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Released Inmates Flooding the Streets of Downtown Los Angeles

Over the past two decades, homeless populations in the greater Los Angeles metro area have skyrocketed. There are many factors influencing the rise of homeless individuals on city streets, including a weakening economy, lack of access to social services, and an increase in mental health and drug-related issues. Perhaps the most alarming factor is that California’s prison system has released thousands of prisoners in an effort to reduce facility overcrowding. The result of these mass releases has led to a flood of former inmates with no places to go, boosting the Los Angeles homeless population dramatically. Violent attacks within homeless communities have also seen a sharp uptick, sometimes involving innocent victims. Read More

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Drones: A New Concern in Prison Security

A troubling new development in prison security was recently made aware of law enforcement officials in Ohio. In June 2019, a drone was used to deliver contraband to a prisoner inside the Cuyahoga County Jail, a facility that has seen more than its share of negative news in recent months. Deliveries to prisoners are only one of the security challenges these electronic devices represent, and the prison industry is scrambling to find solutions to both protect communities as well as to eliminate in-prison incidents. Read More

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When Prisoner Reform Fails, Violence Increases

Prison reform is a concept that has been with us since people first began to be incarcerated for their crimes. Among the more notable figures advocating for the benefits of comprehensive prison reform, Elizabeth Fry stands out. Known as Betsy Fry, she was born in the late 1700s and lived until 1845. Throughout her adult life, she became a leading voice in creating legislation to improve the humane treatment of prisoners, including teaching them valuable skills. Since her achievements in championing prisoner reform, there have been many others, both past, and present, who have looked into improving the prison environment. Unfortunately, many of those lessons have been lost on the current American prison system. Read More

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Jail Troubles in Ada County

Home to the city of Boise, the state capital of Idaho, Ada County is associated with relatively quiet living and abundant natural beauty. Ada County has a population of nearly 400,000 residents and encompasses just over 1000 square miles. Recent jail experiences have upended this quiet northwestern county, however; Ada County is also home to the County Jail complex, which houses in excess of 1200 prisoners at any given time. Chronically understaffed, overcrowded, and in dire need of an increased operating budget, the Ada County Jail has been the location for several high-profile incidents that put inmates and staff at risk. Read More

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Cuyahoga County Prison Conditions

Abuse and Death at Cuyahoga County’s Prisons

Our nation’s prisons are crowded with inmates; many prisons are far over their rated capacity. Overcrowding is one of the symptoms of deteriorating conditions in prisons throughout the country. Rampant sexual abuse committed by inmates against other inmates, physical and emotional abuse of prisoners by corrections facility staff and the spread of diseases have led to a staggering toll on America’s prison population. One of the most plagued prison systems is located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the county where Cleveland can be found. A string of inmate deaths has led the U.S. Marshals Service to investigate several facilities in the county prison system and has spurred reform initiatives across the country. Read More

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Poor Prison Conditions Interfere with Prisoner Reform

When an individual is sentenced to a prison term, the goal is to reform that individual’s behavior. Prison reform programs have long been a part of the incarceration model, providing rehabilitation and life skills for America’s prisoners. Unfortunately, many correctional facilities in the United States are maintained in deplorable conditions, negating any benefits that reform programs may have on prisoner behavior. Poor conditions, including safety violations, inadequate medical care, and the looming specter of violence have led prisoners to shun rehabilitation programs out of fear, potentially increasing the risk of future criminal behavior. Read More

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