Trump administration says thousands of jobs can go unfilled because the inmate population is down. The American Federation of Government Employees say corrections officers are in danger. One employee was killed by an inmate who stabbed him 129 times.
Curtis Dawkins, a Michigan inmate who published a collection of short stories, The Graybar Hotel, has a bill from the state for 90 percent of his assets. He says he is being unfairly punished and needs to support his children.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he was open to re-examining Pell grants for prisoners, which were banned in the 1994 crime law passed under President Bill Clinton. If reinstated, millions of dollars would be made available to eligible students in the prison population of 1.5 million.
Hundreds of secretaries, teachers, counselors, cooks and medical staffers have been tapped to fill guard posts in federal prisons because of acute officer shortages and overtime limits. The moves were made despite repeated warnings that the assignments put unprepared employees at risk.
To settle a lawsuit by inmates, the state of Texas will install air conditioning in a notoriously hot prison. The air conditioning will go into the housing areas of the Wallace Pack Unit, where temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees in the summer. Inmates argued that high temperatures amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
Three inmates have killed themselves within two and one-half weeks in Georgia prisons. The corrections department says it is “developing an awareness campaign for use in communicating to the offender population.”
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) believes that a “prison reform” bill can pass Congress this year with White House support, even if it does not include reductions in mandatory minimum sentences.