1. Alabama — Prison officials are asking the federal government if COVID-19 recovery funds can be redirected to improve state prisons with “better, enhanced, and/or extended infrastructure,” The Associated Press reports. “The average age of ADOC’s facilities is over 43 years old, and while many have expanded, most have exceeded, in the past, the original design capacity,” the letter said. “Because of this, medical and mental health care and programming space is limited in many of ADOC’s facilities.”
2. Arizona — Judge Roslyn Silver dismissed a 6-year-old legal settlement calling for prison officials to improve health care for about 30,000 prisoners. In an AP report, Silver said, “corrections officials have shown little interest in complying with their obligations under the deal and that it would be absurd to expect the state to act differently in the future.”
3. Georgia — The state will pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a physician who drew attention to unsanitary conditions at Augusta State Medical Prison, the AP reports.
4. New Mexico — State officials plan to convert two privately run prisons by CoreCivic to state-run facilities, The AP reports.
5. Hawaii — U.S. District Judge Jill Otake ruled she won’t appoint a special master to ensure that prison officials are keeping prisoners safe from COVID-19, the AP reports. She said she is troubled by allegations in a lawsuit describing “egregious conditions” at prisons and jails that led to virus outbreaks at five of the state’s eight prisons and jails. Attorneys representing the state have said they addressed COVID-19 safety concerns by adopting the response plan on March 23, 2020, consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
6. Idaho — The AP reports that prisons in the state are so understaffed that correctional officers often end up working mandatory 16-hour shifts, leaving them just eight hours to sleep, eat and see their families before returning to duty.
7. Washington State — The Clark County Jail and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a settlement to ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have equal access to services, The AP reports. The settlement originated from a lawsuit filed by a deaf woman who was denied aids or services while held in jail for two days. The jail will pay the woman involved $25,000.
8. USA – The Justice and Mobility Fund is a social justice partnership between the Ford Foundation, Blue Meridian Partners, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. The partnership announced a $250 million pledge on July 14 to support organizations that work to improve the economic opportunities for those leaving nation’s criminal justice system, The Washington Post reports.