Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who failed in a Christmas Day 2009 attempt to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with a bomb sewn into his underwear, argues that his rights under the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are being violated in the federal prison in Florence, Co.
The Trump administration has been cutting support for halfway houses for federal prisoners, ending contracts with as many as 16 facilities in recent months. The cuts are prompting concern that some inmates are being forced to stay behind bars longer than necessary.
Efforts to close facilities like the Rikers Island jail complex in New York won’t work unless authorities find alternative ways to deal with seriously mentally ill individuals who run afoul of the justice system, says New York’s former chief judge.
More than 80 inmates tried to hang themselves so far this year, and 138 attempted drug overdoses, at a time when the Arizona Department of Corrections is under fire over allegedly inadequate health care. The state still has no mental health director, according to a report by the Phoenix public radio station.
Prisoner rights advocates say the safety of inmates in areas threatened by climate change is dangerously low on the priorities of disaster planners. Exhibit A, they argue, are the thousands of prisoners in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico who were among the victims of this fall’s devastating hurricanes.