Even as New York politicians wrangle over efforts to water down the state’s historic new bail reform law, some politicians are pushing for even more fundamental reforms. A bill introduced by state Sen. Gustavo Rivera would require parole boards to evaluate an inmate’s “growth”—a measure he says would especially benefit elderly prisoners.
One landlord refused him, but TCR’s columnist finds help in his struggle to overcome the label of “ex-felon” from unexpected places—including from the office of the prosecutor who originally put him behind bars.
“The vast majority of people disenfranchised live in our communities, own homes and pay taxes,” said sociologist Sarah Shannon of the University of Georgia who has studied the impact of reinstating voting rights to felons.
The Transitions Clinic network is working to expand its model of connecting recently released inmates to the health and social services they need to address chronic health conditions. A growing number of studies show its effects.
Gov. Andy Beshear, promised in his inauguration speech to sign an order restoring the vote to more than 100,000 of the estimated 240,000 Kentuckians who have completed felony sentences. He said they “have done wrong in the past but are doing right now,”
Release from a long incarceration is only the beginning of an often-traumatic transition to civilian life, even with supporting family and friends. TCR’s (former) prison-based columnist suggests a way to make that transition easier.
Two men who were released from life prison terms in California and Louisiana told criminologists that many like them have changed over the decades and deserve to be freed, saving tax money and adding to the productive work force.
Because of a flawed “handoff” between prison and parole authorities, dozens of Nevada parolees per week get held past their release date, costing the state $1.6 million per year. That and other system flaws turned up in an audit performed this year.
First came a Florida voter initiative granting voting rights to people convicted of most felonies. Then legislators threw up barriers, only to be blocked by a court order. Now some prosecutors and judges have teamed up to find ways to work around the problems.