Many beds left empty by Louisiana criminal justice reform are being filled by asylum-seekers and others detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Several sheriffs and a small-town mayor have signed deals with ICE to hold thousands of detainees,
Mayor Bill de Blasio said free phone calls for jailed individuals will keep them better connected to family and friends. They were previously charged 50 cents for the first minute of a call and five cents for each additional minute.
Judges in Chicago’s Cook County sharply lowered bonds for people accused of violent domestic attacks and prosecutors are dropping more cases, which places victims at risk as potentially dangerous suspects are released from custody, reports the Chicago Tribune. The changes follow efforts to reduce jail overcrowding and address long-standing racial inequities in bonds.
The decline parallels the drop in state and federal prison populations between 2007 and 2017, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. But about two-thirds of those confined to jail cells in 2017—roughly 425,000 people—hadn’t been convicted of any crime.
Texas last year suffered the highest number of deaths of jailed individuals awaiting trial since 2007, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Justice Initiative. About half of the deaths were traced to “natural causes,” followed by suicide.
Eleven Fresno, Ca., jail inmates died last year, and 13 others were beaten and hospitalized. Violence in the state’s jails has increased since the state shifted many inmates from prisons to local jails starting in 2011.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has concluded a four-year investigation into whether Orange County sheriff’s deputies lied during court hearings on the misuse of jailhouse informants. It was not clear whether Becerra would issue a report on the case or whether perjury charges would be filed against three deputies.