#MeToo Shines Light on Chronic Tampon Shortage in Prisons

Many states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have enacted new laws or policies to deal with the problem, which is so widely recognized that it was a featured storyline in a recent episode of “Orange Is the New Black.”

The #MeToo movement is helping to raise awareness of a chronic shortage of feminine hygiene products in prisons, reports the Associated Press. Pushed by #MeToo advocates, state legislatures, corrections officials and the federal government are working to supply prisons and jails with adequate products, train staff, and raise awareness of the issue. The problem is so widely recognized that it is popping up in popular culture: A recent episode of “Orange Is the New Black,” a Netflix show about a woman’s prison, focused on the lack of tampon access. Maryland is on the verge of enacting a new law that mandates free access to menstrual products for prisoners. Virginia legislators passed a measure early this month. Lawmakers in Alabama, Arizona, and Connecticut have introduced bills. Arizona, Nebraska, New York and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have also made legislative or administrative changes concerning the availability of sanitary products.

“I think that there is a wave, and I think there’s a lot of attention that’s being paid now to women, period — whether that’s #MeToo, whether that’s Time’s Up,” said Monica Cooper, a former inmate who co-founded the Maryland Justice Project, which advocates for women in prison. Amy Fettig of the ACLU said the issue has emerged in the past year as part of a larger conversation about women in prison. “They still are a relatively small portion compared to men, and so their needs and situations have been largely ignored, both in our criminal justice system and by the public at large, and that’s finally beginning to change because of the work of advocacy groups,” Fettig said. “I think it’s also because of the larger #MeToo movement and awareness about women’s status in this country and how far we still have to go, as well as popular culture.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

The Dubious Track Record of Offender Rehabilitation

Observations Is an honest discussion about offender rehabilitation programs possible? The collective data indicate that programs for offenders either don’t work, or make things worse, or have very limited results. If we support offender rehabilitation, we need to question current results. We need to demand better answers. If we don’t, nothing will change. Author Leonard […]

Observations Is an honest discussion about offender rehabilitation programs possible? The collective data indicate that programs for offenders either don’t work, or make things worse, or have very limited results. If we support offender rehabilitation, we need to question current results. We need to demand better answers. If we don’t, nothing will change. Author Leonard […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Prison Population Declines Need Explanation

Observations Prison populations fell considerably. Why? What are the impacts for crime and criminal justice policy? Author  Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of […]

Observations Prison populations fell considerably. Why? What are the impacts for crime and criminal justice policy? Author  Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

84 Percent of Young State Offenders Recidivate-New Federal Report

Overview A new federal report offers comparisons of recidivism as to age and a variety of additional factors. For offenders age 24 or younger at the time of release, 63.2 percent of federal prisoners were rearrested within five years compared to over four-fifths (84.1%) of state prisoners. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of […]

Overview A new federal report offers comparisons of recidivism as to age and a variety of additional factors. For offenders age 24 or younger at the time of release, 63.2 percent of federal prisoners were rearrested within five years compared to over four-fifths (84.1%) of state prisoners. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

The Secret Missouri Investigations of Inmate Deaths

“It’s a secret world,” Jim Bruce, a civil rights attorney in southeast Missouri, said of dealing with the state corrections department in prisoner-death cases. “Only the people who are in charge have control of the records.”

If a Missouri inmate won’t comply with verbal commands, the “goon squad” –a special team of corrections officers informally named for its grim responsibilities and intimidating uniforms—rushes in.

In an account of the operations of the squad, which dresses in black jumpsuits, helmets and tactical gloves, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes how  one officer pins the inmate down with a large shield while four other officers have a specific arm or leg to grab and help hogtie him. Missouri’s prison system relies on such teams to help extract inmates from cells and maintain control.

A 2011 extraction ended in disaster when Michael King, a 25-year-old inmate in the administrative segregation unit, died. Nearly the whole incident, as well as the follow-up, happened away from the public eye.

See also: Prison Story: When ‘Extraction Squad’ Comes for You

At a time when the Missouri Department of Corrections has been under fire for issues ranging from its parole board toying with inmates to paying out millions of dollars in damages to female corrections officers who alleged they were harassed by co-workers, the Post-Dispatch took a look at how death in the prison system is investigated.

Not only is the agency responsible for the care and treatment of some of the state’s most mentally troubled residents, the corrections department often polices itself by handling inmate deaths internally. The release of information is tightly controlled. No video. Even the warden’s name can be blacked out of documents.

About 100 people die in prison each year, mainly of natural causes. The paper observes that the investigations of prison deaths can also be frustrating for families. Many such investigations are inconclusive.

“It’s a secret world,” Jim Bruce, a civil rights attorney in southeast Missouri, said of dealing with the corrections department. “Only the people who are in charge have control of the records.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Three Percent of Americans Have Been To Prison- Eight Percent Have Felonies

  Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Post-Masters’ Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Article Three […]

  Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Post-Masters’ Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Article Three […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Saving Offender Rehabilitation and Reentry Programs

Observations I’m suggesting that we focus almost exclusively on mental health and the co-occurring issue of substance abuse. With budget limitations, we can’t be all things to all people. Are we at the point where we need to completely rethink our approach to programs for offenders? Little will happen until we stabilize people in need. […]

Observations I’m suggesting that we focus almost exclusively on mental health and the co-occurring issue of substance abuse. With budget limitations, we can’t be all things to all people. Are we at the point where we need to completely rethink our approach to programs for offenders? Little will happen until we stabilize people in need. […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Are Offender Rehabilitation Programs Dead? New DOJ Report

Observations Has “nothing works” been replaced by “nothing works well?” With new data from the Department of Justice regarding a signature program, it seems that rehabilitation or reentry programs for offenders are on life support. Are we misleading the American public about the impact of rehabilitation programs? Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of […]

Observations Has “nothing works” been replaced by “nothing works well?” With new data from the Department of Justice regarding a signature program, it seems that rehabilitation or reentry programs for offenders are on life support. Are we misleading the American public about the impact of rehabilitation programs? Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Iowa Mulls Closing ‘Porn Reading Rooms’ in Prisons

Prisoners in the state have had legally mandated access to sexually explicit reading materials in designated rooms since 1988. Officials are now considering a 2018 legislative proposal to ban the use of state funds for such purposes.

Iowa’s prisons would shut down so-called “pornography reading rooms” used by inmates under proposed legislation being studied by state officials, reports the Des Moines Register. Iowa prisoners have legally had access to sexually explicit reading materials in designated rooms for nearly three decades since the late Chief U.S. District Judge Harold Vietor upheld findings in 1988 that the state’s prison rules on pornography were unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The legislative change would adopt a policy used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said Cord Overton, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections. The proposed change was shared last week with the Iowa Board of Corrections for consideration in the 2018 session of the Iowa Legislature, and prison officials believe it would be acceptable to the federal courts, he said.

“The current policy on these materials does not align with the department’s commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of rehabilitation for all incarcerated individuals,” Overton said. The proposed legislation says no funds appropriated or made available to the state Department of Corrections could be used to distribute or make available any commercially published information or material to an inmate “when such information or material is sexually explicit or features nudity.” The department would be allowed to adopt administrative rules to implement the changes.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Ban the Box Isn’t Working for Ex-Offenders

Observation Ban the box isn’t working, but few want to train offenders for employment self-sufficiency or issue them certificates of rehabilitation. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s […]

Observation Ban the box isn’t working, but few want to train offenders for employment self-sufficiency or issue them certificates of rehabilitation. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net