The private prison industry is set to be upended after California lawmakers passed a bill banning the facilities from operating in the state. The move will probably close down four large immigration detention facilities that can hold up to 4,500 people at a time.
Department of Correction officials once made public data showing a sharp decline in violence at the Rikers Island Jail produced by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, but may have ignored internal concerns that the numbers were bogus, according to a press report.
Days after a federal judge threatened to jail Texas prison officials for violating an agreement to put inmates in air conditioned housing, the top Texas Department of Criminal Justice leader admitted that the agency broke federal orders and that keeping inmates in temperatures above 100 degrees creates a serious health risk.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a federal prison in Kansas to force it to provide an inmate with the opioid addiction drug buprenorphine, saying the man would “inevitably suffer and possibly die” without it.
Federal inmates aged 55 and older, many of whom got life sentences amid the war on drugs of the 1990s, are among the fastest growing population of incarcerees in the U.S., according to a report on prisoners serving life sentences for non-violent crimes published in conjunction with the Buried Alive Project.
The majority of prisoners affected by the sentencing reduction were housed in facilities in South Carolina, Florida and Virginia, with an average reduction of about 25%, according to data released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
The new wing at the Logan prison is part of a larger shift in the treatment of pregnant women in jails and prisons across Illinois as well as nationwide, a recognition of the impact incarceration can have on parenthood as well as the next generation.
State officials, facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, agreed to relocate Sonia Doe to the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, the one New Jersey prison that houses female inmates.
America’s high incarceration rates have emerged as a hot political issue, but the supposed shift in public attitudes towards punishment may be “overstated,” warns a University of Illinois law professor. Andrew Leipold argues we should lower our expectations about what’s possible to achieve in the short term, while applying pressure on prosecutors to recognize their role in driving high prison numbers.