Habitat work helps offenders and county

Posted on Feb 23 , 2015 in News

Habitat work helps offenders and county, Times Union, Keshia Clukey, February 23, 2015.

Excerpt: “How do you keep people out of jail? Give them a job.That’s the idea around the Albany County Sheriff’s Office’s new program, Inmates Working on Rebuilding Communities, or IWORC.” Continue>>


The Shame of Solitary Confinement

Posted on Feb 20 , 2015 in News

The Shame of Solitary Confinement, New York Times Magazine, Emily Bazelon, 

Excerpt: “Last year, Dave Maass, an investigative researcher for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, found a document on the website of the South Carolina Department of Corrections that listed nearly 400 inmates in the state’s prisons who had broken a rule against posting on social-media sites. Prisons often bar inmates from Facebook, Twitter and other sites, citing a concern that they could use social media to plan contraband drops or intimidate witnesses — and also because their presence online is evidence that they’re using contraband cellphones, since prisoners generally lack Internet access through other means.” Continue>>


Senators unveil prison reform bill

Posted on Feb 20 , 2015 in News

Senators unveil prison reform bill, The Hill, David McCabe, February 10, 2015.

Excerpt: “Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are reintroducing a prison reform bill they say will achieve a major goal of criminal justice reformers: reducing the size of the federal inmate population.Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) pushed the Corrections Oversight, Recidivism Reduction, and Eliminating Costs for Taxpayers in Our National System (CORRECTIONS) Act at a press conference Tuesday.The law is meant to reduce the number of people — currently just over 210,000 — incarcerated in federal prisons. The package proposed by the two senators takes a more moderate approach to reducing prison populations than other proposals that would implement reductions to mandatory sentences.”Continue>> 



Women in New York State Prisons Don’t Have Enough Sanitary Pads, Suffer Other Daily Indignities

Posted on Feb 18 , 2015 in News

Women in New York State Prisons Don’t Have Enough Sanitary Pads, Suffer Other Daily Indignities, TruthOut, Dani McClain, The Nation, February 17, 2015.

Excerpt: “The Correctional Association of New York, an organization that’s monitored conditions in the state’s prisons since 1846 and which produced the report “Reproductive Injustice,” calls it the most extensive study of reproductive health care in a state prison system to date. It’s the product of five years’ worth of investigation into New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), which provides reproductive healthcare to 4,000 women per year, according to the report. Women make up just 4 percent of DOCCS’s prison population, but because of the upward national trend in incarcerating women—the women’s prison population increased in the US by nearly 900 percent between 1977 and 2013—the study offers a look at the inhumane conditions faced by a growing number of women, the majority of whom are poor and of color.”Continue>> 


Prison Architecture and the Question of Ethics

Posted on Feb 17 , 2015 in News

Prison Architecture and the Question of Ethics, NY Times, Michael Kimmelman, 

Excerpt: “SAN FRANCISCO — Faced with lawsuits and a growing mountain of damning research, New York City officials decided last month to ban solitary confinement for prison inmates 21 and younger. Just a few weeks earlier, the American Institute of Architects rejected a petition to censure members who design solitary-confinement cells and death chambers.” Continue>> 


Warrantless search: Albany police conduct investigation into incident in June

Posted on Feb 17 , 2015 in News

Warrantless search: Albany police conduct investigation into incident in June, Times Union, Brendan J. Lyons, February 17, 2015.
Excerpt: “A man arrested on drug charges last summer has accused three city detectives of stealing more than $3,000 from his apartment after they took his keys and entered his Central Avenue home without a search warrant. Police records indicate the detectives violated departmental policies when they seized a large amount of crack cocaine and more than two pounds of marijuana from the apartment.” Continue>>

Dr. Alice Green honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on Feb 06 , 2015 in News

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy honored Alice Green for her work in the community during a celebration of African American History Month themed “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture” on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, in Albany, N.Y.



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Photo Credit: Lori Van Buren/Times Union

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Justice Dept. hopes new programs will cut down on prison populations

Posted on Feb 04 , 2015 in News

Justice Dept. hopes new programs will cut down on prison populations, The Washington Times, Phillip Swarts, February 2, 2015.

Excerpt: “With the nation’s prison population in decline — albeit slowly — the Justice Department is hoping they can continue the trend with an additional $217 million in funding to combat recidivism.The nation’s law enforcement branch is asking for a total of $8.8 billion for the nation’s prison populations, with a $146 million increase from last year focused on preventing recidivism and helping inmates reenter society.Continue>>


Obama Goes After the Drug War

Posted on Feb 03 , 2015 in News

Obama Goes After the Drug War, The Atlantic, Russell Berman, February 2, 2015.

Excerpt: “This Reagan-era post has lost its allure as public support for the “war on drugs” has soured, and the Obama budget calls for cutting the office’s budget by nearly $66 million, or 17 percent. Much of that comes from slashing funding for a 28-year-old program targeting “high-intensity drug trafficking areas.” That doesn’t mean the administration plans to ignore drugs, and the budget contains more than $27 billion for prevention and enforcement. But it reflects the administration’s shift in emphasis from treating drug use as a crime to more of a public health issue, with a focus on intervention, treatment, recovery, and reducing recidivism.” Continue >>


Governor’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety And Justice

Posted on Jan 22 , 2015 in News

Governor’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety And Justice:Recommendations for Juvenile Justice Reform in New York State

Excerpt: “As discussed in the Report in detail, the Commission has engaged in a wide-ranging research effort that included focus groups and interviews around the State with members of communities most affected by the juvenile justice system, law enforcement, youth, parents, advocates, county and local officials, and experts in the field. The Commission researched the laws of New York and other states, reviewed relevant research in both adolescent development and juvenile justice, and held hearings across the State at which experts and stakeholders testified. The members of the Commission examined and discussed this voluminous material with the benefits of their unparalleled individual expertise in the field. The Vera Institute of Justice provided remarkable support to the Commission’s work, including technical, research, and drafting assistance. The Commission’s executive director, Jacquelyn Greene, worked tirelessly to develop the Commission’s recommendations and to bring us to a unanimous result.” Continue>>