The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of November 2, 2015

Sunday, November 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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Mayor Bill de Blasio Calls For Changing State Bail Laws

Mayor  de Blasio called for changes to state law that would allow judges to consider defendants’ risk to public safety when setting bail or considering incarceration-alternative programs such as the one approved for Tyrone Howard who …

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mayor-bill-de-blasio-calls-for-changingstate-bail-laws-1445563961

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Cuomo No Fan Of De Blasio’s Plan To Reform Prison Diversion Programs

Asked about Mayor de Blasio’s proposed reforms of the bail system and the diversion courts in the wake of the fatal shooting of an NYPD officer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered anything but a ringing endorsement. “I think …

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/10/26/andrew-cuomo-prison-diversion/

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The Randolph Holder Shooting Had Nothing To Do With Jail Diversion And Bill de Blasio Knows It

A man named Tyrone Howard allegedly fired a single shot at NYPD officer Randolph Holder, striking him in the head and killing him. Holder’s death is a tragedy, and despite what NYC Mayor de Blasio would have you believe …

http://gawker.com/the-randolph-holder-shooting-had-nothing-to-do-with-jai-1738040218

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Judge Approves Settlement Of Suit On Rikers Island Brutality

A federal judge gave final approval to a far-reaching settlement agreement intended to remake Rikers by addressing pervasive brutality at the NYC jail complex. The decision brought an end to four years of contentious litigation over …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/nyregion/judge-approves-settlement-of-suit-on-rikers-island-brutality.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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What Prison Time Taught Ex-Police Commissioner Kerik

Former NYPD Commissioner Kerik says too many minor rule-breakers are being wrongly treated as convicted felons. “A commercial fisherman catches too many fish, we lock ’em up, and he gets convicted of ‘a crime’ …

http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2015/10/what-prison-time-taught-ex-police-commissioner-kerik/

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Cuomo Grants Two Pardons, Two Commutations

Gov. Cuomo has granted two pardons and two commutations to four people who have committed drug-related crimes. He pardoned Joseph Wilson, 66, of New York City and Patrick Oliver, 43, of Jersey City, N.J., who both served …

http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/242228/cuomo-grants-two-pardons-two-commucations/

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From A House Of Despair To A House Of Hope

It is rare for a building to exorcise its own ghosts. But that is what is happening at the former site of Bayview Correctional Facility for women.  NYS awarded NoVo Foundation the rights to reopen it as The Women’s Building, a home for …

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/pamela-shifman-house-despair-house-hope-article-1.2411907

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National:
Obama, Pushing Criminal Justice Reform, Defends “Black
Lives Matter”

President Obama said that black Americans were not simply imagining concerns that they are often treated more harshly and less fairly by police officers than are whites. “It’s real,” he said. “We have to take it seriously.” And he defended the …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/us/politics/obama-in-call-for-reform-defends-the-black-lives-matter-movement.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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National:
Obama Calls The Death Penalty “Deeply Troubling”

President Obama called several aspects of the death penalty “deeply troubling” and said he plans to speed up pardons and commutations. He also recalled moments when he suspected he had been racially profiled by police officers …

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/10/23/watch-obama-discuss-death-penalty-racial-profiling-with-the-marshall-project?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm

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National:
Clinton To Cut Ties With Private Prison Industry

The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will no longer accept donations from federally registered lobbyists or PACs for private prison companies. “When we’re dealing with a mass incarceration crisis, we don’t need …

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/10/23/3715544/clinton-private-prisons/

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National:
The FBI Director’s Troubling Comments On The “Ferguson Effect”

 FBI Director Comey is open to believing that the “Ferguson Effect” — the idea that scrutiny of police since the death of Michael Brown has made police reluctant to effectively fight crime — is real. What makes his comments so rattling is …

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/10/the-fbi-directors-troubling-comments-on-the-ferguson-effect/412351/

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National:
White House Disagrees With F.B.I. Chief On Scrutiny As A C
ause Of Crime

The White House said it did not agree with the assertion by FBI director Comey that additional scrutiny of law enforcement in the past year may have made police officers less aggressive, leading to a rise in violent crime in some cities …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/us/politics/white-house-disagrees-with-fbi-chief-on-scrutiny-as-a-cause-of-crime.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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National:
FCC Votes To Slash Cost Of Prison Phone Calls

The FCC voted to slash what it called “excessive rates and egregious fees” that families have to pay to call their relatives in prison. Currently, calls to inmates can cost as much as $14 a minute. Under the new plan …

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/prison-phone-calls-slash-cost

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National:
Opinion: Why The #BanTheBox Campaign Should Absolutely Be Instituted By The Federal Government

Activists with the ACLU, Color of Change, the National Employment Law Project, and other organizations delivered a petition with more than 65,000 signatures to the White House, demanding that President Obama “ban the box” for all …

http://www.bustle.com/articles/119574-why-the-banthebox-campaign-should-absolutely-be-instituted-by-the-federal-government

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National:
Kennedy Assails Prison Shortcomings

Without mincing words, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy disparaged the U.S. criminal justice system for the three prison scourges of long sentences, solitary confinement, and overcrowding. “It’s an ongoing injustice …

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/10/kennedy-assails-prison-shortcomings/

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National:
Opinion: One Way To Reduce Jail Populations

Judicial and correctional systems can reduce their jail populations to manageable levels either by offering pretrial release to defendants, hoping they appear in court, or by offering split sentencing which, analysis suggests, is much more effective …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/23/opinion/one-way-to-reduce-jail-populations.html?_r=2

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National:
How Much Will Congress Really Reduce The Prison Population?

Researchers have developed an interactive calculator that lets you predict how much the federal prison population — which has ballooned from 71,608 in 1991 to 205,511 today — would drop over the next 8 years given various policy changes …

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2015/10/will_congress_end_mass_incarceration_the_proposed_bill_will_only_have_a.html

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National:
When Aging Out Is No Option

 The nation with the highest incarceration rate is dealing with an unprecedented aging inmate population. While the overall inmate population declined 1% in the five years ending in fiscal 2013, the number of inmates aged 50 and older rose …

http://penews.org/Article/When-Aging-Out-Is-No-Option/

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South Carolina:
Feds To Investigate Violent Incident Of Officer Slamming, Dragging Student At Spring Valley

After video surfaced of a violent incident between a female student and a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School, many are beginning to ask questions about the officer. The local sheriff has asked the FBI to investigate …

http://www.wistv.com/story/30353999/video-shows-confrontation-between-spring-valley-student-and-school-resource-officer

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South Carolina:
Shocking South Carolina Video No Isolated Case

Across the country, questionable police actions at schools are  mostly a hidden phenomenon. Nationwide, in incidents that rarely get publicly aired, thousands of students are getting arrested, ticketed, interrogated, and …

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/10/27/18687/shocking-south-carolina-video-no-isolated-case

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