Prison is often just a stop along the road for individuals who have been struggling with victimization all their lives, says Bruce Western, author of a new book exploring returning inmates’ experiences. That’s why the justice system should rethink its approach to who it punishes—and how—he argued during a talk in New York Thursday.
On the 10th anniversary of the Second Chance Act, veteran corrections administrator and researcher Stefan LoBuglio says attitudes towards prisoner reentry have undergone a “sea change” since the 1990s. But in an extended chat with TCR, he warns of a retrenchment in programming that threatens the overall functioning of the U.S. corrections system.
Presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner will tour Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution outside Dallas Friday to promote the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation modeled after successful reforms in Texas and other states to help ex-offenders reenter society.
The time he spent in solitary confinement, trapped in a tiny prison cell with almost no human contact, is “going to be with me for the rest of my life,” says Rev. Matthew Burke. It’s a common refrain among those subjected to what many argue is a counterproductive form of punishment for already-incarcerated individuals—but their special needs are often overlooked in prisoner reentry services.
Eliminating the use of solitary is essential to transforming the modern culture of corrections, speakers at John Jay College said Wednesday. The college’s week-long examination of solitary confinement continues Thursday with a conference of leading researchers, legislators and advocates.
After this week’s deadly prison riot at the Lee Correctional Institution, inmate deaths in the state have reached 13 so far this year—already close to last year’s count. It’s a sign that South Carolina’s vaunted justice reforms still leave much to be desired, says a local columnist.
Jared Kushner will co-chair the White House panel with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and domestic policy adviser Andrew Bremberg. The president asked the panel to produce suggestions for reducing crime and recidivism within 90 days.
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.
Criminologist Todd Clear of Rutgers University credits an “innovative strategy” that sent many parole violators to rehabilitation programs rather than returning them to prison. Drug courts and a falling crime rate also have contributed.
Prisons that foster a “culture of negativity” for both inmates and correctional workers make our communities less safe, according to a review of a February prison riot in Delaware. The review, led by a team from the Police Foundation, urges correctional authorities to recognize their “core” role in preventing recidivism.