Correction officials have long been skeptical of the efficacy and high cost of administering such medications to inmates. But their use is increasing in many states, including Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and Washington, and in such cities as New York, Albuquerque and Los Angeles.
New York is the first major city to offer no-charge calls in its jails. The billion-dollar prison phone industry has drawn increased scrutiny by advocates who seek to stop private companies from profiting off incarceration.
Miami soon will open the nation’s first “forensic diversion” center for mentally ill people who otherwise would be destined for the criminal justice system, says Judge Steven Leifman, who has long advocated for defendants with mental problems. Leifman addressed the annual forum of the National Criminal Justice Association in Fort Worth, Texas.
A study published in Pediatrics found that young adults who had a parent incarcerated during their childhood are more likely to skip needed healthcare, smoke cigarettes, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and abuse alcohol and prescription and illicit drugs.
Justice stakeholders in Lucas County, a largely rural county in northwestern Ohio whose seat is Toledo, used a grant from the MacArthur Safety +Justice Challenge to tackle jail overcrowding. They achieved significant reductions of 24 percent in the pretrial population alone.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey took a small step this week toward stopping the state from allowing sheriffs to pocket public money allocated to feeding local inmates that they do not spend. Ivey cannot and did not end the longstanding practice.
The use of jails to house individuals with serious mental illness is contributing to the skyrocketing growth in jail populations across the U.S.—particularly in rural and small counties—experts told a conference at John Jay College Tuesday.
Six months after taking office, Philadelphia’s controversial DA says incarceration levels have dropped as a result of his reforms, with no increase in most categories of violent crime. But he argues that further reductions require changes in the way the justice system deals with individuals convicted of violent offenses.