Posts Tagged ‘New York’
A confidential draft report prepared by a task force appointed by Governor Patterson and led by John Jay College of Criminal Justice president Jeremy Travis states that the juvenile prison system in New York has reached a state of crisis. The juvenile system houses about 900 young people at 28 facilities across the state. The report found that excessive violence was used in dealing with the youth, and the facilities were ill equipped to deal with addiction and psychological illness.
The report states:
These institutions are often sorely underresourced, and some fail to keep their young people safe and secure, let alone meet their myriad service and treatment needs…In some facilities, youth are subjected to shocking violence and abuse.
Read more here.
Here’s another interesting blog about an interesting inmate.
Prison Pete has been bounced around prisons all over the country. He currently resides in a New York Prison and has his trusty editor post his letters to the blog site. Although he doesn’t have internet, his editor is pretty up to date with the site. Pete also encourages people to write to him, pen pal style.
Here’s a sample:
Location, location, location. After spending almost three year of my incarceration moving around from one county jail to another, I spent over five years on top of a mountain in West Virginia at Club Fed. In the federal system the only thing you can have sent to you through the mail are books. That is it. Anything else you need or desire must be purchased through the commissary. And we are not talking about a wide selection of items, certainly no Wal-Mart or even a local bodega or 7-Eleven!
After completing my time at Club Fed, I was taken to spend another eleven to fifteen years in the glorious facilities of the New York State Department of Correctional Services.
One major difference between here and Club Fed is that you are allowed to receive packages. Now you might ask what this package thing means. Slide down into a comfortable chair and I will explain.”
Click to read on…
When prisoners in New York state called home, much of the profit went from the phone company (MCI) into the pockets of the New York prison system. In 2004 the Center for Constitutional Rights brought a lawsuit charging that the rates were exorbitant. The prisoners’ families won this suit and the state was forced to substantially reduce the phone charges.
Now, the state has rejected a final lawsuit by the prisoners’ families claiming they had been overcharged and were owed money.
Read more here.
Prison Transformations: The System, the People Inside, and Me by Stephen Chinlund, an episcopal priest, is written in honor of the prisoners who Chinlund has met over the years. As an advocate for prisoners, and a watchdog of prisons since the 1960s, Chinlund has chosen to use his book to focus on the inmates who have transformed their lives over the years. His book is also a personal narrative about how the experiences of working with the correctional system has affected him.
Read more about the book here.
And read the New York Times article about Chinlund here.
A new report by the US Department of Justice states that juvenile facilities in New York have been found to have used excessive force to discipline residents. A report from 2006 by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union rated New York youth centers some of the worst in the world. Will the federal government have to take over New York state’s juvenile justice system? Read more in today’s New York Times article.
New York State is considering a law that bans the shackling of pregnant women inmates. The shackling of pregnant women has been considered by many to be barbaric, but it is routine at many prisons and jails around the country. Read more about the proposed ban here.
Take a look at this New York Times article about prison architecture. The article sites the Leoben prison in Austria as an example of a prison that uses architecture to create a space that is meant to foster rehabilitation. The sun drenched rooms in Leoben sound very different from the “warehouse” style prisons we are familiar with in the United States. The designer of Leoben states: “The more normal a life you give them here, the less necessary it is to resocialize them when they leave.”