Justice Department Maps New Course on Forensic Science Review

By Christopher Zoukis Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced April 10 the Department of Justice (DOJ) will not renew an Obama-created advisory panel which has been studying ways to improve forensic science for four years. Instead, DOJ says it plans a series of different steps to bring responsibility for policymaking inside…

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Incarcerated Author Releases Federal Prison Handbook

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When Christopher Zoukis first went to prison over 10 years ago, he was completely unprepared. “I had no idea how the system worked, where I was going or what to expect,” says Zoukis, who is still incarcerated at FCI Petersburg in Virginia. Like most of the other 10 million Americans…

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State Prison Suicides Climbed 30% in One Year

By Christopher Zoukis The number of inmate suicides in state prisons climbed by more than 30 percent during a one-year period, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Department of Justice. The statistical study, Mortality in State Prisons, 2001-2014, released on Dec. 15,…

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Sex Offender Treatment Programs in the Federal Bureau of Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis The Federal Bureau of Prisons incarcerates over 14,500 sex offenders within its roughly 200 facilities. This equates to approximately eight percent of the federal prison population. Increasingly, those convicted of federal sexual offenses are being housed at Sex Offender Management Program (SOMP) facilities which have a larger…

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What Will Trump Team Do On DOJ Private Prison Ban?

By Christopher Zoukis In what the American Civil Liberties Union hailed as a groundbreaking step, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced with great fanfare in August that it planned to stop using private prisons. The announcement followed the release a week earlier of a report by DOJ’s inspector general finding…

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Youth Punished For Inability to Pay In Juvenile Justice System

By Christopher Zoukis Lower-income, and racial and ethnic minority youth are far more likely to face incarceration or probation because of an inability to pay debts imposed by the justice system, according to a report issued by Philadelphia’s Juvenile Law Center. The legal aid and advocacy group analyzed state laws…

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DOJ Investigates Possible Prisoners’ Rights Violations in Alabama

By Christopher Zoukis The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a statewide probe on whether conditions in Alabama’s 14 prisons for men violate the rights of inmates. The investigation is under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which allows action against jails or…

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Prison Book-Banning Policies Called Arbitrary And Self-Serving

By Christopher Zoukis Every year, the American Library Association declares the final week of September “Banned Books Week,” commemorated in many libraries with displays designed to highlight often-overreaching censorship of school and public libraries. This year, however, a far-flung wave of stories in many publications highlighted a different sort of…

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