Raleigh, North Carolina — The ACLU Statewide Campaign for Smart Justice is moving to end putting incarcerated pregnant women in solitary confinement—some before convicted of any crimes, reports WNCN CBS17.com. Records that show in 2018, there were a total of 256 pregnant women behind bars at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women in Raleigh.
Alabama — Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a measure requiring anyone convicted of sex crimes with children younger than 13 to be chemically castrated as a condition of parole, NBC affiliate KUAM reports.
New York — New legislation has been introduced to give people still serving time inside the state’s prison system the right to vote in all elections, CBS New York reports. Only two states, Maine and Vermont, allow prisoners to vote. New York is one of over 20 states that restores voting rights only after the completion of a prison sentence.
USA — The Office for Victims of Crime has released awards totaling more than $2.3 billion to state victim assistance and compensation programs, funding thousands of local victim assistance programs across the country and providing millions in compensation to victims of crime.
Florida — Sunshine State News reports ongoing problems in the state’s prison system. Lawmakers heard statistics showing high rates of violence, contraband being smuggled into state prisons, and high turnover rates among correctional officers.
Olympia, Washington — After a nonviolent food strike by prisoners at Clallam Bay Corrections Center, prison officials transferred three dozen of the men to other facilities, The Seattle Times reports. Five of the men who were transferred are suing, claiming that after transfer to the prison in Walla Walla, they and 10 others were put in solitary confinement for no reason.
Tallahassee, Florida — Courthouse News Service reports that state officials cannot deny the right to vote to people convicted of a felony because he or she cannot pay restitution or fines, a federal judge ruled. The ruling, however, only applies to the 17 plaintiffs in the case and suggests the state set up a process for people convicted of a felony to prove their inability to pay.
Santa Fe County, New Mexico — Two inmates are accusing the New Mexico Department of Corrections of negligence and violations of their constitutional rights in a lawsuit, alleging they were subjected to unsanitary and degrading strip searches at a state prison south of Roswell, reports CorrectionsOne.com.
New York — Courthouse News Service reports a continuing clash between state lawmakers over the use of solitary confinement. A new bill that sets limits on the use of solitary confinement has wide support in the Democratic-led Legislature but was never brought to the floor for a vote because Gov. Andrew Cuomo had indicated he would veto it, citing retrofitting costs of $1 billion.
Oklahoma — (KFOR) After a historic vote by the state parole board, 527 incarcerated men and women were recommended for commutation of their sentence. Scheduled for release are 469 prisoners, which would be the largest single-day commutation in U.S. history.
Washington, DC — U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Cornyn (R-TX) announced the reintroduction of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, bipartisan legislation that would task a National Criminal Justice Commission to assess the entire system and propose reforms to address the most pressing issues facing the nation’s criminal justice system.