Prisons and Jails

Senate approves six spending bills, averts partial government shutdown

Counties praised the package for addressing Medicaid access for the incarcerated. Now, congressional negotiators turn to the remaining six spending bills, which will determine the future of internet subsidies and other significant programs.

Releasing suspects pretrial doesn’t lead to higher crime rates, experts say

Some states and jurisdictions are taking different approaches to cash bail.

California prison drug overdoses surge again after early treatment success

Drug overdose deaths in California state prisons rebounded to near record levels last year, a big setback for corrections officials who thought they were on the right track with medication-assisted treatment efforts. Officials blame fentanyl.

Recovery Court: This judicial diversion program converts sweat equity into freedom

COMMENTARY | Recovery Court in Grayson and Carroll counties in Virginia allows some defendants to add a fitness program to their judicial interventions. The program may help some defendants stay out of jail, and the judges behind the initiative hope it will contribute to long-term recovery.

How many inmates return to prison? Inconsistent reporting makes it hard to tell.

States define recidivism differently, which can result in misleading interpretations of the statistics.

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Education linked to better employment prospects upon release from prison

People who get an education while serving time are less likely to return to prison and more likely to enter the job market, an analysis finds.

Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny

Some places have done away with the system, while others are considering stricter guidelines.

The parent-child bond is critical–even when prison walls separate them

In New Hampshire, a program helps incarcerated parents maintain relationships with their children. Data suggests it reduces recidivism, helps break the cycle of incarceration in families and improves resident behavior.

‘IGNITE’ing an educational fire in U.S. jails

An initiative launched in a Michigan county jail has been embraced as a national model for reducing jail violence and inmate recidivism.

Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.

Climate change has amplified heat-related struggles in more state prisons.

In reversal, some states make it harder for people with felony convictions to vote

Voting rights groups have filed a flurry of legal challenges to felony disenfranchisement laws this year.

Solving the problem of understaffed jails and prisons

State and local governments are working to attract and retain corrections workers. But it’s not easy, and the task is complicated by high burnout rates due to understaffing.

A Model for Reducing Female Incarceration and Breaking the Generational Cycle

A program in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been changing lives for addicted women and their children. Here’s how it works.

For Some Convicted Sex Offenders, Finishing Their Sentences Doesn’t Mean They Get To Go Home

Several states are civilly committing sex offenders when their prison terms end. Observers say nationwide data on the practice is needed to shed light on how widespread it is and whether it is effective.

Bail Reform Faces Backlash

New York rolled back key parts of its 2019 bail reform law amid fears of rising crime. Those concerns are echoed in communities nationwide—especially in places forging ahead with their own laws—despite data that shows bail reforms don't negatively impact public safety. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Efforts Spreading to Curb Generational Incarceration

Spaces for imprisoned parents to bond with their kids and bills to keep them geographically close to those children are gaining traction across the nation.

Digitized ID Eases Re-entry for Formerly Incarcerated

To streamline the re-entry process for released inmates, the Maryland Re-Entry Passport program launched an online portal that stores digitized copies of personal documents.

Critics Take Aim at State and Local ARPA Spending on Prisons and Jails

The American Civil Liberties Union is among those raising questions about federal Covid aid from the American Rescue Plan Act going to corrections projects.

Housing Program Shows Signs of Helping Homeless While Reducing Arrests

A new study finds an initiative in Denver has the potential to break a cycle of police spending hundreds of hours arresting people repeatedly for minor infractions.

5 Ways to Improve Jobs for People Incarcerated in US Prisons

COMMENTARY | To understand how best to reform and improve prison jobs and better meet the needs of people in prison, decision-makers can build on the existing evidence and listen to those who are incarcerated.