was busted for trying to smuggle three knives into a Rikers Island jail. Officer Angelo Martinez, 51, set off an x-ray machine as he tried to enter the Anna M. Kross Center. A folding knife with a four-inch blade …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/correction-officer-smuggle-knives-rikers-article-1.2373037

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National:
Bernie Sanders Has A Ballsy Plan To Get Rid Of Private Prisons — But Will It Work?

Bernie Sanders has a ballsy new plan to kill all of the government’s private prison  contracts within three years in a bid to curb the country’s soaring mass incarceration rate. But with a powerful lobbying presence and backing from …

https://news.vice.com/article/bernie-sanders-has-a-ballsy-plan-to-get-rid-of-private-prisons-but-will-it-work

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National:
Prison Stocks In Focus On Bernie Sanders Plan

As one could assume, GEO and CCA — the two biggest for-profit prison companies — won’t go down without a fight and are sure to lobby against Bernie Sanders’ plan to effectively kill the private-prison industry …

http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/191821/prison-stocks-in-focus-on-bernie-sanders-plan

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National:
Opinion: A Prison Cell Of Our Own Creation

The good news is that we have the makings of a genuine bipartisan consensus that the incarceration machinery needs to be retooled. A group called the Coalition for Public Safety — which amazingly includes both left-leaning groups like …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/errol-louis-prison-cell-creation-article-1.2377767

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National:
A Year Of Propelling The Criminal Justice Reform Movement Forward

We just released our 2014-2015 Prison Policy Initiative Annual Report, and I’m thrilled to share some highlights. We had another great year of leading innovative campaigns while also strengthening the movement with …

http://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2015/09/22/14-15-annual-report/

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National:
Opinion: The Prison Problem

What explains the current prison problem? One theory is that it’s the prosecutors. DAs have gotten a lot more aggressive in bringing felony charges. Twenty years ago they brought felony charges against 1 in 3 arrestees. Today it’s …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/opinion/david-brooks-the-prison-problem.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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National:
U.S. Prisons And Jails Are Threatening The Lives of Pregnant Women And Babies

The number of women who cycle through U.S. jails is increasing by approximately 1.6% each year, to 109,100 in 2014, while the number of women in prisons has risen nearly tenfold in the past 40 years, to 111,300 in 2013 …

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18410

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National:
For Incarcerated Black Men, Few Options For Safe Sex

In all 50 states, sex is not allowed in prisons, but in every prison, sex is happening. Even knowing that fact, there are only two states that make condoms available to prisoners. No group is more affected than …

http://www.advocate.com/6in10men/2015/9/24/incarcerated-black-men-few-options-safe-sex

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National:
Whole Foods To Stop Selling Products Made By Prisoners

Whole Foods will stop selling products made using a prison labor program after a protest against the practice at one of its stores in Texas. The company said the products should be out of its stores by April 2016, if not sooner …

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-whole-foods-prisoners-20150930-story.html

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California:
How Inmate Firefighting Compares to Other Prison Jobs

The main worry among prison-reform advocates is that California’s reliance on  inmate firefighters might make the state reluctant to pass reforms to reduce the number of inmates eligible for the job …

http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/inmate-firefighting

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Connecticut:
Gov. Malloy Announces New Federal Grant To Give Once-Incarcerated Vets A Second Chance

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service has awarded The WorkPlace with a $130,000 grant to provide services that will assist formerly incarcerated veterans considered “at risk” of becoming homeless …

http://news.hamlethub.com/coscob/politics/2366-gov-malloy-announces-new-federal-grant-to-give-once-incarcerated-vets-a-second-chance

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Florida:
Republican Lawmaker Says Inmates Key To Defeating Corrine Brown

Florida state Rep. Janet Adkins told a group of North Florida GOP activists that the key to defeating Corrine Brown, a black Jacksonville Democrat, is boosting the number of [non-voting] black prisoners in her district …

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/florida/2015/09/8577571/republican-lawmaker-says-inmates-key-defeating-corrine-brown

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Maryland:
Baltimore Officer Said Freddie Gray Asked For Help

As Freddie Gray was being transported in a police van through West Baltimore, at least one officer warned that Gray needed medical care but wondered, along with others, whether he was faking injuries or being uncooperative …

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-officer-statements-20150926-story.html

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Michigan:
Prison System Reform: Release 10,000 Prisoners?

A group advocating for prison reform in Michigan wants to see 10,000 prisoners released from state facilities. Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending says the state spends $2 billion annually to keep 44,000 people locked up …

http://wdet.org/posts/2015/09/25/81617-prison-system-reform-release-10000-prisoners/

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Missouri:
Conference Ponders Radical Remake Of U.S. Criminal Justice System

More than 150 people from all parts of the criminal-justice system are gathering at Washington University to ponder a radical remake of the way this country uses incarceration. The conference is the first major undertaking for …

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/conference-ponders-radical-remake-us-criminal-justice-system

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New Jersey:
Former Governor Talks Prison Reentry, Reform

After resigning from his post as Governor of New Jersey, James  McGreevey discovered a new passion — prison reform and re-entry. In a recent address, he said there are three important factors that will improve prisons …

http://www.theridernews.com/2015/09/30/former-governor-talks-prison-re-entry-reform/

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Pennsylvania:
A Prayer For Prison Reform

The 95 inmates Pope Francis met with last week face a range of charges for violent crimes. Most of them were openly emotional after hearing the Pope’s pensive words. Others seemed amused, others more disinterested. But each has a story …

http://aldianews.com/articles/pope-philly/prayer-prison-reform/40717

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Pennsylvania:
Michael Grimm Reports to Pennsylvania Prison

Former Congressman Michael Grimm began an eight-month sentence in a minimum-security facility some call “Club Fed.” But it’s a nickname former NYPD Commissioner Kerik says isn’t accurate. “The deprivation of freedom is …

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2015/09/22/michael-grimm-scheduled-to-report-to-prison-tuesday.html

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Washington:
Shielded By The Law

Killings by police have surged in Washington over the past decade. During that period, 213 people were killed by police. Only one police officer has been criminally charged in state courts with the illegal use of deadly force on the job …

http://projects.seattletimes.com/2015/killed-by-police/

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International:
Prison Without Punishment: Germany Allows Inmates To Wear Their Own Clothes, Cook Their Own Meals, And Have Romantic Visits. Could That Work In The United States?

While Germany’s low crime rates cannot be directly credited to the country’s therapy-driven prisons, researchers at Vera believed that learning about how these prisons work might help Americans improve their own …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/09/25/prison-without-punishment?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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International:
Prison: America’s Most Vile Export?

Today, iterations of the America’s supermax prisons exist in at least nine countries, from Australia to Mexico. Prison is not only one of America’s most catastrophic national experiments — it’s also among the country’s most vile exports …

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/us-world-prisons-supermax-incarceration/408067/

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