While the First Step Act, passed by Congress last year, changes mandatory minimums for some federal offenders, not all will be helped by it, including inmates such as Pray who were convicted in cases involving powder cocaine instead of crack Pray says his brother started selling drugs at age 14 and was dead by Court documents show that Pray was dealing by the time he was in his late 20s.
He used drug money to open up other businesses, according to Coleman. Pray says at one point he owned two used car dealerships and was a fight promoter. The charges that led to his life sentence involved more than kilograms pounds of cocaine and about pounds of pot. He maintains that the "kingpin" charge was trumped up, the result of a rejected plea deal. Prosecutors wanted information about other people, including politicians, that Pray says he refused to give Pray has applied for clemency twice to no avail.
Yet he still holds out hope that he'll be able to spend his final days with his family But let the punishment fit the crime," Pray said during our phone interview. Here are its "Key Points" and its "Abstract":. Question Is parental incarceration associated with increased odds of offspring receiving psychiatric diagnoses during young adulthood and experiencing obstacles that can derail a successful transition to adulthood eg, in health, legal, financial, and social domains?
Little is known about whether parental incarceration during childhood is associated with adult psychiatric problems and functional outcomes. Objective To examine whether parental incarceration is associated with increased levels of psychiatric diagnosis and poor outcomes in health, legal, financial, and social domains in adulthood. Design, Setting, and Participants This cohort study used data from the community-representative, prospective, longitudinal Great Smoky Mountains Study. Children and their parents were interviewed up to 8 times from January to December ages years; observations of participants using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment, which assessed parental incarceration, childhood psychiatric diagnoses, and other adversities.
Young adults were followed up at ages 19, 21, 25, and 30 years from January to December observations of participants to assess psychiatric diagnoses and functional outcomes indicative of a disrupted transition to adulthood. Data analysis was conducted from June to June Results By age 16 years, participants weighted percentage, Parental incarceration was associated with higher prevalence of childhood psychiatric diagnoses eg, any depressive diagnosis: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.
After accounting for childhood psychiatric diagnoses and adversity exposure, parental incarceration remained associated with increased odds of having an adult anxiety disorder aOR, 1. Conclusions and Relevance This study suggests that parental incarceration is associated with a broad range of psychiatric, legal, financial, and social outcomes during young adulthood. Parental incarceration is a common experience that may perpetuate disadvantage from generation to generation.
September 2, in Prisons and prisoners Permalink Comments 3. This local article , headlined "U. Here are the basics:. Ruling in one of at least a half dozen federal civil rights suits by former death row inmate Richard Reynolds, U. Underhill concludes in a set of decisions released Wednesday, one of them 57 pages long, that the conditions of confinement imposed by the state on former death row inmates — in particular the periods of time during which they are locked alone in their cells — amounts to a Constitutional violation.
When the death penalty was abolished retroactively in Connecticut, Reynolds was resentenced to life without the possibility of release. The fact that people commit inhumane crimes does not give the state the right to treat them inhumanely. Solitary confinement is an extreme form of punishment with a long history in American penal systems. Reynolds was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in for killing Waterbury police officer Walter Williams three years earlier.
In , he was resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release after the state Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional. Underhill wrote that Reynolds is allowed out of his cell for two minute periods to eat lunch and dinner.
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He is allowed to take one minute shower each day, two hours of recreation each day for six days a week and two hours of weekly indoor gym recreation. Reynolds may, upon request, receive visits from clergy, attorneys, or prison medical staff. This webpage provides this overview of the page document:. Each year, more than , incarcerated individuals leave federal and state prisons and return to local communities where they will have to compete with individuals in those communities for jobs. In today's economy, having a college education is necessary to compete for many jobs, and the stakes for ex-offenders are higher than they are for others.
There are different perspectives about whether postsecondary programs in prison should lead to academic degrees or industry-recognized credentials. Drawing on past RAND research on correctional education and focusing on the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative and the Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education initiative in North Carolina, this Perspective summarizes research on the effectiveness of educational programs in helping to reduce recidivism, key lessons learned in providing college programs to incarcerated adults, and remaining issues that need to be addressed, including how to ensure long-term funding of in-prison college programs and the need for an outcomes evaluation to learn from the Experimental Initiative.
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Providing access to college education for incarcerated adults can help reduce the nation's substantial recidivism rates. August 29, in Prisons and prisoners , Reentry and community supervision Permalink Comments 0. Here is how the report gets started:.
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Police and jails are supposed to promote public safety. Increasingly, however, law enforcement is called upon to respond punitively to medical and economic problems unrelated to public safety issues. As a result, local jails are filled with people who need medical care and social services, many of whom cycle in and out of jail without ever receiving the help they need. Conversations about this problem are becoming more frequent, but until now, these conversations have been missing three fundamental data points: how many people go to jail each year, how many return, and which underlying problems fuel this cycle.
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In this report, we fill this troubling data gap with a new analysis of a federal survey, finding that at least 4. Our analysis shows that repeated arrests are related to race and poverty, as well as high rates of mental illness and substance use disorders. Ultimately, we find that people who are jailed have much higher rates of social, economic, and health problems that cannot and should not be addressed through incarceration.
The title of this post is the headline of this lengthy new Atlantic commentary authored by Lucy Lang. The piece has the subtitle "Attorneys on the front lines of the criminal-justice system should be pressing for a drastically different model of incarceration. My years of prosecuting violent street crime and working with crime survivors and their families had deeply sensitized me to the devastating impact of violent crime on individuals and communities. In fact, not so long ago, it was crime victims who were the forgotten ones in the criminal-justice system.
I had focused on crime, but had I thought enough about punishment? I was myself the mother of two young children. If a mother could find compassion for the men who killed her son, then surely I could too While the criminal-justice system, nationally and locally, has undergone significant reforms in recent years, the system requires far more extensive change.
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Reform-minded prosecutors in jurisdictions across the country are working to tailor responses to crime to address its underlying causes and reduce our reliance on prisons while still encouraging accountability for those who cause harm. They are looking to public-health and harm-reduction models as they try to keep many people out of prison and to identify ways to carefully tailor the appropriate amount of prison time for others. It is not enough, though, for prosecutors to decline prosecution of low-level offenses and to create alternatives to incarceration for appropriate cases.
These work-arounds are important, but the majority of incarcerated Americans are imprisoned for crimes of violence. Simply diverting nonviolent offenders and reducing sentence lengths will not solve mass incarceration. And the use of these increasingly politically popular strategies for shrinking the footprint of the criminal-justice system ought not delay addressing the unconscionable state of American prisons Such units should focus on the development and maintenance of humane prison conditions, including advocating for the prisons on which they rely to implement trauma-informed training borrowed from medical and social work institutions, designed to encourage prison staff to treat residents with dignity and to create a culture of mutual respect.
Such units would serve as liaisons with departments of corrections, state attorneys general, and other relevant agencies to break down the silos that have enabled modern American prisons to damage their residents and employees alike for far too long, and thereby perpetuated the cycles of violence in our communities. These units could lobby state legislatures to reform conditions, assist in allocating resources to prison programs and education, and communicate with parole and probation departments.
And finally, they could do the important work of educating prosecutors about the realities of the prison system, so that every time a prosecutor recommends a jail or prison sentence, she does so with full knowledge of what that sentence is likely to entail. Prosecutors are, of course, neither solely responsible for, nor alone capable of solving the civil-rights crisis of mass incarceration. Judges, police officers, defense attorneys, corrections officers, community advocates, and others have all contributed to the steep increase in people incarcerated and under correctional supervision in the United States during the latter part of the 20th century.
Each of these groups must step up to identify solutions. And there will always be some people who cannot appropriately and safely remain in the community after committing an offense. But prison must not inflict undue suffering District attorneys can profoundly transform the criminal-justice system if they recognize their own role in perpetuating the harms of prison and commit to fixing American prisons. Prosecutors should proactively employ their considerable power to investigate and prosecute abuse, other criminal conduct, and civil-rights violations behind bars, and use their bully pulpits to speak out loudly in favor of a drastically different prison model.
Prosecutors can promote long-term public safety and accountability, while also manifesting the empathy that has been too long absent in our system. The integrity of the system depends on it. Sean Pica has this new commentary headlined "The First Step is just the beginning. As more and more prisoners are being freed, some are skeptical that the incarcerated and those with criminal records are worthy of a second chance.
They ask: is rehabilitation possible? But to do that, the formerly incarcerated and those with a criminal record need a helping hand.
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For me, it was being the beneficiary of bold thinking from the New York State Department of Corrections. The nonprofit, which I now lead, provides a college education and reentry support services to incarcerated men and women in five New York correctional facilities. The program boasts a recidivism rate of less than 2 percent. Thanks to partners like the nonprofit Stand Together Foundation and inspiring correctional leaders like Sing Sing Superintendent Michael Capra, Hudson Link is helping put an end to the vicious cycle of recidivism and inter-generational incarceration by breaking down barriers that prevent people from realizing their full potential.
This week, classes begin at Cornell University for some 20, students, including me. Yet I hope my presence here — and my future success in pursuing a law degree — sends a powerful message that former prisoners can not only contribute to society, but can do important things The Crime Bill, signed into law 25 years ago, ended Pell Grants for folks in prison, eventually drying up funding and causing many colleges to withdraw from prisons altogether.
That was a terrible mistake. Today, federal lawmakers debate the language and scope of the Restoring Education and Learning Act — a measure that would give thousands of prisoners the chance to get some tuition help. They must think big. August 25, in Prisons and prisoners , Reentry and community supervision Permalink Comments 2. As reported here , this week started with Attorney General William Barr announcing the appointment Dr. Thomas R. Kane as the Deputy Director. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this development has prompted some folks to share advice on how federal prison system could be better run.
Here is some of the discussion I have noticed:. The Article makes two conceptual contributions. First, it tells a story about the Thirteenth Amendment forbidding one form of slavery while legitimating and preserving others. Of course, the text does not operate absent important actors: legislatures and courts.