0

Rikers Island ‘box’ counts as ‘torture’ for jail inmates: defense attorneys

Posted on Sep 16 , 2014 in News

Rikers Island ‘box’ counts as ‘torture’ for jail inmates: defense attorneys, The NY Daily News, Bill Hutchinson, September 12, 2014.
Excerpt: “The ‘horrific conditions’ endured by inmates in solitary confinement at Rikers Island are exposed in a report released Thursday by a group of defense lawyers. The report by The Bronx Defenders details the experiences of 59 inmates, some as young as 16, who have served time in the East River jail’s ‘box.’ ‘The interviews expose a systemic practice that is unquestionably inhumane, raises serious Eighth Amendment issues and deserves the label torture,’ the group said in a statement. Most of the inmates interviewed spent 30 to 90 days in solitary confinement for jailhouse infractions, including fighting with other inmates or correction officers. One 18-year-old inmate, only identified as Michael, served 1,000 days in the box.” click here for full article.

0

Struggling for diversity

Posted on Sep 09 , 2014 in News

Struggling for diversity, Times Union, Keshia Clukey September 8, 2014.

Excerpt: “Still, Albany police had 333 full-time officers, 90 percent of whom were white while 53 percent of the community members were white, according to the AP data from 2007. The city says current data shows a slight improvement. “People don’t want to feel they’re being policed,” Krokoff said. “They want to be a part of it.” The city’s population is about 30 percent African-American, and the department currently is about 12 percent African-American, the chief said. His goal is to be at a minimum of 30 percent. The department has community leaders recruiting for it in the minority communities. Potential recruits are then partnered with a mentor in the department who helps them through the process, Krokoff said.”click here for full article.

0

New York Hires Consultant to Create Rikers Island Reform Plan

Posted on Sep 08 , 2014 in News

New York Hires Consultant to Create Rikers Island Reform Plan, The New York Times, Michael Schwirtz, September 8, 2014.

Excerpt: “In the wake of revelations about pervasive brutality carried out by jail staff and other serious problems at Rikers Island, New York’s correction commissioner announced on Monday that the city had hired the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, mostly known for its work advising corporations, to develop a plan for reforms. In a letter to correctional employees obtained by The New York Times, the commissioner, Joseph Ponte, said that starting on Tuesday, the team from McKinsey would be working at Rikers interviewing personnel, reviewing logbooks and evaluating procedures.” click here for full article.

0

Crime, Bias and Statistics

Posted on Sep 08 , 2014 in News

Crime, Bias and Statistics, The New York Times, September 7, 2014.

Excerpt: “Discussions of the relationship between blacks and the criminal justice system in this country too often grind to a halt as people slink down into their silos and arm themselves with their best rhetorical weapons — racial bias on one side and statistics in which minorities, particularly blacks, are overrepresented as criminals on the other. What I find too often overlooked in this war of words is the intersection between the two positions, meaning the degree to which bias informs the statistics and vice versa. The troubling association — in fact, overassociation — of blacks with criminality directly affects the way we think about both crime and blacks as a whole.” click here for full article.

0

Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies

Posted on Sep 08 , 2014 in News

 Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies, The Sentencing Project, Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D., And Christopher Lewis, 2014.

Excerpt from the Executive Summary: “To guide and give greater momentum to recent calls for reform, this report examines a key driving force of criminal justice outcomes: racial perceptions of crime. A complex set of factors contributes to the severity and selectivity of punishment in the United States, including public concern about crime and racial differences in crime rates. This report synthesizes two decades of research establishing that skewed racial perceptions of crime – particularly, white Americans’ strong associations of crime with racial minorities – have bolstered harsh and biased criminal justice policies. ” click here for full report.

0

Federal Inquiry of Ferguson Police Will Include Apparent Racial Profiling

Posted on Sep 05 , 2014 in News

Federal Inquiry of Ferguson Police Will Include Apparent Racial Profiling, The New York Times, Matt Apuzzo, September 4, 2014.

Excerpt: “The Justice Department’s civil rights investigation into the police department in Ferguson, Mo., will focus on whether officers there made discriminatory traffic stops, mistreated prisoners or used excessive force in the years before last month’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white officer, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on Thursday.”click here for full article.

0

In Washington, Second Thoughts on Arming Police

Posted on Aug 25 , 2014 in News

In Washington, Second Thoughts on Arming Police, The New York Times, Matt Apuzzo and Michael Schmidt, August 

Excerpt: “The White House-led review will consider whether the government should continue providing such equipment and, if so, whether local authorities have sufficient training to use it appropriately, said senior administration and law enforcement officials. The government will also consider whether it is keeping a close enough watch on equipment inventories, and how the weapons and other gear are used.” Click Here for Full article.

0

New York’s Top Jail Investigator Resigns After Inquiry on Rikers Brutality

Posted on Aug 24 , 2014 in News

New York’s Top Jail Investigator Resigns After Inquiry on Rikers Brutality, The New York Times,Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz, August 22, 2014.

Excerpt: “The top investigator at the New York Correction Department resigned on Friday under pressure from city leaders who are facing a federal mandate to regain control of the Rikers Island jail complex, where widespread brutality and corruption by guards routinely go unpunished. The investigator, Florence L. Finkle, is leaving less than a month after a damning federal inquiry chronicled assaults on teenage inmates by guards at Rikers, and criticized the division she oversaw as “ineffectual,” “understaffed” and biased in favor of correction officers.” Click here for full article.

0

New Trial Sought in Death of Man Pulled From Cell

Posted on Aug 24 , 2014 in News

New Trial Sought in Death of Man Pulled From Cell, The New York Times, Erica Goode, August 22, 2014.

Excerpt:  “Lawyers for the mother of a mentally ill man who died in 2010 while being forcibly removed from his cell in a Nashville prison asked a federal court on Friday for a new civil trial against prison officials. The inmate, Charles Jason Toll, 33, suffocated while being removed from his cell by a team of corrections officers at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. The officers, wearing riot gear, handcuffed, shackled and carried Mr. Toll to a dark outdoor recreation yard. On a prison video, Mr. Toll could be heard saying, “I can’t breathe,” at least 12 times. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and concluded, along with an independent forensic medical expert, that Mr. Toll died from force applied while he was in restraints during the cell removal.” Click Here for full article.

0

Housing Restrictions Keep Sex Offenders in Prison Beyond Release Dates

Posted on Aug 24 , 2014 in News

Housing Restrictions Keep Sex Offenders in Prison Beyond Release Dates, The New York Times,Joseph Goldstein, 

Excerpt: “Dozens of sex offenders who have satisfied their sentences in New York State are being held in prison beyond their release dates because of a new interpretation of a state law that governs where they can live. The law, which has been in effect since 2005, restricts many sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school. Those unable to find such accommodations often end up in homeless shelters. But in February, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which runs the prisons and parole system, said the 1,000-foot restriction also extended from homeless shelters, making most of them off limits because of the proximity of schools.” Click Here for full article.