Investigation into inmate’s suicide faults Maryland women’s prison’s treatment of people with disabilities : Washington Post
Investigation into inmate’s suicide faults Maryland women’s prison’s treatment of people with disabilities
Washington Post By Lillian Reed
An investigation into Maryland’s only prison for women following the 2017 suicide of an inmate found the facility violated the constitutional rights of people with disabilities who are placed in segregation and did not take sufficient steps to “prevent future harm.”
The investigation, released Friday by Disability Rights Maryland, reviewed the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women and its role in the death of inmate Emily Butler, who was found dead in her cell from an apparent suicide on Nov. 12, 2017. The investigative report details several findings and recommends changes on how the prison can better handle inmates with disabilities.
Disability Rights Maryland is the state’s designated authority under federal law for conducting investigations into allegations of abuse and negligence for people with disabilities. The group, along with Munib Lohrasbi of the Open Society Institute of Baltimore, launched a review after Butler’s death in segregation.
How to Support Cyntoia Brown
Colorlines by Ayana Byrd
December 10, 2018
Sentenced to life in prison at 16 for killing her would-be rapist, Brown is not eligible for parole until she is 67.
In the unanimous decision, the state court ruled that juvenile offenders facing life, like Brown, must serve five decades before being considered for parole.
Brown is in the Tennessee Prison for Women for shooting Johnny Allen in 2004. At the time of the incident, she was a 16-year-old who had been forced into prostitution. Allen, 43, picked her up at a Sonic drive-in and drove her back to his house, which had guns on display. Brown maintains that she killed him with a gun from her purse in an act of self-defense. Prosecutors in her trial countered that she went to Allen’s house to rob him.
America's Other Family-Separation Crisis
The New Yorker by Sarah Stillman
... America imprisons women in astonishing numbers. The population of women in state prisons has increased by more than eight hundred per cent in the past four decades. The number of women in local jails is fourteen times higher than it was in the nineteen-seventies; most of these women haven’t been convicted of a crime but are too poor to post bail while awaiting trial. The majority have been charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession, shoplifting, and parole violations. The result is that more than a quarter of a million children in the U.S. have a mother in jail. One in nine black children has a parent who is, or has been, incarcerated. ...
In Iowa, A Commitment to make prison work better for women
NPR by Joseph Shapiro
October 17, 2018
The warden at the women's prison in Iowa recently instructed her corrections officers to stop giving out so many disciplinary tickets for minor violations of prison rules, like when a woman wears her sweatshirt inside out or rolls up her sleeves.
It's a small thing. But it's also part of a growing movement to reconsider the way women are treated in prison.
Called "gender-responsive corrections," the movement is built on a simple idea: that prison rules created to control men, particularly violent ones, often don't work well for women. That women come to prison with different histories from men — they're more likely to be victims of violence, for example — and they need different rules.
Read and listen
In Prison, Discipline Comes Down Hardest On Women
NPR by Joseph Shapiro, Jessica Pupovac, Kari Lydersen
October 15, 2018
When Monica Cosby, Tyteanna Williams and Celia Colon talk about the years they spent as inmates at women's prisons in Illinois, their stories often turn to the times they would be disciplined for what seemed like small, even absurd things.
Cosby was playing Scrabble in her cell once when a guard asked what she was doing. She responded sarcastically: "What does it look like I'm doing?" He wrote her up for "contraband" (the Scrabble set) and for "insolence."
Williams got written up once when her cellmate, who had diabetes, passed out and Williams cursed at the officer she thought was too slow to help.
Colon got a disciplinary ticket for "reckless eye-balling." She had made a face when a corrections officer gave her an order. She says she ended up in solitary confinement as a result.
"You could get a ticket for anything," Colon said.
Especially, it turns out, if you're a woman.
Former Logan inmate sues over alleged sexual assault
State Capitol Bureau By Doug Finke
September 21, 2018
A former inmate at the Logan Correctional Center says she was sexually assaulted by a prison employee and that prison staff knew of the assaults but did nothing to stop them. The allegations are laid out in a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Springfield.
Congratulations Monica Cosby long time supporter of UUPMI working to ensure other women are never faced with prison.
Chicago Tribune :: July 18, 2018
ARTICLE: 'Prison is not where women need to be'
The number of women locked up in Illinois prisons could be cut in half under an ambitious proposal by reform advocates who argue that the corrections system has largely ignored the needs of female inmates.
Watch Video - Read More
Raising babies behind bars
A bold experiment in parenting and punishment is allowing children in prison. But is that a good thing?
Washington Post: By Justine Jouvenal
Prison nursery programs remain rare nationwide, but eight facilities in as many states have opened them amid dramatic growth in the number of incarcerated women. The bold experiment in punishment and parenting has touched off a fierce debate. ...
Click here to read more
A Transgender Inmate Says She Was Raped
Time : By Kathleen Foody May 3, 2018
(DENVER) — A transgender inmate who is suing Colorado’s corrections agency says she was raped at a men’s prison hours after a federal judge denied her request to block the prison from keeping her in a disciplinary unit, according to court records and the woman’s attorney.
For Trump's Evangelical Advisers, Prison Reform Becomes a Front-Burner Issue
NPR :: Sarah McCammon
That idea – that redemption is possible, even in prison – is a central part of the Christian belief system, said Johnnie Moore, an evangelical leader and informal adviser to President Trump who attended the summit. "I'm not sure that for a number of years it was sort of considered a political issue," he said in an interview with NPR. "It was more just an issue of justice."
Moore is among leading evangelicals who are supporting the FIRST STEP Act, which focuses on improving prison conditions for pregnant inmates, and offers a path to possible early release for prisoners who earn credits for good behavior. The plan does not tackle many of the larger goals of criminal justice reform advocates, such as reducing or eliminating mandatory minimums for non-violent drug crimes.
Jesselyn McCurdy of the American Civil Liberties Union said she welcomes evangelical support for prison reform in principle, but worries the push for this legislation could squander an opportunity for more substantial reform. Among other concerns, she said the plan relies too heavily on releasing prisoners into halfway houses, which are underfunded.
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive