AZ County Settles Final ‘Arpaio Death Case’ for $7M

The Maricopa County, Az., Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $7 million to the family of a man who died after a use-of-force incident in a county jail while former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was in office.  The decision follows a long line of high-dollar settlements shelled out to those who alleged excessive force and wrongful deaths at the jails during the 24 years Arpaio served as sheriff.

prison wire

Rising White Incarceration Reduced Racial Gap in Jails: Study

Although African Americans are still “over-represented” in jails—they are 3.6 times more likely to be incarcerated than whites—a doubling of the jailed white population, particularly in rural and small metro countries, significantly reduced the racial gap in US jails between 1990 and 2013, according to the Vera Institute of Justice.

Jail Populations Keep Falling, Down 11.2% in 8 Years

The percentage of U.S. residents in jail dropped 3.4 percent from midyear 2012 to midyear 2016, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. County and city jails held 740,700 inmates at midyear 2016, far below the peak of 785,500 in 2008.

WI Jail Health Care Provider Charged After Inmate Death

Milwaukee County prosecutors charged Armor Correctional Health Services with falsifying health care records of inmates at the Milwaukee County Jail, including Terrill Thomas, who died of dehydration while in custody. Thomas, 38, went seven days without water in solitary confinement before his death.

NY Panel Threatens to Close Rikers Jail Within 10 Years

Given the city’s inaction and protracted 10-year proposal [to close the Rikers jail complex], it is now time for the commission to examine steps to expeditiously close Rikers and to ensure that the constitutional rights of inmates and staff are protected,” the state Commission of Correction said.

Cassy Taylor

Justice Success Story: How Illinois Cut Its Prison Population

The sentencing overhaul championed by Gov. Bruce Rauner has already cut inmate numbers by 7,000. But reforms at the county level, influencing who goes to prison in the first place, have been a critical ingredient in the state’s success—and could be a model for jurisdictions elsewhere.