The exterior of St. Louis' Buzz Westfall Justice Center, which includes the county jail. (Screenshot: Google Streetview)
01 Oct 2015

St. Louis Considers Privatizing Jail Medical Care

With St. Louis jails disproportionately filled with blacks and other populations underserved by health care, the move could prove disastrous for inmates.

File: Colorful mailboxes against a rough textured background. (Flickr / tanakawho)
29 Sep 2015

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Seen from behind, three residents of Cook County Juvenile Detention Center sit, arms over each others' shoulders, wearing their jail uniforms while watching a performance on May 2, 2013. (Flickr / WBEZ)
29 Sep 2015

Attitudes Toward Treatment Limit Chicago’s Former Youth Inmates’ Access To Health Care

Only 15.4% of detainees with mental health disorders receive treatment. 31% of former youth prisoners were not sure where to go for treatment.

A pregnant prisoner in a bare cell with a simple bed. The inmate's head is turned away from the camera, so only her hair is visible. (National Crittenton Foundation)
28 Sep 2015

Juvenile Justice Reform Will Fail Without Specific Focus On Young Women

Black girls were about three times as likely as white girls to be referred to juvenile court, and 20% more likely to be detained than white girls. American Indian/Alaska Native girls were 50% more likely to be locked-up.

Judge's Gavel and Sound Block created and folded by Glenn Sapaden out of two dollar bills (Glenn Sapaden on Flickr)
25 Sep 2015

More Reports Of Debtors Prisons Surface In Louisiana And New Hampshire

A federal lawsuit in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a report by the ACLU of New Hampshire, document the practice of jailing people unable to pay their court debts, violating the due process rights of the poor by failing to provide them with legal counsel and ability-to-pay hearings.

Protesters gather outside of GEO Group's immigration detention center in Aurora, Colorado (Justin Valas on Flickr)
24 Sep 2015

Grijalva Rails Against Contracts Permitted In His Own Prison Reform Bill

Progressive Arizona congressman Raúl Grijalva expressed dismay that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed an $11 million contract with GEO Care because its parent company, GEO Group, profits off detaining women and children in horrific conditions. Yet, remarkably, Grijalva is the sponsor of a bill, which contains specific exemptions allowing companies

"Our souls are so much bigger than this." Art by Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski
23 Sep 2015

The Heavy Price Families And Communities Pay For Incarceration

A new report details how families pay a high price for the incarceration of a relative—a price “felt most deeply by women, low-income families and communities of color.”  It examines the various ways families and former prisoners “pay” for their incarceration, even after they are released. The report, “Who Pays? The True Cost Of

Vernon C. Bain Correctional Barge, a floating jail that houses about 800 inmates as part of New York City's RIkers Island complex, photographed on September 4, 2006. (Flickr / reivax)
22 Sep 2015

New York City Council Adopts Eight Bills For Transparency, Oversight Of Jails

Last week, the New York City Council sent eight bills to Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s desk aimed at bringing greater transparency to the city’s jails. The wave of legislation was introduced this past spring and its passage marks the latest efforts by the city to reign in the brutal culture of violence and impunity that has reigned inside its jails for years.

Bernie Sanders at Drake University in February (Photo by John Pemble)
21 Sep 2015

Bernie Sanders’ Private Prison Reform Bill Would Leave Opportunities For Industry To Grow

Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has introduced legislation to abolish aspects of the prison industrial-complex. However, despite being touted as a private prison abolition bill, it would still leave some areas of corrections open to contractors. On September 17, Sanders joined Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, Illinois, photographed on March 17, 2007. (Flickr / Araceli Arroyo)
16 Sep 2015

Former Chicago Juvenile Inmates Have High Rates of Substance Abuse, Psychiatric Disorders, Study Finds

Formerly incarcerated youth in Cook County, Chicago, were diagnosed with psychiatric disorders at a rate higher than that of the general population, according to new research. The research also found Black former juvenile inmates had lower prevalence rates for psychiatric and substance abuse disorders over time than compared to whites and Hispanics, despite the fact that they constitute a disproportionately larger segment of the incarcerated population.