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‘Never Give Up:’ A Returning Citizen Finds Hope After Prison

Obtaining a steady job has been a struggle for former Syracuse, N.Y. parolee Shallah “Brooklyn” Beal, who was released in 2016 after serving three years for assault. But he discovered that the first, and hardest challenge, is to break down the emotional walls he built in prison—and learn to trust in himself.

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naloxone

‘I’m Not Gonna Walk by Someone Dying’

A New York State pilot program to make naloxone kits available to inmates on their release from prison is a “promising” model for other states seeking to reduce opioid deaths among America’s most vulnerable population, says the Vera Institute of Justice.

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prison

Pretense, Prison and the Free World

Corrections authorities believe encouraging “family-friendly” events inside penal institutions will motivate prisoners to change their behavior when they are released. But this is wishful thinking unless there’s better social support for reentry, writes an inmate at a Washington State penitentiary.

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Starting Over: ‘So Many People Want You to Succeed’

A program launched this year by the Illinois Department of Corrections transfers inmates with less than four years remaining on their sentence to a facility that provides life-skills training and job counseling. The sense of hope among participants is hard to miss, says a reporter who attended a recent “Day with Dad” weekend at the Kewanee Re-Entry Center.

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Whatever Happened to National Reentry Week?

Barack Obama inaugurated it last April to mark the emerging bipartisan consensus that the incarcerated deserve a “second chance.” But our investigation suggests that hardliners in the Trump administration have shrugged it off.

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U.S. Allows Ex-Inmates To Live With Relatives In Public Housing

One criminal-justice change that President Obama has made is to make it easier for people with criminal records to live in subsidized housing, reports NPR. In New York City, Margaret diZerega supervises prison re-entry programs at the Vera Institute of Justice. She’s a consultant for a pilot program that allows former felons to move in with relatives who live in public housing. About 50 people participate, including Mike Rowe, who says, “For me, it was like a godsend.” He was […]

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“Lingering Specter” Of Willie Horton May Stall Federal Sentencing Overhaul

The “most vivid reason” for the delay in congressional action on a federal sentencing reform bill is the “lingering specter” of Willie Horton, says the New York Times. Legislators are reluctant to campaign on a platform of letting felons out of prison, particularly with control of Congress at stake in November. The idea of pushing legislation that would lead to the early release of thousands of nonviolent offenders strikes fear in politicians who remember the ad featuring Horton that helped […]

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Growing Prison Population Could Cost Alaska $169 Million in Next Decade

Pretrial supervision, revised drug penalties and alternatives to prison for low-level offenders are among the reforms needed to reduce Alaska’s growing prison population and high recidivism rate, according to the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission. The state's prison population has grown by 27 percent in the last decade and its corrections system cost $327 million in fiscal year 2014, said the report, released last month. According to projections, Alaska will need to house an additional 1,416 inmates by 2024, which is […]

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PA Court Voids Lifetime Ban On Ex-Convicts’ Jobs In Nursing, Long-Term Care

A Pennsylvania court unanimously ruled unconstitutional a state law that prevents convicted criminals from getting full-time jobs in nursing homes or long-term-care facilities, reports NPR. By a 7-0 vote, the court found the law violates the due process rights of otherwise law-abiding people who may have run afoul of the justice system decades earlier. The court concluded that a lifetime ban on employment for people convicted of crimes is not “substantially related” to the “stated objective” in the Older Adults […]

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FL Panel Denies Ex-Inmate’s Request To Spend Christmas With Family

There will be no Christmas with her family for former Florida inmate Tanya Yelvington. She spent 16 years in prison for a fatal drunk-driving crash. During that time, her husband and mother died and she endured breast cancer and a botched double mastectomy that became necessary when prison officials ignored her complaints about a lump in her breast, reports the Miami Herald. Her sister, Teresa Telez, had been her lifeline on the outside, battling the prison to get her medical […]