Mass Incarceration

JS Blog Post May 22, 2020

Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19 in Prisons & Jails

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Repost from: https://judiciary.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=2959

Democratic Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19 in Prisons & Jails Read more »

JS Blog Post April 21, 2020

The First COVID-19 Death of a Father in Federal Prison Highlights the Ongoing Struggle for Incarcerated Parents and Their Families

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Image: NBC News Headline.

On April 5th, 2020, NBC news reported on the first death of an individual housed in federal prison— Patrick Jones, a father serving time for a non-violent drug charge. The article reports that Patrick had not seen his youngest son, now 16, since the boy was a toddler. This is common as Bureau of Justice Statistics research shows that over half of parents in prison never get visits from their children while incarcerated. This is often due to common barriers that create family separation including distance and cost. Most parents are placed in federal prisons across numerous state lines and costs associated with in-person, phone, and video visitation make it nearly impossible to stay in touch. Read more »

News Article Politico March 3, 2020

Bloomberg's record on Rikers complicates prison reform rhetoric

Justice Strategies' Executive Director, Judith Greene and others, discuss conditions at Rikers during former mayor and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's tenure, and his claim that it was his policies that reduced the number of those incarcerated in the notoriously violent island prison complex.

JS Blog Post February 6, 2020

Parental Sentencing Alternatives - Washington State Factsheet

The Washington State Department of Corrections has released an updated Parenting Alternative Factsheet - Improving Public Safety by Positively Changing Lives.

Allowing individuals to avoid incarceration to parent their children

The Parenting Sentencing Alternative, Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 6639 was enacted in June 2010. This law allows some incarcerated individuals who are parents of minor children the opportunity to avoid prison or transfer from incarceration in order to parent their children. The law has two components:
Family and Offender Sentencing Alternative (FOSA) – Judicial Sentencing Option: Provides judges the option to waive a sentence within the standard sentence range and impose 12 months of community custody along with conditions for treatment and programming for eligible individuals facing a prison sentence.
 

JS Blog Post October 30, 2019

New California Bill to Create Pretrial Parental Diversion Courts

R.B.H.

 

In recognizing the impact of parental incarceration on children in the United States, legislators are listening to those directly impacted by incarceration in order to find solutions to prevent the separation of children from their parents. SB 394, the Primary Caregiver Pretrial Diversion Act, is a new bill signed into law on October 8, 2019 by Governor Gavin Newson and sponsored by Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. The new law will give counties the option to establish a pretrial diversion program for parents and caregivers charged with a misdemeanor or a nonserious, nonviolent felony who:  Read more »

News Article Newsweek September 25, 2019

Trump Administration Has Doubled Private Prison Spending With Most Money Spent on Detaining Immigrants

Newsweek reporter Chantal Da Silva discusses the sharp increase in funding by the Trump Administration of the for-profit private prison company GEO Group, even as overall national incarceration rates in 2017 were at a twenty-year low.  In just the first eleven months of fiscal year 2019 over $595 has been obligated to GEO by the Administration, 53 percent of which went to ICE for the detention of immigrants.  Justice Strategies’ Executive Director is extensively quoted in this article.

JS Blog Post September 14, 2019

A "Vision for Justice 2020 and Beyond: A New Paradigm for Public Safety" Released

R.B.H.

“It is time for bold ideas. It is time to achieve the change we desperately need: a fundamental transformation and reorientation of the criminal-legal system” –The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

This September, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Civil Rights Corps. Put out a new platform paper “Vision for Justice 2020 and Beyond: A New Paradigm for Public Safety.” The platform calls upon us to address the root causes leading to our high rates of incarceration and the denial of equal rights to millions. By recognizing that the history of our criminal justice system is rooted in racial and economic oppression from slavery, the black codes, convict leasing, Jim Crow laws to the war on drugs, the platform lays out a vision for public safety that is grounded in human rights and upholds the humanity and dignity of all people. The platform is divided into three parts with 14 “planks” calling for change: Read more »

JS Blog Post April 26, 2019

CNN Reports on Parenting From Prison: "Raising kids in the system"

R.B.H.

 

 

A recent CNN video "Raising Kids in the System" (27:18 min) reports on the experience of mothers raising kids while navigating the criminal justice system. The short video follows three mothers, one in St. Paul Minnesota involved in the jail doula project at Ramsey County Correctional Facility, a mother involved with "Hour Children" in Queens New York that runs a prison nursery to transitional community housing program, and the third in the Bronx in a diversion program with "JusticeHome” of the Women's Prison Association, a trauma informed alternative to incarceration program.  Read more »

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