The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of September 20, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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

——————————————————————————————————–

Rikers Island correction officers attacked, incarcerated person slashed in bloody weekend at jail complex

Days after Mayor de Blasio touted an “astonishing” turnaround at several units in Rikers Island, two incarcerated people unleashed simultaneous attacks against correction officers in an apparent attempt to get transferred out of one of the specialized facilities, sources say.

Daily News

——————————————————————————————————–

Schneiderman, State Archives launch website devoted to Attica uprising

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Thomas Ruller, director of the State Archives, on Tuesday announced the unveiling of a new website hosting a digital collection of documents relating to the decades of successive investigations and litigation arising from the 1971 Attica prison uprising and its aftermath.

Times Union

——————————————————————————————————–

William J. Bratton: How to Reform Policing From Within

By localizing police service, we are breaking down barriers and building trust with truly productive partnerships. We are also changing the police culture by orienting the daily work of officers toward service and communications. My successor as commissioner, James P. O’Neill, was the principal architect of this plan, and he will bring it to full flower.

The New York Times

——————————————————————————————————–

Nearly 6 Million People Will Be Barred From Voting in November

Jennifer McDaniel got a letter on August 4 that broke her heart. Signed by Edgardo Cortés, the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, it read, “This letter is to inform you that your voter registration has been canceled in compliance with a court order issued by the Supreme Court of Virginia on July 22, 2016.”

Mother Jones

——————————————————————————————————–

Jails, Prisons Still Trying to Meet Federal Anti-Rape Rules

Since 2012, states have been working to meet the standards set forth by the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, which was partially inspired by the 1996 death of Rodney Hulin, an undersized 17-year-old incarcerated person who hanged himself in Texas after his requests for help following repeated rapes by adult incarcerated people were denied.

The New York Times

——————————————————————————————————–

Population of Incarcerated People Rise Again in Some States

Efforts to curtail prison growth have been hampered by uneven implementation of new laws, state officials say. Elected judges in Kentucky and Ohio, for instance, have shown a reluctance to cut sentences and divert justice involved people into treatment rather than sending them to prison, state officials said. Parole officials haven’t granted early release as often as lawmakers had hoped they would, they said.

The Wall Street Journal

——————————————————————————————————–

Incarceration in the U.S. costs more than $1 trillion a year, Washington University study claims

“For every dollar in corrections spending, there’s another 10 dollars of other types of costs to families, children and communities that nobody sees because it doesn’t end up on a state budget,” said Michael McLaughlin, the doctoral student and certified public accountant who led the study. “Incarceration doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

——————————————————————————————————–

Private Prisons Have a Problem: Not Enough Incarcerated People

With overall violent crime rates falling nationally and fewer people getting sentenced to long stretches behind bars, private prison companies see a potentially catastrophic decline in demand for their services. Their response: diversify into everything from halfway houses to neighborhood check-in centers for people with drug offenses.

Bloomberg Businessweek

——————————————————————————————————–

Violent crime shouldn’t be left out of prison reform debate

More than ever before, criminal justice reform efforts to reduce America’s prison populations – the largest in the world – have garnered significant attention. However, most policymakers in Washington and around the country have focused on reducing the incarceration of people convicted of nonviolent offenses, even though more than half of the people locked up in state prison have been convicted of a violent crime.

The Hill

——————————————————————————————————–

Cast-Out Police Officers Are Often Hired in Other Cities

Mr. Sullivan, 44, is now in prison in Washington State on other charges, including identity theft and possession of methamphetamine. It is unclear how far-reaching such problems may be, but some experts say thousands of law enforcement officers may have drifted from police department to police department even after having been fired, forced to resign or convicted of a crime.

The New York Times

——————————————————————————————————–

Jay Z: ‘The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail’

This short film, narrated by Jay Z (Shawn Carter) and featuring the artwork of Molly Crabapple, is part history lesson about the war on drugs and part vision statement. As Ms. Crabapple’s haunting images flash by, the film takes us from the Nixon administration and the Rockefeller drug laws — the draconian 1973 statutes enacted in New York that exploded the state’s prison population and ushered in a period of similar sentencing schemes for other states — through the extraordinary growth in our nation’s prison population to the emerging aboveground marijuana market of today.

The New York Times

——————————————————————————————————–

Hollywood’s Justice-Reform Leader

Scott Budnick, a Hollywood executive producer best known for The Hangover movies, has spent the last 12 years helping hundreds of young people star in sequels of their own: life after prison. He was moved to this type of advocacy after visiting a juvenile facility with a friend. Soon after, he volunteered to teach writing classes at the facility, becoming a mentor to many of his students and maintaining those relationships once they were released. Then in 2013, after nearly a decade of working with young justice involved people, Budnick founded the Anti Recidivism Coalition, a support and advocacy network of volunteer mentors and allies.

The Atlantic

——————————————————————————————————–

How Restorative Justice Ended My ‘Cycle of Madness’

Admittedly, there is nothing that can be done to reverse the harm caused when one person victimizes another. But the community, victims, and justice involved people are better served when correctional systems embrace restorative practices.

The Crime Report

——————————————————————————————————–

Treating Young Justice Involved People Like Adults Is Bad Parenting

Deciding to direct file a young person circumvents the role of a judge, who would otherwise conduct a “fitness hearing” to determine where an offending youth should be tried. It’s like one parent quickly and unilaterally deciding on a child’s punishment without first talking it over with the other parent. In some cases, the second parent might stand firmly behind the first, but in others, being eliminated from the decision can lead to feelings of disrespect, accusations of power-hoarding, and the unearthing of buried tensions in the relationship.

The Atlantic

——————————————————————————————————–

Privately Run Mississippi Prison, Called a Scene of Horror, Is Shut Down

A privately operated Mississippi prison that a federal judge once concluded was effectively run by gangs in collusion with corrupt prison guards, closed Thursday, its incarcerated people transferred to other state facilities, officials said.

The New York Times

——————————————————————————————————–

Willie Wilson bails out incarcerated people charged with misdemeanors in bid for reform

Dontelle Mohead, 28, was one of six people bailed out of jail Thursday by former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson as part of his Good Samaritan Bond Pilot Project. Taking photos with clergy, politicians and Wilson near the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Mohead grinned and exclaimed: “I feel like a celebrity!”

Chicago Tribune

——————————————————————————————————–

In this class, justice involved people and Georgetown students grapple with difficult lessons

In this class of 31, the students share a hunger for learning, a nimble sense of humor, a desire to fix the problems of the world. About half the classmates are convicted felons: murderers or would-be murderers, all black but one, and nearly all serving the equivalent of life sentences. The other half are mostly white women from Georgetown University, where their lives are just beginning.

The Washington Post

——————————————————————————————————–

The war of words over D.C.’s broken criminal-justice system is getting more combative

The dust-up between District Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield over the state of the District’s criminal-justice system has become even more combative as the battle of words between the judge and the Bowser administration escalates.

The Washington Post

——————————————————————————————————–

After a man convicted of murdering a woman goes free, questions linger over why he was charged in first place

Jennings begged the civil court judge to drop the proceedings in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by the family of the teenager he was convicted of killing. In a six-page letter filed with the court, he lambasted homicide detectives who helped put him behind bars, but reserved some of the strongest language for an unlikely character: a local attorney.

Los Angeles Times

——————————————————————————————————–

Prison population swells despite reforms; meth driving increase

State officials say the massive increase in methamphetamine arrests are behind the swelling prison population, which is below the projections presented to lawmakers before a reform package was pushed in 2013 but higher than that package anticipated.

Argus Leader

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.