Prison Procedures

  • (New) Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Use of Restrictive Housing for Inmates with Mental Illness, [PDF]
    U.S. Department of Justice, July, 2017
    “BOP Policies Do Not Adequately Address the Confinement of Inmates with Mental Illness in RHUs, and the BOP Does Not Sufficiently Track or Monitor Such Inmates”
  • How much do incarcerated people earn in each state? [Website]
    Wendy Sawyer, Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2017
    “[P]risons appear to be paying incarcerated people less today than they were in 2001. The average of the minimum daily wages paid to incarcerated workers for non-industry prison jobs is now 87 cents, down from 93 cents reported in 2001.”
  • The steep cost of medical co-pays in prison puts health at risk [Website]
    Wendy Sawyer, Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2017
    “In Michigan, it would take over a week to earn enough for a single $5 co-pay, making it the free world equivalent of over $300. In 13 states co-pays are equivalent to charging minimum wage workers more than $200.”
  • Unlocking solitary confinement: Ending Extreme Isolation in Nevada State Prisons, [PDF]
    The ACLU of Nevada, Solitary Watch, Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center, February, 2017
    “In this report, we found that solitary confinement is, in fact, widely used in the state of Nevada, often for prolonged periods of time, and that many of the people held there are denied basic human needs like daily exercise and sufficient medical care.”
  • A New Normal: Helping the Criminal Justice System Address Opioid Overdoses, [PDF]
    Vera Institute of Justice, February, 2017
    “[O]ver the last decade communities and public officials have increasingly called for an approach to drug use that employs harm reduction principles, making the issue a public health concern rather than one to be managed by the criminal justice system.”
  • Aiming to Reduce Time-In-Cell: Reports from Correctional Systems on the Numbers of Prisoners in Restricted Housing, [PDF]
    The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School and the Association of State Correctional Administrators, November, 2016
    “[T]he new 2016 Report found that 67,442 prisoners were held, in the fall of 2015, in prison cells for 22 hours or more for 15 continuous days or more.”
  • Aiming to Reduce Time-In-Cell: Reports from Correctional Systems on the Numbers of Prisoners in Restricted Housing, [PDF]
    The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School and the Association of State Correctional Administrators, November, 2016
    “[T]he new 2016 Report found that 67,442 prisoners were held, in the fall of 2015, in prison cells for 22 hours or more for 15 continuous days or more.”
  • Responsible Prison Project: Reshaping The Texas Prison System for Greater Public Safety, [Website]
    Aaron Flaherty, David Graham, Michael Smith, William D Jones, and Vondre Cash, October, 2016
    “It has often been said that those who are closest to a problem are closest to its solution. That is no less true for those who are in prison.”
  • A New Role for Technology? Implementing Video Visitation in Prison,
    Vera Institute of Justice, February, 2016
    “This report examines the current landscape of video visitation in prisons nationwide and offers a detailed case study of an early adopter, Washington State.”
  • An Expanding Strike Zone: Coleman-Bey and the Future of Civil Protections for Prison Inmates, [PDF]
    Alliance for Justice, February, 2015
    “The clear trend of courts is toward restricting inmates’ rights to seek civil justice far beyond what was envisioned by the Prison Litigation Reform Act.”
  • "If They Hand You a Paper, You Sign It": A Call to End the Sterilization of Women in Prison, [PDF]
    Rachel Roth and Sara L. Ainsworth, Hastings Women's Law Journal, January, 2015
    “[A] number of states allow the sterilization of incarcerated women—flouting important policy norms—and that medical providers and their professional organizations play key roles in sanctioning and carrying out these procedures.”
  • Designed to Break You: Human Rights Violations on Texas' Death Row, [PDF]
    Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, 2015
    “Every individual on Texas’ death row thus spends approximately 23 hours a day in complete isolation for the entire duration of their sentence, which, on average, lasts more than a decade.”
  • Probation and Parole in the United States, 2013 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, October, 2014
    (At yearend 2013, an estimated 4,751,400 adults were under community supervision---a decline of about 29,900 offenders from yearend 2012.)
  • The Crisis of Violence in Georgia's Prisons [PDF]
    Southern Center for Human Rights, July, 2014
    “Prison officials violate the Constitution if they know that people in prison face a substantial risk of serious harm, but disregard that risk by failing to take reasonable measures to protect prisoners.”
  • Barriers to Recreation at Rikers Island's Central Punitive Segregation Unit, [PDF]
    New York City Board of Corrections, July, 2014
    “...while the CPSU population hovers around 400 people, fewer than 40 prisoners are experiencing the mandated hour outside their solitary confinement cells on an average day.”
  • The Double Edged Sword of Prison Video Visitation Claiming to Keep Families Together While Furthering the Aims of the Prison Industrial Complex, [PDF]
    Patrice A. Fulcher, Associate Professor at John Marshall Law School, July, 2014
    “The use of inmate video visitation services must not be oppressive, so fees must be affordable and transparent so that there are no hidden costs.”
    (published in 9 Fla. A&M. U. L. Rev. 83 (2014))
  • Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty State Survey,
    Chesa Boudin, Trevor Stutz, & Aaron Littman, February, 2014
    “This paper presents a summary of the findings from the first fifty-state survey of prison visitation policies.”
  • Probation and Parole in the United States, 2012 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, December, 2013
    “Both parole entries (down 9.1%) and exits (down 6.8%) declined between 2011 and 2012.”
  • Juvenile Facility Staff Responses to Organizational Change [PDF]
    Alexandra Cox, SUNY New Paltz, October, 2013
    “Staff and youth perceptions of fairness were rooted in their desire for participation and voice in the organizational landscape.”
  • A Death Before Dying: Solitary Confinement on Death Row, [PDF]
    ACLU, July, 2013
    “93 percent of states lock up their death row prisoners for 22 or more hours per day. Most of these prisoners live under conditions of extreme social isolation and enforced idleness.”
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado's continued warehousing of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement, [PDF]
    ACLU of Colorado, July, 2013
    “As of March 2013, CDOC housed at least 87 seriously mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement, 54 of whom have been living in isolation for over a year and 14 of whom have been in solitary confinement for more than 4 years.”
  • Improvements Needed in Bureau of Prisons' Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact of Segregated Housing, [PDF]
    Government Accountability Office, May, 2013
    “Without an assessment of the impact of segregation on institutional safety or study of the long-term impact of segregated housing on inmates, BOP cannot determine the extent to which segregated housing achieves its stated purpose.”
  • Realignment Report A One-year Examination of Offenders Released from State Prison in the First Six Months of Public Safety Realignment, [PDF]
    California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, May, 2013
    “The 1-year arrest/conviction rates of offenders released pre and post-Realignment is similar, but the 1-year return to prison rate was substantially less post-Realignment since most offenders in this cohort were ineligible to return on a parole violation.”
  • Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in the US Detention System, [PDF]
    Physicians for Human Rights, April, 2013
    “...solitary confinement can cause severe and lasting physiological/psychological harm. Moreover, in many cases, the resulting harm rises to the level of torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, in violation of domestic and international law.”
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons' Compassionate Release Program [PDF]
    U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector, General Evaluation and Inspections Division, April, 2013
    “Procedures and timeliness standards do not reference the compassionate release program or acknowledge the special circumstances of an inmate requesting compassionate release (particularly those with terminal medical conditions/limited life expectancies).”
  • Return to Sender: Postcard-only Mail Policies in Jail, [PDF]
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2013
    “Postcard-only policies run contrary to prevailing correctional standards and best practices, and the vast majority of jail facilities around the country, as well as all prisons, successfully manage mail systems without postcard-only policies.”
  • Massachusetts Department of Correction - 2012 [PDF]
    Gordon Haas, Norfolk Lifers Group, March, 2013
    “Report compares the MA Department of Corrections's stated goals with current practices and outcomes, making suggestions for improvements to promote rehabilitation and reduce recidivism.”
  • The Case for Independent Oversight of Texas' Prison System: Pursuing Accountability, Efficiency, and Transparency, [PDF]
    Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, March, 2013
    “For Texas communities and the State, there are clear public safety and cost-savings benefits to developing a system of independent, external oversight for Texas prisons, but those living and working in the prisons on a daily basis will benefit most.”
  • Pretrial Detention And Misconduct In Federal District Courts, 1995-2010 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, February, 2013
    “The number of defendants with cases disposed in federal district courts more than doubled from 45,635 in 1995 to 100,622 in 2010.”
  • California's Urban Crime Increase in 2012: Is "Realignment" to Blame?, [PDF]
    Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, January, 2013
    “The 11 counties that realigned offenders at lower rates showed greater increases in violent and property crime than the 10 counties that realigned offenders at higher rates.”
  • The State of Sentencing 2012: Developments in Policy and Practice, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, January, 2013
    “State lawmakers in at least 24 states adopted 41 criminal justice policies that in 2012 may contribute to downscaling prison populations and eliminating barriers to reentry while promoting effective approaches to public safety.”
  • Sheriffs' Offices, 2007 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, December, 2012
    “From 1987 to 2007, the number of full-time employees in sheriffs' offices increased from about 189,000 to more than 346,000”
  • Onsite Assessment RE Cross-Gender Supervision in Correctional Facilities [Tutwiler Prison for Women], [PDF]
    U.S. Department of Justice, November, 2012
    “The facility culture is not psychologically safe for women offenders. The women and staff report that Tutwiler is a repressive and intimidating environment. Inmates reported being in fear of retaliation from staff if they reject staff's sexual advances.”
  • The Disparate Treatment of Native Hawaiians In the Criminal Justice System, [PDF]
    Office of Hawaiian Affairs, November, 2012
    “An analysis of data, controlling for age, gender, and type of charge, found that for any given determination of guilt, Native Hawaiians are much more likely to get a prison sentence than almost all other groups, except for Native Americans.”
  • Prison Visitation Policies A Fifty State Survey, [PDF]
    Chesa Boudin, Trevor Stutz & Aaron Littman, November, 2012
    (This memorandum presents a summary of the findings from a survey of prison visitation policies in the fifty states and in the system run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Note: There is a 2014 version of this paper that is slightly different.)
  • Pretrial Release and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 2008-2010 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 2012
    “About half (51%) of defendants with no prior arrest history were released pretrial, compared to 34% of defendants with 2 to 4 prior arrests and 21% of defendants with more than 10 prior arrests.”
  • Probation and Parole in the United States, 2011 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, November, 2012
    “At yearend 2011, for the first time since 2002, the U.S. probation population fell below 4 million.”
  • Bail Fail Why the U.S. Should End the Practice of Using Money for Bail, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, September, 2012
    “Although judges and judicial officers may deny or simply not be aware of any racial bias [...], there is strong evidence that these bail decision makers consider the lost freedom caused by pretrial detention to be a greater loss for whites than for blacks”
  • For Better or for Profit How the Bail Bonding Industry Stands in the Way of Fair and Effective Pretrial Justice, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, September, 2012
    “With the personal liberty of accused people held by a profit-driven private industry, for-profit bail bonding is systemically prone to corruption, criminal collusion, and the use of coercion against bonded people.”
  • Lifetime Lockdown How Isolation Conditions Impact Prisoner Reentry, [PDF]
    American Friends Service Committee, August, 2012
    “ADC policies limiting visitation and prohibiting maximum-security prisoners from participation in education, treatment, and employment have a negative impact on these prisoners' reentry prospects.”
  • Collateral Consequences of Interstate Transfer of Prisoners [PDF]
    Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, July, 2012
    “In addition to breaches in facility security, out-of-state private prisons create significant barriers to rehabilitation and humane conditions of care.”
  • Eligibility and Capacity Impact Use of Flexibilities to Reduce Inmates' Time, [PDF]
    Government Accountability Office, February, 2012
    “Increased funding would have reduced the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program wait lists and enabled eligible inmates to enter the program early enough to earn their maximum allowable sentence reductions.”
  • Adult Criminal Justice Case Processing in Washington, DC [PDF]
    Urban Institute, February, 2012
    “For every 150 arrests for a felony in the District, 100 have formal charges filed, 53 result in a conviction, 16 result in prison, and 4 result in a "long" prison sentence (≥3 years). Most of these figures are similar in other large urban counties.”
  • The Impact of CA's Probation Performance Incentive Funding Program [PDF]
    Pew Center on the States, February, 2012
    “In the first year of implementation, the state probation failure rate declined from 7.9 percent during the baseline years of 2006-2008 to 6.1 percent in 2010, a 23 percent reduction in revocations.”
  • Probation And Parole In The United States, 2010 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, October, 2011
    “The state parole population declined by 0.3% during 2010. The number of adults on supervised release in the federal system increased by 4.9%, which contributed to the increase in the U.S. parole population.”
  • Colorado Department of Corrections Administrative Segregation and Classification Review, [PDF]
    National Institute of Corrections, October, 2011
    “Currently about 7% (1,427) of the prison population is in administrative segregation, which is significantly above the national average of 1-2 %.”
  • Life in Limbo An Examination of Parole Release for Prisoners Serving Life Sentences with the Possibility of Parole in California, [PDF]
    Stanford Criminal Justice Center, September, 2011
    “When victims attend hearings, the grant rate is less than half the rate when victims do not attend.”
  • Improved Evaluations and Increased Coordination Could Improve Cell Phone Detection, [PDF]
    Government Accountability Office, September, 2011
    “77% of all cell phones confiscated at BOP institutions are found at prison camps, despite the fact that prison camps have accounted for only about 13 percent of BOP's inmate population from fiscal years 2008-2010.”
  • Inmate Fees as a Source of Revenue Source of Challenges, [PDF]
    Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, July, 2011
    “[A]dditional fees would increase the number of inmates qualifying as indigent, increase the financial burdens on the inmate and their family, and jeopardize inmates' opportunities for successful reentry.”
  • Due South Looking to the South for Criminal Justice Innovations, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, May, 2011
    “Recognizing the significant costs associated with [...] high incarceration rates, a number of [Southern] states have recently implemented innovative strategies for reducing their prison populations and ensuring better outcomes [...].”
  • Balancing Punishment and Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration in New York City, [PDF]
    VERA Institute of Justice, May, 2011
    “For those concerned about public safety, these results are good news; they show that many felony offenders can be sent to rigorous community programs rather than jail without increasing the risk to the public.”
  • Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program 2010 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, April, 2011
    “The five states eligible to receive the largest total state allocation included California ($51.1 million), Texas ($34.0 million), Florida ($30.9 million), New York ($24.8 million), and Illinois ($18.9 million).”
  • Examination of Cook County Bond Court Report of the Justice Advisory Council, [PDF]
    Justice Advisory Council of the County of Cook, 2011
    “A cash bond for the release of over 66% of pretrial detainees, a full two-thirds, has been set by the Court at a bond hearing. However, the large majority of pretrial detainees, who procedurally have not been adjudicated guilty, are unable to post [bail].”
  • This is a Prison: Glitter is Not Allowed Experiences of Trans and Gender Variant People in Pennsylvania's Prison System, [PDF]
    Hearts on a Wire Collective, 2011
    “Accounts of prison conditions... show the intensity of discrimination, abuse, medical neglect, and punitive isolation... on the inside. Incarcerated T/GV individuals report dismissal, intimidation, or retaliation when attempting to file grievances.”
  • In For a Penny The Rise of America's New Debtors' Prisons, [PDF]
    American Civil Liberties Union, October, 2010
    “Incarcerating indigent defendants unable to pay their legal financial obligations often ends up costing much more than states and counties can ever hope to recover.”
  • The Hidden Costs of Criminal Justice Debt [PDF]
    Brennan Center for Justice, October, 2010
    “Although 'debtors' prison' is illegal in all states, reincarcerating individuals for failure to pay debt is, in fact, common in some -- and in all states new paths back to prison are emerging for those who owe criminal justice debt.”
  • Independent Correctional Oversight Mechanisms Across the United States: A 50-State Inventory, [PDF]
    Pace Law Review, September, 2010
    (Although this report is thick with examples of entities that perform (or have the authority to perform) some kind of oversight function, it should be clear upon closer examination that formal and comprehensive external oversight is truly rare.)
  • Obstructing Justice: Prisons as Barriers to Medical Care for Pregnant Women, [PDF]
    Rachel Roth, UCLA Women's Law Journal, August, 2010
    “Jail and prison staff appear unprepared for pregnancy-related emergencies, and their dismissive attitudes toward pregnant women who say they need medical attention only increase the likelihood of delaying and denying care.”
  • Women in Law Enforcement 1987-2008 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, June, 2010
    “Overall, the precent of sworn federal law enforcement officers who were women increased slightly from 1998 to 2008.”
  • National Prison Rape Elimination Report [PDF]
    National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, June, 2009
    “Many victims cannot safely and easily report sexual abuse, and those who speak out often do so to no avail. Reporting procedures must be improved to instill confidence and protect individuals from retaliation without relying on isolation.”
  • Profiting from the Poor A Report on Predatory Probation Companies in Georgia, [PDF]
    Southern Center for Human Rights, July, 2008
    “The privatization of misdemeanor probation has placed unprecedented law enforcement authority in the hands of for-profit companies that act essentially as collection agencies.”
  • Health and Prisoner Reentry: How Physical, Mental, and Substance Abuse Conditions Shape the Process of Reintegration, [PDF]
    Urban Institute, February, 2008
    “Nearly all returning prisoners—8 in 10 men and 9 in 10 women—had chronic health conditions requiring treatment or management.”
  • Interstate Transfer of Prison Inmates in the United States [PDF]
    National Institute of Corrections, February, 2006
    “2,089 state-sentenced inmates were transferred between state prison systems, 345 transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and 2,466 transferred to privately operated prisons located outside the sending state as of July 1 2005.”
  • Prison Needle Exchange: Lessons from a Comprehensive Review of International Evidence and Experience,
    Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, October, 2004
  • Administrative Investigation The facts and circumstances surrounding the events, which Inmate John Geoghan's death on August 23, 2003, [PDF]
    Massachusetts Administrative Investigation Panel, 2003
    “...the known ability of inmates to prevent staff from opening the cell doors in SBCC... also played a role.”
  • Ohio Grievance Study
    Prison Reform Advocacy Center, 2000
  • Prisoner Petitions in the Federal Courts, 1980-96 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, October, 1997
    “Between 1980 and 1996, the number of prisoner petitions appealed increased from 3,675 to 17,002.”
  • The State of Corrections in Massachusetts: A Warning, [PDF]
    Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services, January, 1997
    “[T]he Department of Correction and many county jail administrations have increased the use of segregation and punishment as the primary method of control. Ironically, these policies which purportedly increase security do the opposite.”
  • Disproportionate Imprisonment of Blacks in the United States: Policy, Practice, Impact, and Change, [PDF]
    Prepared by Scott Christianson for the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, March, 1982
    “This report seeks to promote a better understanding of the problem of racially differential imprisonment and attempts to offer some specific goals and strategies for reducing racial disparities in American criminal justice.”

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