News

Harvard Students Demonstrate Against Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis In April 2018, students from Harvard University held a 24-hour demonstration protesting the conditions of solitary confinement in prisons. The protest consisted of a student sitting inside an area boxed off with tape. The 7 x 9 foot square showed how small solitary confinement cells are. Four locations on the Harvard campus were selected

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Arkansas Cooking Program Good Example of Prison Education Helping Recidivism

By Christopher Zoukis Like many states in America, Arkansas is plagued with the problem of recidivism. More than half of the people released from Arkansas jails – 51.8 percent – are back behind prison walls within three years. The causes of recidivism are vast, but all have an underlying thread. Disenfranchised persons (through poverty, low

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New Law in Florida Brings More Opportunities for Inmates

Until recently, state funds could not be used for prison education programs. Now, Governor Rick Scott has changed that by signing a bill allowing the Florida Department of Corrections to partner with colleges and local school districts to provide education to inmates under a program called Postsecondary Workforce Education (PWE). Florida inmates with 24 months

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Feeding off the “Most Popular Program”

By Christopher Zoukis The Hawkins Center for Women, part of the Arkansas State prison system, was pleased to recently graduate 12 women from a six-week pilot course earlier this year. The graduates learned to shop for and prepare nutritious meals on a budget. Mark Warner, deputy warden, taught the first class and is excited about

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Fifth Circuit Vacates Child Pornography Sentence

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has vacated and remanded the sentence of a convicted child pornographer. Jason Daniel Scott pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment and lifetime supervised release. As part of his supervision, Scott was not allowed to

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Prison Entrepreneurial Program Scores High

The small city of Petoskey, Michigan, isn’t far from the Chippewa Correctional Facility, but during the summer of 2016, the city and the prison got a lot closer. It started when an inmate from Chippewa wrote a letter to SCORE’s Tip of the Mitt chapter in Petoskey. SCORE is a nonprofit association that provides education, counseling, and

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Early Release for 1,900 Louisiana Prisoners Concerns Law Enforcement

New legislation passed in Louisiana led to 1,900 prisoners being released in early November. The aim of the legislation is to lower the state’s incarceration rate — the highest in the country — and to give nonviolent prisoners a new chance at life on the outside. But not everyone is happy with this new development. Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford

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Constructing a Future: The Difference Prison Education Makes

Vanessa Thompson didn’t have the best start in life. Abused from an early age, she was just 13 when she quit school and entered the foster care system. A habit of running away and doing drugs carried her into her early 20s, and her activities ultimately led to murder charges stemming from the death of

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Mississippi Prisons Scrap RID For Cognitive Therapy Program

When the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) relied on a pre-release program that was steeped in military-style practices, it failed inmates miserably. “(We found that) people who go through (that program) actually do worse than people that didn’t go through, so we realized that while there were a lot of individuals who had success—they were

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