SC Lawmakers Want Tour of Prison After Riot

In the aftermath of the nation’s worst prison riot in 25 years, a group of South Carolina state representatives say they have received troubling texts and images of chaotic conditions inside Lee Correctional Institution. State corrections chief Bryan Stirling has promised an independent investigation.

private prisons

Do Private Prisons Have a Future?

Beyond the ideological debates about prison privatization, privately run corrections facilities are likely to continue to be used by cash-strapped governments. In a new book, Lauren-Brooke Eisen of New York University says it’s time to explore how the private corrections industry can become a partner in reducing recidivism.

Lee Correctional

South Carolina’s Prison Riot: The Questions That Should Be Asked

After this week’s deadly prison riot at the Lee Correctional Institution, inmate deaths in the state have reached 13 so far this year—already close to last year’s count. It’s a sign that South Carolina’s vaunted justice reforms still leave much to be desired, says a local columnist. 

jail

Why Jail is No Place for the Mentally Troubled

For lack of alternatives, thousands of mentally ill individuals are trapped in the justice system. In a conversation with TCR, Alisa Roth, author of “Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness,” says change will only happen when we reexamine our attitudes towards mental illness.

prison bars

When the Wrong Prisoners Go Free, Who’s to Blame?

Three inmates whose life sentences were commuted in Washington state separately went on to commit crimes after their release. The incidents should have prodded officials to tackle the structural justice reforms that would prevent them from recurring, writes an inmate in one of the state’s correctional institutions.

arizona corrections

The ‘Chaos’ of Arizona Prison Health Care

An Arizona public broadcasting investigation finds that the state and Corizon Health, its private contract health care provider, haven’t lived up to the terms of a 2015 settlement with Arizona inmates over alleged flaws in dental, medical and health care in the state’s 10 prisons.

prison

The Painful Lessons of a Corrections Crisis

When the Washington Department of Corrections learned a software programming error led to the erroneous early release of 3,000 prisoners, it took three years to address the problem. That led to at least two deaths—and some hard lessons about the need to recognize non-traditional emergencies before they became crises, according to a case study published in December.