By Christopher Zoukis In 2017 a prison education pilot program was launched at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in Las Vegas. In 2018, the Center celebrated its first graduating class. One graduate who did a speech at the ceremony said something very poignant about her new view of the world: “When I go out…Read More
By Christopher Zoukis Just how far does the reach of incarceration go? As Deborah Jiang-Stein found out, it’s generational. Curious about her birth mother, the adoptee did some digging and found out that her mother was a heroin addict that gave birth to her in prison. Not only was she born behind bars, but she…Read More
By Christopher Zoukis In July 2017, congress introduced the Prison Reform and Redemption Act – H.R.3356 — 115th Congress (2017-2018). Intended as a bill to guide the Department of Justice in the creation and use of a Post-Sentencing Risk and Needs Assessment System for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The assessment system looks closely at…Read More
By Christopher Zoukis Suicides at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Chino have surged to alarming levels. Six prisoners have killed themselves within the past three years, according to Krissi Khokhobashvili, spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). In the same period, she added, there were 71 suicide attempts at CIW,…Read More
More than 130 female prisoners at two California facilities were sterilized over a four-year period without required state approval, and some of the women have claimed they were pressured, harassed and even tricked into signing forms agreeing to the sterilizations. The procedure, known as tubal ligation, involves severing a woman’s fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus; the operation requires general anesthesia and is considered permanent.
The surgeries were performed from 2006 to 2010 at outside medical facilities by doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for California Correctional Health Care Services – the federal court-appointed receiver over CDCR medical care – said the procedures violated state regulations that restrict tubal ligations not deemed medically necessary. They did not, however, violate state law.
According to public records, doctors were paid $147,460 to perform the sterilizations on female prisoners from the California Institution for Women and Valley State Prison in Chowchilla. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), which first reported the story on July 7, 2013, initially identified 148 prisoners who were sterilized from 2006 to 2010, but that number was later revised downward to 132 after a further review indicated some of the women had been counted twice. “Perhaps 100 more” prisoners were reportedly sterilized between 1997 and 2006.
Although they signed consent forms, several of the women complained they were pressured into agreeing to the procedures by medical staff and doctors, especially the OB-GYN at Valley State Prison, Dr. James Heinrich.Read More
By Adam Tamburin On her way to one of her first college classes this August, Laney Overton walked past towering coils of barbed wire and stepped through a metal detector. Image courtesy lipscomb.edu A guard ran gloved hands up and down the 18-year-old Lipscomb University freshman’s arms and legs. When she was finally escorted to…Read More
District Judge Ann M. Donnelly recently granted the Plaintiffs’ motion to amend their 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint against the Suffolk County, New York jail, as well as the county sheriff and several officers. The complaint, initially brought by a class of female prisoners housed at the jail, alleges a pattern of sexual assault and…Read More