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Departing AG Limits DOJ Consent Decrees

Shortly before resigning his post, as requested by President Trump, ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued guidelines for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to follow when seeking consent decrees with police departments or other units of state or local government. The likely result will be to keep DOJ out of state and local law enforcement investigations,

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Praise the Lord for Theology in Prison

Religion is a touchy subject; so, what happens when religious education takes place behind prison walls? The goings-on at Nash Correctional Institution (NCI) gives us some insight. Currently, at NCI, 24 inmates are studying for a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry. Most of these men will be in prison for life, and the rest have

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Northwestern Prison Education Program Encourages Contemplation

Recently, we discussed the positive role liberal arts education has in prisons. Today, we take a closer look at the Northwestern Prison Education Program, which provides tuition-free liberal arts degrees to inmates in Illinois Stateville Correctional Center (SCC). Northwestern launched as an institution for higher learning in 1855. Five years prior, nine men sat down

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No “Making up for Lost Time” When a Prison Cuts Education Short

Ah, prison! That place where men and women go to realize the error of their ways and become fully rehabilitated. It’s where education is offered, training in life skills is provided, and community-minded citizens help with reintegration programs, right? What we just described is the idealized version of the American prison system. Sadly, far from

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Florida Voters Restore Ex-Felons’ Voting Rights

In the November mid-term election, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, the Voting Restoration Amendment, a ballot measure amending the state’s constitution to eliminate a provision that permanently removed the voting rights for well over a million state residents who have been convicted of felonies. The new amendment becomes Article VI, sections 4(a) and (b) of

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Why Teach Liberal Arts in Prison?

Liberal arts. Anyone studying this subject is frequently acquainted with an eye roll followed by, “and how are you supposed to get a job with that?” Liberal arts has a bad rap, and that is highly underserved. The truth is, liberal arts is among one of the oldest courses of study in the world! While

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Boston Mobster Slain Within Hours of Entering New Prison

Notorious Boston gang chief James “Whitey” Bulger was found murdered in his cell on October 30 at the high-security federal prison in Hazelton, West Virginia, the morning after arriving from FTC Oklahoma City, a Bureau of Prisons transfer center in Oklahoma City. Bulger was the chief organized crime figure in New England, in part by

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What is the Prison Studies Project?

The Prison Studies Project (PSP) is an initiative that created a nationwide directory of higher education prison programs in the United States. The index was completed in 2008 and is updated regularly. The project was completed in partnership with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice. According to PSP’s website, “PSP aims to

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Bureau of Prisons Cuts Back on Halfway Houses and Services

Federal inmates expecting to be transferred from a prison to a halfway house — what the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) calls a “residential reentry center” — are being informed shortages of spaces mean they’ll face delays in their transfer, and consequently more time in prison. BOP can let federal inmates with good-time credit spend up

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DOJ IG’s Report: BOP Fails to Meet Needs of Female Inmates

A report issued September 18 by the Inspector General (IG) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) identifies shortcomings in how the leaders of DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the correctional facilities it operates fail to meet the needs of its female inmates. Women are about 7% of all sentenced federal inmates (10,567 out of

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