Life on Parole — FRONTLINE and The New York Times' investigation of one state’s effort to reduce recidivism and lower prison populations by rethinking how parole works.
With unique access inside Connecticut’s corrections system, the film follows four former prisoners as they re-enter society and navigate the challenges of more than a year on parole — including finding work, staying sober and parenting -- all under intense supervision from the state.
From Vaughn Gresham, who was arrested for the first time at age 16, to Jessica Proctor, who spent nearly a decade behind bars for assault with physical injury, Life on Parole is a remarkable, firsthand look at why some people stay out of jail, why some go back, and how one state is trying to break the cycle of recidivism.
"I make a living on second chances — that’s what parole is," Officer Katherine Montoya says in the documentary.
Don't miss this inside look at how one state's experiment with second chances has played out for offenders, the communities they return to, and the system that's responsible for supervising them.
The Hardest Lesson on Tier 2C
The Marshall Project :: Eli Hager June 8, 2018
In association with This American Life
Attending school in a prison setting was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The very concept of a school in an adult jail is a total paradox. These kids are being prosecuted as adults. They are facing decades in prison and a lifelong criminal record. They are not allowed to visit their families, and are being held with thousands of grown men in a place that is fundamentally unsafe. Everything about their experience is telling them they have no future, no potential, and no worth.
But then… there’s school?
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When They Get Out: how prisons
Atlantic (1999) by Sasha Abramsky
Popular perceptions about crime have blurred the boundaries between fact and politically expedient myth. The myth is that the United States is besieged, on a scale never before encountered, by a pathologically criminal underclass. The fact is that we're not. After spiraling upward during the drug wars, murder rates began falling in the mid-1990s; they are lower today than they were more than twenty years ago. In some cities the murder rate in the late twentieth century is actually lower than it was in the nineteenth century. Nonviolent property-crime rates are in general lower in the United States today than in Great Britain, and are comparable to those in many European countries.
Article: Getting Out of Prison Meant Leaving Dear Friends Behind:
The Marshall Project May 31, 2018 by Robert Wright
...I stop in front of the cell of one of my oldest friends. He looks at me and turns away, wishing me well without looking into my eyes. I give him information on how to get in touch with me. When I go to hand him the piece of paper, I can see he has tears in eyes that he is desperately trying to prevent from falling in my presence. He was sentenced to 40 to life. Never in the 10 years that I have known him have I ever seen him in a moment of weakness. And now it is my departure that is the cause of his vulnerability. We hug through the bars that separate us and exchange I love yous. I walk away knowing he was watching the image of me in the mirror he stuck outside his bars become smaller and smaller, until it would be the last he ever sees of me. ...
Article: Think prison abolition in America is impossible? It once felt inevitable : Guardian by Dubler and Lloyd
Think prison abolition in America is impossible? It once felt inevitable
The Guardian May 19, 2018 by Dubler and Lloyd
In the 1960s and 1970s, attorneys general and Republican congressmen were among the many arguing that prison was immoral. Can those days return?
With amazing speed, ending mass incarceration has become a priority not only for leftists but also for centrists and even for some on the right. Jared Kushner recently classed prisoners with other “forgotten men and women” championed by Donald Trump. But none of the reforms on the table will actually end mass incarceration. Even if tomorrow we release every non-violent drug offender, every ageing prisoner and everyone who is in jail solely because they can’t make their bail – and we should do those things – the United States would still have an incarceration rate an order of magnitude higher than its peer nations.
Have You Ever Seen Someone Be Killed?
The New York Times May 25, 2018 :: Emily Badger
Researchers with the Boston Reentry Study were one year into their interviews, following 122 men and women as they returned from prison to their neighborhoods and families, when they asked the kind of question that’s hard to broach until you know someone well.
They prompted the study’s participants to think back to childhood. “Did you ever see someone get killed during that time?” ...
“The whole ethical foundation of our system of punishment I think is threatened once you take into account the reality of people’s lives,”
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.
Trump rolls back Obama Rules that helped transgender prisoners
USA Today : By Christal Hayes
The Bureau of Prisons rolled back some measures on Friday that helped prevent transgender prisoners from being harassed, assaulted and sexually abused.
The rules, posted just two days before President Trump's inauguration, laid out a number of guidelines for how prisons and guards should treat transgender inmates.
The manual instructed prisons to "recommend housing by gender identity when appropriate."
Now, under Trump, some of the policies have been altered, according to an updated manual posted to the Bureau of Prisons website Friday.
The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Federal Criminal Justice Initiatives on LGBTQ People & Communities and Opportunities for Local Resistance
Richard Saenz, Lambda Legal, Kara Ingelhart, Lambda Legal, and Andrea J. Ritchie, Barnard Center for Research on Women
This report offers an overview of the wide-ranging impacts of the Trump Administration’s federal criminal justice initiatives on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and communities, with a particular focus on impacts on LGBTQ people of color and immigrants. Our hope is that this information will serve as a resource to support the work of advocates working at the state and local levels to resist, avoid, limit, or lessen the impacts of federal criminal justice initiatives that harm LGBTQ communities, and to inform broader federal criminal justice reform and police accountability efforts.
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive