Prison Conditions at FCI Mendota pose dangers to inmates and staff

Federal Correctional Institution Mendota, located near Fresno, California, houses about 800 inmates. Opened in 2012, the medium-security male prison in California with an adjacent minimum-security camp has recently been the focus of numerous investigations into whether conditions there pose serious dangers to the health of inmates and staff. Complaints about temperature levels due to a…

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The Prison Entrepreneur Program (PEP), a Texas-based non-profit formed in 2004, assists inmates convicted of felonies to prepare for life after prison by developing skills and character, finding post-release employment, and eventually making a success with their own businesses. The group’s current CEO Bryan Kelley is a program graduate. Nearly finished serving a 20-year sentence…

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The Prison Policy Initiative, a non-profit advocacy group, recently released a study examining how state prison commissaries operate. One observation made in the report: commissaries often exploit incarcerated persons, by shifting the costs of incarceration from the state to inmates and their families. The central problem, according to the report, isn’t the prices commissaries charge,…

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The House Judiciary Committee on May 9 approved, by a 25-5 margin, the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act (H.R. 5682), known for short as the “First Step” Act. Sponsored by Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the measure is a pared-down revision of the Prison Reform and Corrections Act…

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In February 2018, federal union officials from across the nation met with legislators in Washington to lobby against proposed cuts in the fiscal year 2019 federal budget that would prevent the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from filling an estimated 7,100 currently vacant staff positions in federal prisons. Of the 37,237 BOP civilian positions authorized…

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has now decided to build a new prison in southeastern Kentucky, according to a senior congressman from the state, even though the agency had earlier opposed the project. On March 31, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), a former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced Attorney General Jeff Sessions had informed…

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