Incarceration

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The Sentencing Project Releases New Series on Women in the Criminal Justice System

[Courtesy of The Sentencing Project] Friends: The Sentencing Project is pleased to announce the publication of a series of briefing sheets on Women in the Criminal Justice System. The series documents the gender implications of changes that have occurred over the last 20 years within the criminal justice system, including expansive law enforcement, stiffer drug sentencing laws and re-entry barriers. Women in the Criminal Justice System notes that since 1985 the number of women in prison has increased at almost double the rate of incarcerated men - 404 percent vs. 209 percent. Reasons for the increasing rate for women are directly related to the 'war on drugs,' economic disadvantage, and the criminal justice system's failure to carefully consider women's involvement in crimes. The analysis also reports that 30 percent of all females incarcerated are black and 16 percent are Hispanic. Further, the briefing sheets delve into family, socioeconomic and physical and mental health issues that women - and their families - face as a result of being incarcerated. Women in the Criminal Justice System contains five sections: Overview; Involvement in Crime; Mothers in Prison; Inadequacies in Prison Services; and Barriers to Re-entering the Community. The full 10-page series is found here: http://sentencingproject.org/Admin/Documents/news/womenincj_total.pdf.
Location: 
United States

As Illinois' drug policy changes, incarcerations soar

Location: 
IL
United States
Publication/Source: 
Chicago Tribune
URL: 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0705210673may22,1,6522493.story?coll=chi-newslocalchicago-hed

Drug crisis defies easy solutions

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Seattle Times
URL: 
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003715466_jdl21.html

FedCURE Message: Federal Inmate Judith Giglo Writes Rep. Louie Gohmert -- "Calls Him Out on The Second Chance Act."

FedCURE pleads with all you, in the most strongest terms, to get behind Judith's heartfelt message and contact your Congressperson NOW! Urging him or her to support The Second Chance Act, especially the Republican leadership – Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) expressing disappointment with the delay and urging them to strongly support the Second Chance Act. Link to Contact Congress and Tips on Writing Congress: http://www.fedcure.org/ContactCongressREP-SEN.shtml and http://www.fedcure.org/documents/TipsonWritingtoCongress.pdf. Hon. Louie Gohmert Ashley H. Callen Legislative Director/Counsel Office of Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) 510 Cannon HOB Washington, DC 20515 202.225.3035 ph 202.226.1230 fax ashley.callen@mail.house.gov Dear Congressman Gohmert: I am one of the incarcerated Federal prisoners that you seem to feel are not entitled to any "Perks" upon release from prison. I feel put upon to reply to the letter from Ashley H. Callen, Legislative Director/Counsel in your office. I am one of many thousand federal prisoners. I am also one of many thousand federal prisoners who is truly innocent of the charges levied against me. I was tried and convicted on a charge of "Conspiracy to Money Launder". The conspiracy part is what caused me to receive a very heavy sentence. I was one of about 15 people indicted in a "front money scam".. The fact that I did not do what I was accused and convicted of is irrelevant at this time. I am almost 6 years into a 9 year sentence. I am 62+ years old. I spent the majority of my life as a businesswoman with a reputation for fairness and integrity. I am now a number in the federal prison system. As someone with business savvy, I have tried to help those in here who have not had the opportunities that I have had. I was instrumental in setting up a unit based education class program. This program allows women in the camp to take classes taught by other inmates. These classes range from the basics of tutoring for G.E.D. exams, to construction trades and CPR and Paralegal classes and everything in between. We have about 29 classes of all sorts available. The classes are 10 weeks long and in some cases longer. Women receive a certificate of completion at the end of the sessions. They are required to take a pre-class exam to help the teacher identify the basic knowledge of the students. There is also a post exam prior to receiving a certificate. Women here at camp Coleman are not idle. Many of these women will require assistance when the are ready to leave prison. Many of these women are first time non-violent offenders. Many were caught up in the minimum mandatory drug laws and are here for 10, 20 & 30 years. A number of these women gave birth to their children in prison and have had to rely on others to raise their children. So many of these women are anxious to begin a new life and a better life for themselves and their children. You and others like you, are trying to stop what could be a wonderful program in re-entry and family stabilization. Career education and training, drug counseling if required. From what I have read of the Second Chance Act, there are no provisions for cell phones or I-pods or Blackberry's. Nor is there any pork in the bill for people to go out and not work and not support themselves. All of this would require a great deal of effort on the part of the person re-entering society. Sir, are you aware of the cost of incarceration? At my age (62+), having been hospitalized three times in six years, the cost for maintaining out elderly in prison is in the range of $70,000, per person per year. For younger people the cost is approximately $29,000. multiply that cost by the an average of 200,000 federal prisoners. Astronomical isn't it? On the other hand the cost of 1 year of community college is $1,500. Which would make more sense. Teaching our inmates to become better people or keeping them in prisons? The cost of keeping an elderly person in home confinement would be somewhere around $2,000 yearly vs $70,000. Which would make more sense? The cost of incarceration is not only the dollars, but the family ties and community ties that are in some cases irreparable. I lost my husband of 28 years shortly after I was indicted. The stress that we were put under with the advent of my upcoming trail and monetary concerns caused him to have a massive heart attack. He died in my arms. My life was shattered. Not only was I facing a trial, but I was facing financial ruin in my golden years. I have lost everything that I worked for my entire life. I lost my husband as a direct result of this unjust charge, I lost my Mom shortly after I was incarcerated and my son no longer speaks to me. I have nothing to fall back on. I have no savings and no health care and no home to go back to. Yet you want me to leave prison with no financial or educational resources. Why? Do you think that it will be easy at this age to face a new beginning? Do you think that somewhere I have hidden resources to regain a life, any kind of life? My family, what there is left of them, is unable to care for me financially. They can help me with a place to live but then I am on my own. I will not be able to go back into the business that I know. I have to start from scratch. Can you tell me how to do that if I cannot access any government aid. As a convicted felon, I have no chance of renting an apartment, getting food stamps, or even getting any federal aid for education. As a convicted felon, I will be unable to get any sort of a job except maybe entry level. I have a number of things against me. My age, and worst of all a felony conviction. With the help of the Second Chance Act, I had a Second Chance available. You seem to feel that it is okay to throw me away. What you fail to realize is that I am you and you sir are me. You and most people do not realize that they are but a pen stroke away from a federal indictment. The proverbial ham sandwich being indicted. Isn't it less expensive and easier to retrain people and offer them a means to support themselves than to force them to return to illegal means as a way of life? Isn't it less expensive to allow these former felons to develop self esteem and to hold their heads up and become a productive member of society? Wouldn't there be more money available for Veteran's programs if there were fewer incarcerated? Why are you and some of your respected colleagues trying to hold us down? I have never been involved in drugs, but drugs can be self perpetuating and cause a ripple effect for years to come. The felons in prison for drug offenses, need to be able to leave here and feel gain self worth and feel that they made a mistake and paid their debt and that it will not be held against them the rest of their lives. If you do not feel that this is an issue to be reckoned with, I and many like me will disagree as strongly as possible. I firmly believe that these programs outlined in the Second Chance should be administered by people who are best able to utilize the funds to the max. If the answer lies in Faith based programs, let it be so. I have no problem with that. I truly believe that these programs will help people for many years to come. This is not a stop gap measure. This is a long range plan to help people help themselves stay out of prison. Recidivism is highest among the unemployed and the unemployable. You can put an end to this. The recidivism rate among the over 50 group is about 2%. So why are the elderly being forced to stay in prison settings where the medical care is virtually non-existent. There are no provisions for the elderly in prison. We are given very little, if any preventive care. Heart attacks, strokes and in my case bleeding ulcers are rampant. 15 months ago, I was hospitalized with bleeding ulcers. I almost died here at the camp because of the incompetent care that I received. I was told that there was nothing wrong with me except for high blood sugar. This is not now and never has been a problem in my life. I was bleeding internally, but no one here recognized the symptoms. There is no managed care. There is no real food. The allotted cost for feeding inmates is somewhere around $1.62 per day per person, below the poverty level. Poor food, poor housing conditions, unclean housing units and little medical care add up to a very expensive cost of incarceration. Hospital stays for people like me are expensive. I have been hospitalized three times, the last time just this past week. I have undergone surgery that could have been prevented. I respectfully ask that you reconsider your opposition to this bill. Allow me to go home and become a productive member of the senior society. I have much to offer and would like to see my family again outside of the confines of prison. I do not want to die in here, and that is a very real fear. I am not alone in that fear. We have many women here who are older than I and in worse physical health. We are Social Security eligible and Medicare eligible, some of us are even able to work outside of the home. Allow the prison system to save the thousands of dollars a year that they spend on me and the other elderly. Take that money and put it to programs for the Vets. We are not asking for I-pods or Blackberry's or cell phones. We are asking for a chance. Certainly if you or someone that you care about were in this position, you would be pushing for this bill to pass. Our families feel the same way. I may not be able to vote now, but at some point I will again be able to vote and I would like to think that the candidate of choice is a person who is fair minded and caring. I believe that with your support and the support of other Republicans this bill, which is advocated by the Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons and American Bar Association, the Public Defenders Association to name a few, would be passed. Sincerely, Judie Giglio Reg.No. 11197-017 Federal Correction Complex Camp P.O. Box 1027 Coleman, Fl. 33521-1027 P.S. This letter is being forwarded to your office by my daughter, as copy is being forwarded to Gene Guerro Open Society Institute and FedCure.
Location: 
TX
United States

Opinion: A devastating link: prisoner rape, the war on drugs in the U.S.

Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Clarion-Ledger (MS)
URL: 
http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070516/OPINION/705160306

Ahead of Monday Budget Release, Advocates Urge Gov. to Increase Drug Treatment Funding

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2007 Contact: Margaret Dooley, tel: (858) 336-3685 or Dave Fratello, tel: (310) 394-2952 Ahead of Monday Budget Release, Advocates Urge Gov. to Increase Drug Treatment Funding In Time of Prison Crisis, Proponents Point to Prop. 36 as Solution Program Needs $228.6 Million to Provide Adequate Services and Increase Taxpayer Savings, Says State-Commissioned UCLA Report SACRAMENTO, May 10 – On Monday (May 14), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will release his revised budget proposal for Proposition 36, California’s voter-enacted, treatment-instead-of-incarceration program. Advocates are calling on the governor to heed the advice of a recent state-funded report by increasing funding for the program to $228.6 million. Margaret Dooley, Prop. 36 coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, said, “Even before UCLA recommended $230 million as the minimum annual funding level, there was consensus among doctors, treatment providers and advocates, and county governments that Prop. 36 needs more funding, not less. Only a substantial funding increase can provide adequate treatment and continue to expand this program’s documented cost savings. We hope the governor’s May revise will reflect this broad consensus.” The Governor’s January budget proposed slashing Prop. 36 funding from $145 million to $120 million, while diverting half of those funds into an “Offender Treatment Program” (OTP) requiring a 1-9 county match. At legislative budget hearings, treatment providers and local governments have vocally expressed their displeasure. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) noted in February that a reduction in Prop. 36 funding would increase prison costs. The LAO also pointed to some prospective legal concerns regarding the shifting of funds from the Prop. 36 trust fund into OTP. Several major California newspapers also have criticized the Governor’s plan. The Los Angeles Times editorial page said: “The UCLA study flagged [shortcomings] in Proposition 36, most of which point to a need for longer, more intensive treatment. That means more funding, not less.” The Orange County Register and San Diego’s North County Times also weighed in against the governor’s plan and in support of cost-effective, community-based treatment. Dave Fratello, co-author of Prop. 36, said, “The state budget may be tight, but California can’t afford to reduce its commitment to Prop. 36. UCLA has shown again and again that Prop. 36 generates huge cost savings, improves thousands of lives each year and has significantly reduces the burden on our prisons. We can show now with data that drug addiction is most expensive when it is not treated.” Nearly six years into Prop. 36, the number of people incarcerated for drug possession has fallen by 32 percent (5,000 people). By diverting so many into treatment, Prop. 36 rendered unnecessary the construction of a new men’s prison (saving an addition $500 million) and also resulted in the shuttering of a women’s prison, bringing total savings to $1.7 billion. UCLA Finds Big Savings, Recommends Big Funding Increase Prior UCLA analyses of Prop. 36, required under law, established that every $1 invested results in $2.50 of savings to state and local government coffers, with most of those savings accrued by the state. UCLA researchers used a stringent, rigorous “taxpayers’ perspective” model only considered these direct savings. UCLA’s most recent analysis, released last month, found that the program requires at least $228.6 million to provide minimal, adequate treatment and to help generate even greater cost savings. The researchers found that average stays in treatment are shorter in Prop. 36 than in similar systems because the program is under-funded. Also, many people receive incorrect, less expensive treatment placements and have little probation supervision during their stays. UCLA researchers arrived at their recommended funding level by analyzing the costs of a series of improvements, including: More appropriate treatment placement (e.g., residential placement for those severely addicted, $18.9 million); Providing a “minimum dose,” or 90 days, of treatment ($31.3 million); Expanding access to narcotic replacement therapies, such as methadone and buprenorphine ($3.7 million); and Enhancing probation supervision ($25 million). # # #
Location: 
Sacramento, CA
United States

Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop presents "Hear Us Out"

Hear Us Out will feature the writings of 16 and 17-year olds who have been charged and incarcerated as adults in the DC Jail. Poems will be read by Free Minds members who have been released and are now living and working in the DC community. Come celebrate their successes at this free community event! Though I am behind these bars I'll start my life anew Despite these walls around me My sun will still shine through -by Leon, age 17, "Sunshine" You are invited to bring a new or used paperback book for the DC Jail's new lending library. Invite your friends. Light refreshments will be served. Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop is a 501©3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to introduce young inmates to the transformative power of books and creative writing. By mentoring them and connecting them to supportive services throughout their incarceration into reentry, Free Minds inspires these youth to see their potential and achieve new educational and career goals. Since 2002, Free Minds has served nearly 200 youth. For more information, see http://www.freemindsbookclub.org/
Date: 
Wed, 05/16/2007 - 7:00pm
Location: 
1816 12th Street, NW
Washington, DC
United States

Congressional Staff Briefing: Can Probation and Parole Supervision Reduce Recidivism?

The International Community Corrections Association (ICCA), The Sentencing Project, and the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office and National Prison Project, in collaboration with the Justice Roundtable Reentry Coalition invite you to a Congressional Staff Briefing: "Can Probation and Parole Supervision Reduce Recidivism?" hosted by Representative Bobby Scott, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Speakers include: Stefan LoBuglio -- Chief, Pre-Release and Reentry, Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilition Pre-Release Center Cedric Hendricks, Esq. -- Associate Director, Office of Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (CSOSA) Phil Fornaci -- Director, D.C. Prisoners' Project, Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Speakers will discuss how well-structured probation and parole supervision programs, coupled with pre-release planning, can address the challenges and barriers to reentry faced by previously incarcerated persons. Each year 650,000 people leave prison and return to communities, many in need of comprehensive mental health care, drug treatment, welfare benefits, public housing, employment and educational training. Programs that prepare people for their life after prison and link aftercare programs and supervision can ease the reentry process and lead to reduced rates of recidivism. Programs across the country can serve as models for federal policymakers. For more information, contact Ms. Abeo F. Anderson at aanderson@iccaweb.org.
Date: 
Wed, 05/16/2007 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Location: 
Room 2226
Washington, DC
United States

Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Criminal Justice System and International Human Rights Standards: Reporting to CERD

Please join us in Washington, D.C. for a meeting bringing together criminal justice advocates from around the U.S. to discuss racial discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system as it relates to the UN Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The U.S. Government has just filed a report to the UN Committee that oversees the treaty on its efforts to end racial discrimination in the U.S. Non-governmental organizations now have an opportunity to provide input to the Committee regarding U.S. compliance through "shadow reports." Hear from experts on racism in the juvenile justice system, racial discrimination in law enforcement and the courts, racism and the death penalty, and the destructive impact of mass incarceration on communities of color -- confirmed panelists include Paul Butler (George Washington University Law School); Jenni Gainsborough (Penal Reform International); Ron Hampton (National Black Police Association); Hadar Harris (Center for Human Rights, American University Washington College of Law); Margaret Huang (Global Rights); Marc Mauer (The Sentencing Project); Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative); Randolph Stone (Chicago University Law School); and others. Learn more about the Shadow Reporting Process and how you can get involved. Co-sponsored by Global Rights, Open Society Institute Justice Roundtable, The Sentencing Project, Penal Reform International and the WCL Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. The conference is free and open to the public but registration is required as space is limited. To register for the conference see http://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/ or call 202-274-4075. For more information, please contact Hadar Harris at hharris@wcl.american.edu or Margaret Huang at margareth@globalrights.org.
Date: 
Thu, 05/17/2007 - 9:00am - 5:30pm
Location: 
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Room 603
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Through A Different Lens: Shifting the Focus on Illinois Drug Policy

The Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy is pleased to invite you to a report briefing entitled Through A Different Lens: Shifting the Focus on Illinois Drug Policy, An examination of states’ solutions and applicability to Illinois What group is the fastest growing segment of the Illinois prison population? · Illinois' per capita rate of African-Americans incarcerated for drug possession offenses was first in the country, leading Mississippi, Maryland and Ohio. Is there a relationship between Illinois’ drug policy changes and the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans? · This paper highlights Illinois legislative changes, incarceration rates, & the impact on the criminal justice system in Illinois. Attending is free. Please RSVP by May 21st via calling 312.341.2457, and leave your name and number of attendees planning to attend the event.
Date: 
Tue, 05/22/2007 - 10:30am - 11:30am
Location: 
430 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL
United States

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