News

Initiative Examines Mass Incarceration From Past to Present

New initiative aims to foster understanding and  discussion on the topic of mass incarceration through the lens of history and current events. By Christopher Zoukis In 2014, the Colorado College history department embarked on an initiative called the Social Issues and Historical Context Initiative, with the goal of demonstrating the connections between history and current

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Yoga and Meditation Improve Life Behind Bars and Beyond

Yoga and meditation have a host of benefits for prisoners. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that within five years of release, 76 percent of prisoners released in the U.S. re-offend. Breaking this cycle requires radical reforms in rehabilitation methods, and some surprising approaches are showing promising results —  downward dog and mantra chanting. Educational

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Despite DOJ Ban, Private Prison Contracts in Georgia Are Renewed

This past August was a very rough month for privately-owned and operated prisons, at the hands of the Department of Justice. First, on Aug. 11, the DOJ inspector general’s office issued an 86-page report unfavorably comparing the performance of private prisons – looking over a four-year span at eight problem factors, including the incidence of

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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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Books Behind Bars Mean Better Outcomes

By Christopher Zoukis Evidence is overwhelming prisoners benefit in myriad ways when they have access to books and education. An increase in education of any kind is connected to reducing recidivism, as reported by the 2013 Rand Corporation Study, and as demonstrated by the outcomes of numerous programs that have been implemented across institutions. Prisoners

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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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States Should Follow Feds On Rethinking Private Prisons

A report on for-profit private prisons indicates the model has serious problems. Recently the US Department of Justice announced they would be closing all privately run federal prisons, declining to renew contracts, or significantly reducing the scope of private prison contracts. This comes following a report from the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General

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Help Reduce Crime Through Treatment, Not Charges

By Christopher Zoukis Utah has become the latest state push for treatment — not prison — for minor offenses, as part of an effort to offer those who without serious criminal histories and people with substance abuse and mental health issues a chance at turning their lives around. While Utah was already making strides in state

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New Supreme Court Term Includes Major Cases Affecting Inmates

By Christopher Zoukis What will happen with the one U.S. Supreme Court vacancy after the death last February of Justice Antonin Scalia will undoubtedly be decided after the results of November’s election. But the high court new term, which began October 3rd, already includes several major cases that could redefine the validity of sentences handed

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