Bureau of Prisons Cuts Back on Halfway Houses and Services

halfway houses

By Christopher Zoukis Federal inmates expecting to be transferred from a penitentiary to a halfway house — what the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) calls a “residential re-entry center” — are being informed shortages of spaces mean they’ll face delays in their transfer, and consequently more time in prison. BOP can…

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DOJ IG’s Report: BOP Fails to Meet Needs of Female Inmates

female inmates

By Christopher Zoukis A report issued September 18 by the Inspector General (IG) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) identifies shortcomings in how the leaders of DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the correctional facilities it runs fail to meet the needs of its female inmates. Women are about 7%…

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Nebraska High Security Prison Chaotic After Error Causes Cell Doors to Open

Cell Doors open at Tecumseh State Correctional Institute in Nebraska

By Christopher Zoukis Shortly before 10:00 a.m. on September 7, 16 single-occupancy cells in a restrictive housing section of Nebraska’s top-security prison, the Tecumseh State Correctional Institute, unexpectedly opened. The cause of this irregularity was not certain, but a computer error in the system which controls the cellblock doors was…

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Private Prison Populations Grew Five Times Faster than Prisons Overall

A study of the statistics from the Department of Justice shows private prison populations are increasing five times faster than prisons overall.

By Christopher Zoukis The Sentencing Project, a non-profit advocacy group, recently released a short study on privately-owned prisons in the U.S.  One of the most striking facts documented by the study, Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons, was that in the first sixteen years of this century,…

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Foreign-Born Are 21% of DOJ Prisoners; 94% Are Here Illegally

By Christopher Zoukis Mark Twain once famously maintained it could probably be shown through facts and statistics that there’s “no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.” What then would that celebrated observer of Gilded Age corruption and criminality make of the facts and statistics recently released by the Departments…

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Most Black “Neighborhoods” in Wisconsin are Actually Jails, Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis A 17-year-old has made a startling discovery about Wisconsin: more than half of the state’s black “neighborhoods” are actually jails. The young researcher, Lew Blank, used the Weldon Cooper Center’s Racial Dot Map and Google Maps to come to this conclusion, and released the results in August…

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Federal Prison Inmate Headcount Declines for Third Straight Year

Declining prison populations may eventually help alleviate the effects of overcrowding. By Christopher Zoukis The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) reported last month that during Fiscal Year 2016 — which closed at the end of September — the number of federal inmates in its facilities declined for the third consecutive…

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As Prisons Stay Crowded, California’s Governor Pushes Ballot Initiative to Cut Inmate Population

By Christopher Zoukis Midway through his first term as governor of California, in 1976 Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. signed into law a strict mandatory sentencing measure. The “determinate” sentencing bill set fixed lengths of time that had to be served before an inmate could be considered for parole. Now,…

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A New Way to Design and Build Prisons

By Dianne Frazee-Walker Raphael Sperry, founder of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) has the right idea about how to transform prisons and the people who reside in them. Designing prisons is fast becoming a hot topic in the world of architecture. Sperry has a specific interest in designing holding facilities…

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