Alabama — In response to a call to action from a coalition of prisoners, including the Free Alabama Movement and Unheard Voices OTCJ, Kinetik Justice and Swift Justice, four prisoners went on a hunger strike at the Limestone Correctional Facility in protest against corruption, abuse, and the lack of accountability for the inhumane conditions in the state’s prisons, Truthout reports.
Pennsylvania — As part of the Clean Slate law passed last year, state officials began seal- ing 30 million records that did not result in convictions, summary offenses and low-level misdemeanors committed by people who have not had any other charges within 10 years, The Philadelphia Inquirer report.
California — Detainees at the Yuba County Jail have gone on a hunger strike for the third time in 10 months, the Sacramento Bee reports. The immigration detainees are demanding newer facilities, better medical care and they are complaining that they should not be treated as criminals, like other inmates in the jail.
California — San Francisco-based Parole Agent Super- visor, Martin Figueroa helps former incarcerated people re-enter society through Peer Re-Entry Navigator Network, KPIX reports. PRNN provides life skills such as money management, job placement and addiction recovery support. Figueroa says he’s served about 700 people with a 95 per- cent success rate for keeping people from returning to jail.
Kansas — Over the past 15 years, prison officials have banned about 7,000 books, including A Clockwork Orange, Invisible Man, Twelve Years a Slave as well as issues of Bloomberg Businessweek, Us Weekly and Elle, KCUR reports.
Arizona — Because Choke- hold: Policing Black Men criticizes the U.S. criminal justice system corrections officials considered it “unauthorized content,” National Public Radio reports. However, in the face complaints and lawsuits, prison officials reversed the ban.
Georgia — Marion Wilson Jr. was executed on June 20 by lethal injection. Wilson was the 1,500th person to be executed in the United States since the return of the death penalty in 1976 according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
Kentucky —A proposed amendment on crime victims’ rights was voided by the state’s Supreme Court last June The Associated Press reports. The court ruled that the General Assembly is required to submit the full text of a proposed constitutional amendment to the electorate for a vote.
Florida — There have been more exonerations of death row inmates than any other state in the country – “in fact, there’s been one exoneration of a death row prisoner for every three Florida executions over the past four decades,” Florida Phoenix reports. Clifford Williams Jr., was sentenced to death and spent 42 years behind bars for a crime prosecutors now say he didn’t commit. His nephew was also exonerated. After his re- lease, the 76-year-old Williams earned a new ranking: He is the 29th person to be exonerated from Florida’s death row since the 1970s.
Washington, DC — Thousands of sick, dying, and elderly federal prisoners who are eligible for early release will now have access to free legal representation in court through the newly established Compassionate Release Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse, a collaborative pro bono effort between FAMM, the Washing- ton Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), is designed to match qualified prisoners with legal counsel should they need to fight a compassionate release denial or unanswered request in court.
Nevada — Gov. Steve Sisolak signed into law a bill which would ban the use of private prisons for services, such as housing and custody. Nevada now joins Iowa, New York, and Illinois in establish- ing this type of prohibition, The Laughlin Nevada Times reports.
New York — The state has been leading the way with respect to the private prison industry, having taken three actions against private prisons, Forbes contributor, Morgan Simon reports. First, prohibit private prisons from operating within the state; divesting state pension funds from the largest private prison companies, GEO Group and CoreCivic, and passing a bill that would prohibit NY State-chartered banks from “investing in and providing financing to private prisons.”
Utah — The state’s prison population growth rate is among the highest in the nation, despite recent criminal justice reform efforts aimed at diverting both adults and juveniles to alternative programs, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. In the past 18 months, the prison population has grown by 362 inmates, bringing the total count to 6,766 people. Accord- ing to prison officials, the state only has 199 beds available within the prison system.