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Nebraska High Security Prison Chaos After All Cell Doors Open

Shortly before 10:00 a.m. on September 7, 16 single-occupancy cells in a restrictive housing section of Nebraska’s top-security prison, the Tecumseh State Correctional Institute, unexpectedly opened. The cause of this irregularity was not certain, but a computer error in the system which controls the cellblock doors was suspected. The restrictive housing unit is home to

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Federal Prisons Will Get Immigration Detainees

In what marks the first large-scale transfer of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees to federal prisons, U.S. correctional facilities in five states will receive around 1,600 persons detained by ICE for being in this country illegally because ICE lacks sufficient space to hold them. ICE announced the new policy on June 7. As ICE steps

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DOJ Inspector General Outlines Challenges for Federal Prisons

As has been done annually since 1998, in October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general released a list of what he sees as the leading management and performance challenges confronting the agency in the year ahead. One of the eight areas identified by Inspector General Michael Horowitz was summarized as “Managing an Overcrowded Federal

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D.C. Court Rules Warrant Required to Track Cell Phones

A District of Columbia Court of Appeals panel ruled by a 2-1 margin on Sept. 21 that a search warrant is required before police can use cell phone tracking devices. The decision marked the fourth time a state or federal court has come to that conclusion, echoing similar rulings by Maryland’s top court and by

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DOJ Backs Away from New Prison Planned for Eastern Kentucky

For more than a decade, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has planned to build a new prison in mountainous Letcher County in eastern Kentucky. But when the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent in its proposed fiscal year 2018 budget to Congress, funding for the project was no longer included, and DOJ has proposed rescinding

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American Jail Population Remains Steady

By Chris Zoukis The population of America’s jails at mid-year 2014 remained steady at approximately three-quarters or a million prisoners, at 744,600 men, women, and children.  This number represents a 1.8 percent increase from 2013 levels, but still lower than the 2008 high of 785,500 persons, according to a June 2015 report from the U.S.

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DOJ Investigates Possible Prisoners’ Rights Violations in Alabama

By Christopher Zoukis The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched a statewide probe on whether conditions in Alabama’s 14 prisons for men violate the rights of inmates. The investigation is under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which allows action against jails or prisons that show patterns or

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Isolation Cells Empty After Change in Solitary Confinement Use

By Christopher Zoukis Picture solitary confinement — a.k.a. “the SHU.” Isolation, loneliness, deprivation. A place where a prisoner might be alone for up to 23 hours per day, in a windowless room, with non-contact visits from behind glass. You might imagine that this form of punishment is used only when absolutely necessary, for the worst offenders

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Report: Human Impact to Prison Overcrowding

Image courtesy myjournalcourier.com By Mary Kuhlman / The Journal Courier Illinois houses an estimated 49,000 people in its prison system, and a recent report finds it’s one of the most overcrowded systems in the nation. In fact, only Alabama’s prisons are more crowded. The Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics’ most recent census of prisoners found

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Using Education to Stop the Prison Revolving Door

By Lois Davis / AL.com  Image courtesy blog.al.com According to the Department of Justice, in 2012, Alabama had the third highest imprisonment rate in the United States, trailing only Louisiana and Mississippi. A fierce debate has erupted over what to do to reduce overcrowding in Alabama prisons at a time when the state’s budget is tighter

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