“We’re simply incarcerating too many people.” But don’t take my word for it — that’s a quote from the Wisconsin secretary of corrections. Here’s a roundup of prison/jail news from the past week:
- “Jailbirds Order Up Hot Wings“: This Wall Street Journal article on inmates ordering in fast food (while the prisons profit) has been making its way around the blogosphere.
- Profile of the University of Denver law students who are representing long-time federal solitary confinement inmate Tommy Silverstein.
- “Talking Texas Tough“: Full audio of a recent Open Society Institute panel discussion on the Texas prison system, featuring historian Robert Perkinson, Ana Yanez-Correa of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Nicole Porter of the Sentencing Project, and other experts.
- Miscellaneous prison conditions news from around the world: prison pen-pal services in the U.S., special corruption prisons in Indonesia, and HIV in Zambian prisons, which are also overcrowded.
Around the States
- California: After just a few months, legislature moves to repeal new early release law for county jails, with apparently no Plan B for alleviating jail overcrowding.
- Colorado: Sheriff concerned about overcrowding in Larimer County jail.
- Florida: Slow progress on reform; a sentencing advisory council created in 2008 has yet to meet.
- Georgia: “Prison alternative aids recovery“: Local newspaper profile of an Augusta day reporting center that offers substance abuse treatment for probationers.
- Illinois: Prison reform advocates call for reinstatement of controversial early release programs.
- Nebraska: Businessman donates $1 million to fund prisoner re-entry program.
- New Mexico: Valencia County to experiment with portable jail barracks, such as these.
- New York: A few hundreds of thousands of lawyers’ fees later, Erie County decides to settle with the DOJ in civil rights litigation over jail mental health conditions.
- North Carolina: Meckenburg County will send more juvenile offenders to county facility, not adult jail.
- Ohio: Erie County turns to electronic monitoring to ease jail overcrowding.
- South Carolina: Lots of local editorials praising proposed sentencing reforms now before the legislature.
- Texas: Update on the ongoing federal investigation into medical and mental health care conditions at Houston’s Harris County jail.
- Utah: State prison nearing capacity, considering an early release program.