September 9, 2012

US judges won’t ease state prison crowding order

A panel of federal judges won't consider easing its order that the state sharply reduce its prison population to improve inmate care, but may give state officials more time to comply, the three judges said Friday. State prison officials have said they won't be able to meet a court-ordered deadline to reduce the population of the state's 33 adult prisons by about 33,000 inmates by June 2013. They argue that they could house another 3,000 inmates in those prisons while still bringing conditions up to constitutional standards for providing medical and mental health care.
September 7, 2012

Feds: Kan. women’s prison violates inmates’ rights

Sexual misconduct and abuse of inmates at Kansas' prison for women is "rampant throughout the facility" and persisted even as federal officials investigated problems at the facility, according to a U.S. Justice Department report released Thursday. The department's Civil Rights Division concluded that Kansas failed to adequately deal with problems at the Topeka Correctional Facility after the National Institute of Corrections recommended more than two dozen changes in January 2010 and the prison's top administrator was reas
September 5, 2012

The 3 Essential Correctional Skills

The three most important skills in corrections are report writing, the ability to ‘read’ nonverbal communication, and the ability to communicate. Sounds simple? It takes years of training, watching, and the ability to want to learn. Report writing is essencial. We have become far to reliant on electronic means for spell check and grammar. You should have noticed there are already two spelling and grammar errors here: ‘essencial’ and ‘to,’ easy to overlook but sloppy in a report. A report can lose a case in court, can have your statement thrown out of the Lieutenant’s basket, or can make your entire department appear disorganized, ignorant, and incompetent. As the saying goes, “If it is not written down, it did not happen
September 5, 2012

Crowded Illinois Prisons

A southern Illinois judge has issued a temporary halt to Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to close several prisons and juvenile justice facilities. The ruling came at the request of the state's largest employee union, which asked Alexander County Circuit Judge Charles Cavaness to block the closures. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees argued that the closures would put prison employees' safety at risk, citing already crowded conditions at prisons across the state. The move follows last week's ruling by an arbitrator that Quinn violated the state's contract with
September 4, 2012

Increase in Texas Prison Slayings: 2012 shaping up as deadly year for Texas prisons

With four months still remaining, 2012 is already the deadliest year in more than a decade in Texas prisons. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has reported 10 homicides this year, up from only three in 2011. There were five in 2010 and just one in 2009, according to agency figures. "It's definitely jumped out at us," Bruce Toney, the agency's inspector general, said of the increase. "It definitely has not been an average year." The homicides don't appear to be connec
September 4, 2012

Colorado Prison Inmate Wins Right to Outdoor Exercise

For 12 years, virtually the only exposure Troy Anderson has had to the outdoors has come in a 90-square-foot room. At one end of the room are two slits in the wall that are 6-inches wide and 5-feet tall. The slits are covered with metal grates. On one wall of the room is a chin-up bar. This, Colorado Department of Corrections officials argued in a lawsuit Anderson filed, satisfied the constitutional requirement that Anderson, a prisoner at the Colorado State Penitentiary, be given outdoor exercise opportunities. In a ruling issued last week, a federal
August 28, 2012

Rockland County Times

No Excuse for Cruel and Unusual Prisoner Punishment If you are reading this anywhere in America, you know firsthand that this summer has been a record-breaking sizzler. We could be living though the hottest summer season ever. Think about what you’ve done to keep cool. You’ve turned on your air conditioner, or (if you don’t have one) maybe you’ve gone to the movies to cool off. You probably drink lots of ice-cold beverages or jump into a swimming pool or coo
August 27, 2012

Sacramento County signs off on settlement to allow distribution of jail publication

A federal judge signed off Monday on the settlement of a lawsuit that will cost Sacramento County taxpayers $300,000 because the Sheriff's Department was not allowing distribution to inmates of a legal publication designed for prisoners. The county has agreed to pay that amount to Prison Legal News within 60 days. In addition, the monthly journal will be delivered to inmate subscribers at the Main Jail and Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center. The department, however, will remove staples that bind the magazines and the address labels before delivery.
August 27, 2012

Texas prison officials struggle with high turnover rates, staff shortage

The state's prison system is offering a $3,000 signing bonus for new guards in hopes of filling latest in series of shortages
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