Prisons and Jails

California Will Require Prisons to House Transgender People By Gender Identity

A new law will require California correctional facilities to place transgender people in housing units that align with their gender identity, not their sex assigned at birth.

California Opens a Path to Professional Firefighting for Formerly Incarcerated People

In California, many wildfires are fought by incarcerated people trained to be firefighters. Their criminal records barred them from continuing in the field after release—until now.

Jail Populations Are On the Rise

While many jails acted quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to release people and reduce overcrowding, a new analysis shows those efforts have slowed.

Investigators Found Alabama’s Prisons Are Plagued by Rampant Violence. Is Sentencing Reform the Answer?

The Justice Department says much of the abuse in the state’s prisons stems from overcrowding. Advocates say overcrowding is caused by laws that result in harsh prison sentences that are out of sync with the rest of the country.

Releasing People From Prison Is Easier Said Than Done

As the pandemic threatens the lives of those behind bars, the country must confront a system that has never had rehabilitation as its priority.

Families of Prisoners Sue Over High Cost of Phone Calls

The lawsuit alleges three private companies that provide telecom services in prisons lied to state and local governments about the cost of doing business.

Prisons and Jails Remain Outbreak Vectors for Coronavirus

A new report from the ACLU and Prison Policy Initiative found that state responses to outbreaks in correctional facilities have been largely inadequate.

Prosecutorial Discretion: The Prosecutor’s Role in Curbing Infections in Prisons

COMMENTARY | The rapid spread of Covid-19 in jails and prisons puts us all at risk. Prosecutors’ should flex their authority to reduce the chance of infection among the incarcerated population by limiting new arrests, pushing for early releases when prudent and ensuring sanitary conditions for those in custody.

Being in Jail Has Become a ‘Death Sentence,’ Advocates Say. Detainees Are Suing to be Released.

People in jails with medical vulnerabilities and short times left on their sentence are suing for release—and if that fails, they want masks, gloves, and the space to socially distance.

Coronavirus Makes Bail Reform Efforts More Urgent

Some jurisdictions have released many pretrial detainees in an effort to decrease jail populations during the pandemic, taking steps bail reform advocates sought for years.

New Jersey Set to Release 1,000 Jail Inmates to Limit Coronavirus Spread

Up to 1,000 people could be eligible for release. Other jurisdictions around the U.S. are also taking steps to curb their jail populations.

Uniquely Vulnerable During Disease Outbreaks, Prisons and Jails Brace for Coronavirus Cases

Prisons and jails across the country are preparing for the coronavirus, while advocates push for measures to release more people.

Deploying Body-Worn Cameras in a County Jail

A sheriff's office in Wyoming recently began using body-worn cameras on deputies working inside the county jail, the first in the state to test the technology in a correctional setting.

In Reversal, Counties and States Help Inmates Keep Medicaid

The number of states making it easier for inmates to reactivate benefits has tripled.

Rural Communities Look to Jails for Revenue

A new report found that rural areas are increasingly renting out jail beds to places with overcrowded facilities in an effort to bring in more revenue.

Trying to End the Dangerous Practice of Late-Night Jail Releases

If signed by the governor, a measure passed by the California legislature would require jails to set new release times and provide people with free phone calls to arrange transportation.

A Private Prison Ban Could Be Coming in California

California has relied on private prisons to relieve overcrowding in state-run facilities—but now the state may eliminate them entirely.

At least 25% of People in Jail Are Booked More Than Once a Year, Report Says

A new report sheds light on how many people are arrested and booked into jail several times per year, often because of mental health or substance abuse problems.

'Inhumane' Jail Conditions Could Cost Ohio County Millions

Cuyahoga County jail made national headlines when videos of abuse behind bars went viral earlier this year. Now some county officials are saying taxpayers will pay the price.