Posts filtered by tags: Vera Institute of Justice[x]


Interesting and critical accounting of Biden Administration's criminal justice work over first 100 days

This new lengthy Law360 piece, headlined "Biden Falls Short On Criminal Justice Reform In First 100 Days," provides a fittingly critical review of the Biden Administration's criminal justice work over its first 100 days in office.  I recommend the piece in full, and here are some highlights (along with an interesting graphic): President Joe Biden made a slew of campaign promises on the criminal justice reform front that he has made little progress on in his first 100 days in office, disappointi...
Tags: Law, Congress, White House, America, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Biden, Donald Trump, Trump, Rahman, Jacobs, U S Department of Health and Human Services, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, Jen Psaki, Psaki

A prisoner was 'covered in filth and barking like a dog' after 600 days of solitary confinement in a Virginia jail

A solitary confinement cell known all as "the bing," at New York's Rikers Island jail. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File Tyquine Lee, 28, spent over 600 days in solitary at Red Onion prison in Virginia from 2016 to 2018. Red Onion is a supermax prison treated as an 'end of the line' facility within the penal system. 61,000 adults and children are held in segregation in US prisons, according to the most recent data. See more stories on Insider's business page. When Takeisha Br...
Tags: Politics, New York, Prison, Virginia, US, America, Trends, ESP, Pennsylvania, Washington Dc, Aclu, New York Times, New Jersey, United Nations, News UK, Philadelphia

"Association between county jail incarceration and cause-specific county mortality in the USA, 1987–2017: a retrospective, longitudinal study"

Concerns about public safety and justice have long been central to discussions and debate over modern mass incarceration in the United States.  But, especially as a result of the COVID pandemic, we are seeing more and more consideration of incarceration as a public health issue.  Consequently, I was really struck by this new research published online at The Lancet Public Health which analyzes mortality associated with jails over three decades (and has the title that serves as the title of this p...
Tags: Usa, Law, US, United States, Poisson, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, The Lancet Public Health, US National Vital Statistics System We

Vera Institute reports on "People in Jail and Prison in 2020" and finds US total now well below two million

The Vera Institute of Justice has been taking on the challenging task of collecting data on the number of people in state and federal prisons and jails to provide more timely information on incarceration that the Bureau of Justice Statistics releases in its annual reports. Impressively, Vera has already produced , titled "People in Jail and Prison in 2020," with the latest nationwide prison and population headcounts. Here his part of the start of the report (with a few sentences I have emphasiz...
Tags: Law, US, United States, Bureau Of Justice Statistics, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Vera Institute, Vera Institute of Justice Vera, Federal Bureau of Prisons Generally

Congress agrees on education reforms that include restoring Pell Grants for incarcerated persons!!

As well reported in this NPR piece, headlined "Congress Poised To Simplify FAFSA, And Help People In Prison Go To College," it appears federal lawmakers have reaching a deal on an array of higher-education reforms that include a very important reform for incarcerated individuals.  Here are the details (with links) from the NPR piece: For the past 26 years, one sentence in federal law has withheld federal Pell Grants from the nearly 1.5 million people in state and federal prison. The proposed ch...
Tags: Law, Obama, Congress, Bill Clinton, Npr, U S House, Pell, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Congress Poised To Simplify FAFSA, Higher Education Programs

Rangers rule police shooting 'murder,' searches at traffic stops mostly fruitless, Sheriffs behaving badly, and other stories

Here are a few odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention:I'm not sure I've ever heard of the Texas Rangers announcing a shooting by a police officer constituted "murder," as they did in the case of Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas' killing of Jonathan Price. Either this summer's events have changed attitudes at DPS, the facts of case are especially egregious, or maybe both.Overwhelmingly, most searches at traffic stops are fruitless fishing expeditions. At the Houston Chronicle, Eri...
Tags: Law, Congress, Austin, Houston, Texas Rangers, Vera Institute of Justice, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Indigent Defense Commission, Tarrant County Jail, Texas Observer, Eric Dexheimer, Fort Bend County, Bill Waybourn, Michael Barajas, John Barned Smith, Wolfe City

LA County jail population is back above state overcrowding limits

By ELIZABETH MARCELLINO | City News Service LOS ANGELES — Following a COVID-19-related push to drop Los Angeles County’s jail population by roughly 5,000 inmates to prevent the spread of the virus, the number of prisoners has grown by nearly 15%, according to a report posted to the county’s website. As of Aug. 27, the countywide jail population was 13,280, up from a low of 11,723 just a few months ago. That uptick was attributed in part to restrictions on transfers during the coronavirus pandemi...
Tags: News, Los Angeles, Sport, Soccer, Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Chino, Los Angeles Police Department, LA County, Sheriff s Department, San Quentin, City News Service, RAND Corp, Vera Institute of Justice, Men s Central Jail, Jails

Making the case for post-secondary education for people in prison

Emily Mooney has this effective new commentary at Politico headlined "We Already Have a Tool That Lowers Crime, Saves Money and Shrinks the Prison Population."  Here are excerpts: In America, individuals released from prison often return to crime.  One study published in 2018, which analyzed data from 23 states, found that 37 percent of those released in 2012 returned to prison within three years.  Of those released in 2010, 46 percent returned to prison within five years. But the recidivism ra...
Tags: New York, Law, Senate, Politico, America, House, Department Of Education, Bard, Pell Grant, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Bard Prison Initiative, Georgetown Center, New York Department of Corrections, Emily Mooney, Pell Pilot Program

Should N.Y. Be Jailing Parolees for Minor Lapses During a Pandemic?

On probation since 2018, Earl Russell was sent to Rikers for sleeping in his own bed instead of in the shelter where he was mandated to stay.
Tags: News, New York State, Rikers, Legal Aid Society, Vera Institute of Justice, Ex-convicts, Prisons and Prisoners, Probation and Parole, Earl Russell, Schiraldi, Vincent N, Coronavirus (2019-nCoV

"Visualizing the racial disparities in mass incarceration"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new briefing by Wendy Sawyer at the Prison Policy Initiative.  The subtitle of this piece provides an overview: "Racial inequality is evident in every stage of the criminal justice system - here are the key statistics compiled into a series of charts." I recommend the whole briefing, and here is a taste in text and visuals: Recent protests calling for radical changes to American policing have brought much-needed attention to the systemic racis...
Tags: Law, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Wendy Sawyer, Bureau of Justice Statistics BJS BJS

Important review of just why "Prison Populations Drop by 100,000 During Pandemic"

The quoted portion of the title of this post comes from the headline of this Marshall Project piece that has its theme in the subtitle: "But not because of COVID-19 releases."  The article chronicles nationwide what seems to be the story at the federal level, namely that prison populations are going down largely because a lot fewer people are going in, not so much because a lot of new people are coming out.  Here are the details: There has been a major drop in the number of people behind bars i...
Tags: Law, Virginia, New York City, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Marshall Project, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Sentencing Project, Martin Horn, Nazgol Ghandnoosh, North Carolina Illinois, AP Instead, Bret Bucklen

"Failing Grades: States’ Responses to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new ACLU and Prison Policy Initiative report by Emily Widra and Dylan Hayre.  Here is how it gets started: When the pandemic struck, it was instantly obvious what needed to be done: take all actions possible to “flatten the curve.”  This was especially urgent in prisons and jails, which are very dense facilities where social distancing is impossible, sanitation is poor, and medical resources are extremely limited.  Public health experts warned...
Tags: Law, John Oliver, Aclu, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, COVID, Emily Widra, Dylan Hayre Here

These 911 Emergency Dispatchers Are Ready to Defund the Police

For the past six and a half years, James, a military veteran in his thirties, has spent his days in a 911 call center on the East Coast, counseling strangers during some of the worst moments of their lives. “I like helping people and I’m good at what I do,” he told The Daily Beast. James thinks he has “a couple dozen CPR saves”—incidents when he’s talked someone through performing the procedure, keeping someone alive until the paramedics arrive. But that’s not what he thinks about when he reflec...
Tags: News, America, Atlanta, Michigan, East Coast, Akai Gurley, Samantha, EMS, Black, Kamala Harris, James, Midwest, Wendy, Brooks, Emily, Albuquerque New Mexico

U.S. Prison Population Remained Stable as Pandemic Grew

The number of inmates in federal and state prisons in 44 states declined by 1.6 percent in the first three months of the year, even as prisons became hot spots for the coronavirus.
Tags: News, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Vera Institute of Justice, Crime and Criminals, Prisons and Prisoners, Coronavirus (2019-nCoV

Vera Institute of Justice issues new guidance brief urging action to respond to coronavirus in correctional facilties

As detailed in this press release, yesterday "the Vera Institute of Justice issued a guidance brief urging Attorney General Barr, governors, sheriffs, and corrections administrators to take immediate action to stem the explosion of COVID-19 cases in jails, prisons, and detention centers."  Here is more from the press release: Warned for weeks about the impending crisis, people behind bars are now facing the consequences of slow and inadequate government responses.  Thousands of lives are at ris...
Tags: Texas, Law, California, Ohio, Barr, Vera, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Arkansas Illinois Kansas Michigan

California Jails Use Kinder Approach To Solitary Confinement

SACRAMENTO (AP) – An inmate in solitary confinement at a California jail was refusing to leave his cell. The jailers’ usual response: Send an “extraction team” of corrections officers to burst into the cell and drag him out. But not in Contra Costa County, one of three in the state using a kinder, gentler approach in response to inmate lawsuits, a policy change that experts say could be a national model for reducing the use of isolation cells. So the inmate was asked: “What if we gave you a coup...
Tags: News, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, California News, Sacramento, Ap, New Jersey, Sacramento County, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Smith, Santa Clara, Sullivan, Santa Clara County, Duran

How to Fix Our Prisons? Let the Public Inside

We need a broad national effort to recruit volunteers to educate and counsel the incarcerated.
Tags: News, United States, Criminal Justice, Alexander, Vera Institute of Justice, Ex-convicts, Prisons and Prisoners, Volunteers and Community Service, Michelle (1967-, Rehabilitation Through the Arts, Osborne Assn

Vera Institute produces new report highlighting big increases in rural jail populations

This recent New York Times piece, headlined "‘A Cesspool of a Dungeon’: The Surging Population in Rural Jails," fills out the picture presented by the statistical story set out in on jail populations in the United States. Here is part of the NY Times piece: Jail populations used to be concentrated in big cities. But since 2013, the number of people locked up in rural, conservative counties such as Hamblen has skyrocketed, driven by the nation’s drug crisis. Like a lot of Appalachia, Morristow...
Tags: Law, United States, New York Times, Ny Times, Knoxville, Vera, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Vera Institute, Hamblen, Jacob Kang Brown, Appalachia Morristown Tenn

On the dangers of dick-ish drug enforcement, racist cop rose in Austin PD ranks, indigent defense denied in Amarillo, and other stories

Just in time for the drive to Grandma's house, here's the November 2019 episode* of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast covering Texas criminal justice politics and policy, co-hosted with Amanda Marzullo of the Texas Defender Service.In this month's episode: Introductory tomfoolery ¡Poncho! Top Stories Houston PD narcotics division a black hole of bad practices (2:32)Federal judge defines limits of DNA mixture software (8:54) Fill in the Blank Victoria County Jail death from drug with...
Tags: Podcast, Texas, Kim Kardashian, Law, Police, Dna, Fbi, Austin, Homelessness, Ted Cruz, Death Penalty, Michigan, Houston, Bail, Department Of Transportation, Abbott

Spotlighting that, within top incarceration nation, it is not quite clear which state tops the per capital incarceration list

A helpful reader sent me this notable little local article headlined "Is Louisiana still the incarceration capital of the U.S.?". The piece serves as a useful reminder that data on incarceration (like data on just about everything in criminal justice systems) is subject to some interpretation. Here are excerpts: For close to a year, Gov. John Bel Edwards has championed that Louisiana has lost its title as the incarceration capital of the United States after law changes he backed got through the...
Tags: Law, United States, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Legislature, John Bel Edwards, Edwards, Tulsa World, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Vera Institute, Jacob Kang Brown

Vera Institute documents another drop in the US prison population in 2018

The Vera Institute of Justice today released titled simply "People in Prison in 2018."  Here is part of this document's summary: Effective advocacy and policy making require up-to-date information. V era Institute of Justice (Vera) researchers collected data on the number of people in state and federal prisons on December 31, 2018 to provide timely information on how prison incarceration is changing in the United States.  This report fills a gap until the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) re...
Tags: Law, US, United States, Wyoming, North Carolina, Bureau Of Justice Statistics, Bureau of Justice Statistics BJS, Marshall Project, Vera, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Indiana Texas, Vera Institute, Institute of Justice Vera, Missouri South Carolina New York, Jacob Kang Brown

"Investing in Futures: Economic and Fiscal Benefits of Postsecondary Education in Prison"

The title of this post is the title of produced by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality.  Here is how the report's introduction begins: In 2016, more than 626,000 people were released from federal and state prisons and returned to communities across the United States.  Their odds of securing employment, housing, and other necessities after release depended, in part, on opportunities available to them while in prison.  Few such opportunities benefit...
Tags: Law, Congress, United States, Pell Grants, Pell Grant, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Georgetown Center on Poverty, Federal Pell Grant Program

Getting Past the Barriers: When a Mother Is in Prison

Allowing incarcerated mothers to interact and play with their children during visits helps maintain a sense of family connection and may reduce the trauma of separation.
Tags: News, Parenting, Methadone, Vera Institute of Justice, Children and Childhood, Families and Family Life, Prisons and Prisoners, Drug Abuse and Traffic, Children's Museum of Manhattan, Child Custody and Support

Vera Institute of Justice urges "Reimagining Prison"

The Vera Institute of Justice has recently produced this big new report as part a big new project under the label "Reimagining Prison." Here is how the report's executive summary gets started: The United States holds approximately 1.5 million people in its state and federal prisons.  Although this number has declined since its peak in 2009, mass incarceration is hardly a thing of the past.  Even if the nation returned to the incarceration rates it experienced before 1970, more than 300,000 peop...
Tags: Law, America, United States, South Carolina, Vera Institute of Justice, Douglas A Berman, Vera Institute of Justice Vera

Fyre Festival Founder Lucks Out By Going To Prison Instead of Fyre Festival

We compare the conditions he’ll face in his 6 year prison sentence to conditions at Fyre Festival Man, six years is a lot of time to spend in prison for completely ruining a music festival that never even started. But Fyre Festival was definitely that much of a complete disaster, so disgraced organizer Billy McFarland’s sentence honestly seems good. Prosecutors even asked for 11. Which brings us to the most important question of this entire saga: How will prison conditions compare to the ...
Tags: Wikipedia, United States, Humor, Vera Institute of Justice, Billy McFarland, Darren Miller, USAaid

Morning Docket: 09.13.18

* Brett Kavanaugh admits he played dice, but not for money. If you believe that, I've got some $80K baseball tickets to sell you. [Huffington Post] * When you hear about people ignoring authorities and remaining in the path of a hurricane, you may not think of lawyers, but some attorneys in the path of Florence are embracing the opportunity to finally get some work done. [] * El Chapo's lawyer may have a conflict of interest. Saul Goodman couldn't be reached for comment. [NY Post] * D....
Tags: Books, Crime, Supreme Court, Law, Drugs, Alyssa Milano, Courts, Donald Trump, Florence, Huffington Post, Irs, Tax Law, Trump, Ny Post, El Chapo, D C Circuit

Nonprofit Slams DOJ’s Review Of Legal Program For Detained Immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Justice Department review of a program aimed at helping detained immigrants navigate the country’s complex immigration court system has found that people in the program had longer detention stays and were less likely to get lawyers than people not in it. But the nonprofit group that manages the program said cases are significantly more likely to be completed faster and called on Congress to investigate before adopting the results. It said the Justice Department review had “...
Tags: New York, News, Congress, Washington, Senate, Ap, Associated Press, Donald Trump, Doj, Justice Department, Trump, Vera Institute of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, National Association of Immigration Judges, Vera Institute, Summer Concepcion

TDCJ can't stem staff turnover crisis at remote, rural units; #txlege must align policy with reality and reduce low-level drug sentences

While your correspondent was on a much-needed vacation, the Houston Chronicle's indefatigable Keri Blakinger published a story updating the Texas prison system's efforts to staff rural units, which have up to 49 percent vacancy rates. Her article opened:The Texas prison system handed out more than $9 million this fiscal year on bonuses to aid recruitment as they grappled with extensive officer vacancies, but department data shows the cash outlay has hardly moved the needle. Seven months after th...
Tags: Texas, Law, California, Abilene, Houston Chronicle, Lubbock, Henson, Marc Levin, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, DALHART, Gritsforbreakfast, TDCJ, Keri Blakinger, Vera Institute, Daniel Ferguson