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Justice Department Maps New Course on Forensic Science Review

  Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced April 10 the Department of Justice (DOJ) will not renew an Obama-created advisory panel which has been studying ways to improve forensic science for four years. Instead, DOJ says it plans a series of different steps to bring responsibility for policymaking inside the Department of Justice. The National Commission

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Nearly Half of Prisoners Lack Access to Vocational Training

By Christopher Zoukis In the ongoing discussion of prison reform, mass incarceration and reducing recidivism, vocational programs are often overlooked in favor of formal educational courses and other activities and programming. Maybe it is assumed that most incarcerated individuals have access to, and participate in, vocational training and prison jobs. At least that’s what popular

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State Prison Suicides Climbed 30% in One Year

  The number of inmate suicides in state prisons climbed by more than 30 percent during a one-year period, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Department of Justice. The statistical study, Mortality in State Prisons, 2001-2014, released on Dec. 15, noted that in 2013, 192 state prison

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Changes to Pennsylvania DOC Improves Life for Prisoners, Staff

By Christopher Zoukis The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spent 2016 making laudable strides toward helping improve the state of mass incarceration in this country. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel made a statement in December outlining improvements the Department of Corrections (DOC) has made in public, prisoner, and staff safety, improving transparency and fiscal responsibility, providing more

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Prison Misuse a Huge Burden on Taxpayers, Society

Mass incarceration costs billions each year, but the toll on society is not just financial. By Christopher Zoukis There are myriad issues with the current U.S. system of mass incarceration where more people are imprisoned than any other country in the world, and often in a hugely skewed manner — one which varies widely across

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Prison Entrepreneurship Project Reforming Lives

By Christopher Zoukis The Prison Entrepreneurship Project has helped transform more than 1,300 convicted felons into business graduates that have transitioned successfully back into society. The project focuses on male prisoners, and is a comprehensive, holistic program aimed at reducing recidivism, giving second chances to ex-offenders, and helping to ensure successful reintegration into their communities.

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Sex Offender Treatment Programs in the Federal Bureau of Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis The Federal Bureau of Prisons incarcerates over 14,500 sex offenders within its roughly 200 facilities. This equates to approximately eight percent of the federal prison population. Increasingly, those convicted of federal sexual offenses are being housed at Sex Offender Management Program (SOMP) facilities which have a larger sex offender population and offer

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What Will Trump Team Do On DOJ Private Prison Ban?

In what the American Civil Liberties Union hailed as a groundbreaking step, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced with great fanfare in August that it planned to stop using private prisons. The announcement followed the release a week earlier of a report by DOJ’s inspector general finding private prisons generally have higher assault and use

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Notice to Prison Law Blog Readers

By Christopher Zoukis I hope this post finds all of you well. Today I have an administrative note to share concerning the future of the Prison Law Blog. As part of my vision for the future, a future which includes a new entity called Zoukis Prisoner Resources, the Prison Law Blog will be undergoing a

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Internet Access Is a Human Right. Should Prisoners Have It?

Allowing supervised access to the internet could help with rehabilitation and reduce recidivism. By Christopher Zoukis Internet and computer access dominates most people’s lives to a major degree in many countries around the world. More than 45 percent of the world population has an internet connection at home — that’s fast approaching 4 billion people.

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