Monthly Archives: February 2012

Compassion in California’s prisons

Photo via Todd Heisler/The New York Time. “Dementia in prison is an underreported but fast-growing phenomenon, one that many prisons are desperately unprepared to handle. It is an unforeseen consequence of get-tough-on-crime policies — long sentences that have created a … Continue reading

Posted in National, Prison Conditions | Leave a comment

Illinois’ only supermax may shortly close!

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed closing Tamms Correctional Center, the state’s only supermax prison. Even if driven by economic efficiency concerns, this action could put an end to prison conditions that have caused a mental health crisis, precipitated, among … Continue reading

Posted in National, Prison Conditions | 10 Comments

Everybody is talking about sentencing

This week, the U.S. Sentencing Commission held a hearing in Washington, D.C. on federal sentencing after U.S. v. Booker, the Supreme Court decision that made the sentencing guidelines advisory instead of mandatory.  Families Against Mandatory Minimum’s VP Mary Price testified that judges … Continue reading

Posted in Court decisions, National, Sentencing | 1 Comment

Massachusetts sentencing bills are… still in negotiation

For those of you following the current controversy over Massachusetts sentencing bills, Families Against Mandatory Minimums has this update: As of last month, the conference committee that was trying to negotiate a compromise between the Senate and House sentencing bills … Continue reading

Posted in Legislation, Local, Sentencing | 1 Comment

Cash for prisons

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons; it is a “Wall Street giant” that has grown more than five-fold during the last fifteen years. After 9/11, it capitalized on anxieties about national security and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Prison Conditions | 1 Comment

Hundreds die in Honduras prison fire

A fire at a central Honduras prison has caused over 300 deaths, and this tragedy has drawn attention to the broader crises of overcrowding and violence in the nation’s carceral system. The New York Times covers the story, with a photo … Continue reading

Posted in International, Prison Conditions | 2 Comments

Massachusetts Considers Raising the Age at which Defendants are Sentenced as Adults

Massachusetts is one of only 13 states where criminal cases involving 17-year-olds are handled in the adult justice system rather than juvenile justice system. Fortunately, though, this may change; the state legislature is considering a bill that would increase the … Continue reading

Posted in Legislation, Local, Sentencing, Youth | 3 Comments

Three strikes in Massachusetts

There’s a lot of news and action circulating about the three strikes bill here in Massachusetts. Luckily, Blackstonian just released a special edition on the legislation, featuring Judge Gertner and Charles Ogletree among other prominent thinkers and activists. For more … Continue reading

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Juvenile-in-Justice Project

We rarely see images of incarcerated children like this. You can take a look at more of photographer Richard Ross’ work and watch a video in which he is interviewed here.

Posted in Publications, Media and Advocacy, Uncategorized, Youth | 1 Comment

The Incarcerated Elderly

The dramatic increase in prison population in the U.S. over the past few decades means that there is now an unprecedentedly large geriatric prison population for which prisons do not have the resources to care. Last week, Human Rights Watch released … Continue reading

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