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How Prisons Trap the Mentally Ill

Our country’s jails and prisons house 356,000 people with serious mental illnesses. Most would be better off outside—if there were sufficient funds for mental health treatment programs.

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‘Locked Up and Shipped Away’

The number of inmates transferred to private prisons outside their home states decreased by about 3,000 between 2013 and 2015, but for-profit prisons continue to delay prison reform, according to a report published by the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.

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Despite High Profile CA Jail Break, Inmate Escapes Are Getting Rarer

Orange County, Ca., Sheriff's officials said they were “extremely troubled” that it took at least 16 hours for deputies to realize three inmates had escaped last week, as new details emerged about the lengths the trio went to break out of the high-security lockup, the Los Angeles Times reports. With the inmates now at large for five days, the jail has come under intense scrutiny for several policies that some believe may have made the escape easier. Jail personnel conduct […]

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MN Incarceration Rate Spikes, State Runs Out Of Room For New Inmates

Minnesota is running out of places to put its prisoners. With inmate ranks at the state's 10 prisons swollen beyond capacity, the Department of Corrections planned to seek $141 million this year to add space for 500 more prisoners at its Rush City facility. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says Gov. Mark Dayton left the project out of his bonding proposal, effectively killing it, at least for now, and instead offered a more modest $8.5 million plan that would house less […]

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Companies Ask Wardens To Buy Wares At American Correctional Association

Louisiana, home of one of the world’s highest incarceration rates, is hosting the American Correctional Association (ACA) winter conference in New Orleans this week, reports the International Business Times. the ACA says it is the largest gathering of U.S. corrections personnel. While the conference offers several dozen educational workshops and panels about reforming the criminal justice system, its trade show offers a peek into the sprawling private industry around incarceration. Men and women stand by their companies’ booths, wearing polo […]

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Proportion Of Adults Under Corrections Control Fell 13% From 2007 To 2014

The proportion of adults in the U.S. under correctional control, either incarcerated or on probation or parole, declined 13 percent between 2007, when it reached its peak, and 2014, says a Pew Charitable Trusts analysis of data from the U.S. federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. About 6.8 million adults, or 1 in 36, were under federal, state, or local correctional control at the end of 2014, down from about 7.3 million, or 1 in 31, seven years earlier. The adult […]

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Group Issues Critical Report On Electronic Messaging Services For Inmates

Electronic messaging services provided to prison inmates often are “a product of questionable value at inflated prices,” contends the advocacy group Prison Policy Initiative in a new report. The group says that services characterized as “email for prisoners” have very little in common with the email available to free-world users. Some electronic messaging systems for inmates are “inbound only.” With these systems, free-world users are able to electronically send a message to an incarcerated person, but the incarcerated person must […]

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Will A Rising Crime Rate Hamper Drive To Reduce Mass Incarceration?

The violent crime increase in the first half of 2015 reported by the FBI this week is a lot less worrisome when you remember that the nation’s violent crime rate is still roughly half what it was two decades ago, says NPR. Police Chief Robert Handy of Huntington Beach, Ca., tells NPR that people are used to the new normal of lower crime rates, something he believes was achieved with the “Broken Windows” approach to policing. Handy and some other […]