Phoenix, Arizona — A judge has warned the state’s top corrections officials that they could be held in civil contempt of court and could face fines for repeatedly falling short in improving health care for inmates, reports the Mohave Daily News. The order comes as the judge and attorneys for prisoners have complained that prison officials were slow in making the improvements they promised three years ago when settling a class-action lawsuit that alleged inmates were getting poor health care.
Arizona — A group of Arizona State University (ASU) students, Mission Team Seven from ASU’s Next Generation Service Corps (https://psa.asu.edu/nextgeneration-service-corps) put on a panel discussion entitled “Modern Day Slavery” in collaboration with Remnant R.E.A.C.H (https://www.remnantreach.org/), a nonprofit focused on supporting communities in south Phoenix, at the Beus Center for Law and Society on ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus the night of Sept. 28. The panel discussed the varying elements of the mass incarceration, race, youth education, foster care, employment and homelessness, reports The State Press.
Florida — One of the largest prison populations in the U.S. is found in Florida. As of 2016, the state has incarcerated 99,000 people (http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/). The highest number was in 2011 with roughly 102,300 people incarcerated. New research from the Urban Institute (http://apps.urban.org/features/long-prison-terms/intro.html) shows long prison sentences are part of the reason for the increase of incarcerated individuals, not just rates of incarceration. The number of people serving 10 or more years has tripled since 1996. The average prison sentence has grown—from four years to 5.4 years. A larger increase is in sentences for violent offenses—from 5.1 to 7.6 years.
Florida — State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the consideration of the needs of inmates older than 50 years of age, reports Forgottenmajority.net. Prison officials would have to adopt health care standards for that population; provide for a supervised conditional elderly release program; provide criteria for program eligibility; authorize arrest of inmate who has been released under supervised conditional elderly release program; defines “elderly and infirm inmate;” permits inmates 65 and over to serve less than 85 percent of their sentences if they receive certain forms of release and requires them to serve a lower minimum percentage of their sentences; expands eligibility for conditional medical release to include elderly and infirm inmates.
Huntsville, Texas — Robert Pruett was executed by lethal injection Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 for the death of a corrections officer at a South Texas prison in December 1999, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Iowa — School officials are using six feet by six feet boxes, called “seclusion enclosures” as a means to discipline or punish unruly elementary and secondary school children, the Huffington Post reports. The pine boxes have little light or ventilation. Parents aren’t asked for their permission for their use.
Nevada — The shortage of prison beds has prompted prison officials to send 200 inmates to a private prison in Eloy, Arizona. The state will pay CoreCivic Inc., formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, $9.2 million as a part of a two-year deal, The Republic reports. The transfers are scheduled to begin in November, a prisons spokesperson said.
Maryland — Nearly 500 incarcerated people who are serving time under mandatory minimum sentences as repeat drug dealers may ask a judge to shorten their time under a package of criminal justice reforms approved by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly last year and signed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, reports the Baltimore Sun.