Mar 31, 2019

 60 Minutes to Feature Success of Vera’s Restoring Promise Initiative at Repurposing a Maximum Security Prison Unit – CBS 60 Minutes – Sunday, March 31 at 7PM EST
German-style prison rehab leads inmate to college basketball team and Dean’s List – A U.S. prison program, inspired by German-style corrections, has already worked wonders for at least one former inmate.

“A re-purposed housing unit in a maximum security prison in Connecticut that centers healing and restoration for 18- to 25-year-olds. Vera’s Restoring Promise Initiative, in collaboration with MILPA Collective, partnered with the Connecticut Department of Corrections to establish T.R.U.E.—the first unit of its kind in the country. Today, Restoring Promise has opened re-purposed housing units across five facilities in three states: Connecticut’s women’s prison, the Middlesex County Jail in Massachusetts, and most recently at prisons in South Carolina.”  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/german-style-prison-rehab-leads-inmate-to-college-basketball-team-and-deans-list-60-minutes/    Related article: Florida Times Union (Jacksonville, FL) – Andrew Pantazi  Jacksonville men freed 43 years after wrongful murder conviction, a first for a Florida conviction review unit  https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190328/jacksonville-men-freed-43-years-after-wrongful-murder-conviction-first-for-florida-conviction-review-unit?utm_source=The+Appeal&utm_campaign=71f0e6f944-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_09_04_14_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_72df992d84-71f0e6f944-58420099   (This is a new idea: a Conviction Review Unit whose job is to review dubious convictions and where proven a faulty conviction to reverse the conviction.)    Related article: Associated Press – Philip Marcelo  Jails, prisons slowly loosen resistance to addiction meds   https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/jails-prisons-slowly-loosen-resistance-to-addiction-meds?utm_source=The+Appeal&utm_campaign=26446d7ff2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_07_03_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_72df992d84-26446d7ff2-58408851&utm_source=The+Appeal&utm_campaign=71f0e6f944-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_09_04_14_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_72df992d84-71f0e6f944-58420099

 NY Times – Shaila Dewan
Inside America’s Black Box: A Rare Look at the Violence of Incarceration – Would we fix our prisons if we could see what happens inside them?

Dewan says we all know where the prisons are but few know what goes on inside them.  Were we privy to the inside, we would see prisons as places of concentrated violence; St Clare Prson in Alabama is likely one of the deadliest and most dangerous.  The NY Times received a series of photos depicting the bloodshed and decided not to publish them but rather instead to describe what happened.  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/us/inside-americas-black-box.html

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Tackling suicide and self-harm in prison…

In 2015 the British ministry of Justice published a research and policy piece call the Assessment, Care in Custody, Teamwork (ACCT).  In the intervening years, the practices about prevention of suicide and self-harm in prisons have had further research and the government is about to revise the policy.  The link offers a review of the ACCT as well as the key findings of the new study.  https://mailchi.mp/russellwebster/acct19?e=10ab936adc

Florida Times Union (Jacksonville, Fl) – Tachana Joseph
Guest column: Lawmakers can enact smart justice reforms or keep paying high prices

The author of this piece is a criminal justice analyst at the Florida Policy Institute in Tallahassee.  She notes first that to no one surprise the cost of running prisons with older population is rising at alarming rates.  Some would attribute the increases to medical and mental health costs both while in prison and in re-entry programs.  Joseph says that the rising costs are barely making a dent in the need for these health services and are directly attributable to the failure of the minimum prison reform to date.  https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190329/guest-column-lawmakers-can-enact-smart-justice-reforms-or-keep-paying-high-prices

Supreme Court of Canada – Cases in Briefv.
R. vs Myers

These cases are summary type reviews of Supreme Court of Canada decisions by the Court’s staff.  The Myers case involves a decision to more stringently enforce the notion that a person charged in Canada is not to be jailed except in certain specific circumstances.  Once jailed without conviction then a 90 review is supposed to happen automatically.  The failure to be clear about remand accounts for over half the prison and jail population on any given day. “The only question the judge has to decide is whether keeping the person in jail is legally necessary to make sure they attend trial, to keep the public safe, or to protect public confidence in the justice system. Delay is just one thing a judge can look at. But delays don’t necessarily have to be “unreasonable.” What matters is the effect keeping the person in jail would have on them, now or in the future.”    https://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/cb/2019/37869-eng.aspx   Related article:  TVOnatrio – Steve Paikin   Aging and Dying Behind Bars  https://www.tvo.org/video/aging-and-dying-behind-bars (A 15 min video with federal Correctional Investigation Officer Ivan Zinger and Laura Tamblyn Watts of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP).)  Related article: TVOntario – Steve Paikin  – Crime, Punishment, and Dementia: The Wrong Side of the Law (A 10 min interview with Graham West, lawyer and Executive Director of the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly)  https://www.tvo.org/video/crime-punishment-and-dementia