The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of February 27, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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

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How one nonprofit breaks the cycle of incarceration

Staffed [largely] by [formerly incarcerated] people, The Fortune Society works to build a safety net for its clients, even before they’re released from jail or prison.

CityLabs

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TIME: The Kalief Browder Story

Kalief Browder will not be forgotten. The six-part documentary, TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, premiered Wednesday on Spike, but there’s still an opportunity to watch. Fortune Executive Vice President, Stanley Richards, and Case Manager, Ismael Nazario, are featured in this thought-provoking and important work.

Spike

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IDC continues raise the age push with Lippman

The Independent Democratic Conference on Tuesday, February 21 continued to press the case for raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York to 18, a measure the group’s leader, Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, insists is a key priority in the new year. Klein, along with Sen. David Carlucci in Ossining pushed the issue alongside former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Jonathan Lippman.

State of Politics

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How going to jail changed my life path, Part 1

The first time I went to jail, my professor sent me there. Before I could think too much about what I had agreed to do, I piled into a beat-up 12-passenger van with 11 others. I was unsure if my nerves were from my concern that the van wasn’t going to make it the 15 miles across the city or my fear of what awaited me on the other side of the bridge at Rikers Island, New York’s main jail complex. If I’m being honest, it was a bit of both.

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

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New York’s top judge picks Bronx as site to detail courts’ flaws and gains

The chief judge’s annual address on the state of the judiciary in New York is customarily delivered at the Court of Appeals Hall in Albany. But Janet DiFiore, the new chief judge, chose to give her first speech in the Bronx, which she said was the “epicenter for many of the worst delays and backlogs plaguing our justice system” and a focus of her efforts to make New York’s courts function more efficiently.

The New York Times

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Losing a son in the New York State prisons

Lonnie Hamilton III entered the state prison system on January 2, 2015, after spending nineteen months in a city jail. He was assigned to a prison in central New York, two hundred and fifty miles from the Bronx, known as Marcy Correctional Facility. By then he was twenty-one. At the beginning of his imprisonment, he called his father often, but as the months passed he became more secluded.

New Yorker

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Jeff Sessions reverses Obama-era policy that curtailed DOJ’s private prison use

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday withdrew an Obama-era Justice Department memo that set a goal of reducing and ultimately ending the Justice Department’s use of private prisons.

The Huffington Post

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How cities should take care of their housing problems

While President Trump talks repeatedly about fixing America’s inner cities, it’s a good bet that in the coming years, New York and other large metropolitan areas will need to be more self-reliant in solving pressing problems, especially low-income housing.

The New York Times

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5 facts about crime in the U.S.

Donald Trump made crime-fighting an important focus of his campaign for president, and he cited it again during his inaugural address in January. With the White House and Justice Department announcing steps to address violence in American communities, here are five facts about crime in the United States.

Pew Research

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A jail where women go willingly to break heroin’s grip

They almost look like members of a club, all wearing fitted khakis and red polo shirts. They like to sit in a circle to talk, to laugh and to cry. Every morning, they get up and get dressed for their day. And every so often, to kick back and relax, they’ll be treated to pizza and a movie. These half-dozen women, ages 18 to 38, are in jail for six months each. But they all want to be here. And once their sentences are over, they will continue being helped for as many as two more years with their addiction recovery. Welcome to the Recovery Unit of the Campbell County’s jail, Kentucky.

USA Today

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Commuted: life after prison

During his presidency, Barack Obama issued clemency to more than 1,900 federal prisoners. Non-violent drug offenders, most now in their 30s and 40s, are getting a second chance at life outside the prison cell. They’re reuniting with loved ones and trying to pick up in a world that many haven’t experienced in decades. What is life after prison like for these newly-released prisoners and their families? And will the system that worked so hard to take their lives away devote the same amount of effort to see that they succeed?

WNYC

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