On September 4th, just before students began working in Harvard Law School’s clinics and student practice organization, the Prison Legal Assistance Project and the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs hosted a lunch talk entitled Public Service Litigation and Solitary Confinement by Jules Lobel, Professor of Law
MARION, Ala. — Judge Marvin Wiggins’s courtroom was packed on a September morning. The docket listed hundreds of offenders who owed fines or fees for a wide variety of crimes — hunting after dark, assault, drug possession and passing bad checks among them.
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” began Judge Wiggins,
On one side of the stage at a maximum-security prison here sat three men incarcerated for violent crimes.
On the other were three undergraduates from Harvard College.
After an hour of fast-moving debate on Friday, the judges rendered their verdict.
The inmates won.
The audience burst into applause. That included about 75 of the
Fernando Delgado of the Human Right's Clinic and his students revel the voices of the prisoners in Brazil.
“Fernando’s work in detention centers in Brazil is unparalleled by anything being done by any clinic or NGO outside Brazil,” said Cavallaro. “He’s documented the most serious abuses in the most dangerous centers
There are a number of ways to put a price tag on the United States’s shameful mass incarceration system. On the most superficial level, $80 billion is how much it costs to keep more than 2.4 million people in our jails and prisons. Then there are the costs to those incarcerated themselves,
On Tuesday, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, will hear oral arguments in a case that may provide a rare chance to reform New York’s antiquated, ineffective and unfair parole system.
The basic idea behind parole is simple: People can change. It isn’t always easy, but if
It’s a chilling image: the sex predator skulking in the shadows of a swing set, waiting to snatch a vulnerable child.
Over the past two decades, that scenario has led to a wave of laws around the country restricting where people convicted of sex offenses may live — in many cases,
In a resolution that could have wide effects, California's prison system has agreed to change how it handles solitary confinement — and to review the cases of nearly 3,000 prisoners who are currently in solitary. The changes are part of the terms of a newly settled class-action lawsuit.
To read more
LOS ANGELES — California has agreed to an overhaul of the use of solitary confinement in its prisons, including strict limits on the prolonged isolation of inmates, as part of a landmark legal settlement filed in federal court on Tuesday.
The settlement is expected to sharply reduce the number of inmates
Here is the link to the event: http://clinics.law.harvard.edu/plap/event/a-conversation-with-jules-lobel-public-service-litigation-solitary-confinement/
No country in the world imprisons as many people as America does, or for so long. Across the array of state and federal prisons, local jails and immigration detention centers, some 2.3m people are locked up at any one time. America, with less than 5% of the world’s population, accounts
President Obama spent time at El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison near Oklahoma City that is home to 1,045 male inmates. The stop was part of his campaign to reform the criminal justice system, which includes several policies aimed at life inside the nation’s prisons, including addressing the practice
A recent study done by Joseph Doyle, an economist at MIT's Sloan School of Business Management, and Anna Aizer, a professor of economics at Brown University, suggests that "other things being equal, juvenile incarceration lowers high-school graduation rates by 13 percentage points and increases adult incarceration by 23 percentage points."
The article, titled "The Missing Statistics of Criminal Justice", addresses issues of solitary confinement in prisons, inmate on inmate violence, use of force by police officers, and prosecutorial discretion.
For the full article, click here.
The Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer, along with Georgetown Law professor David Cole, wrote an op-ed last week in the New York Times, offering a holistic perspective on criminal justice reform, addressing issues of mass incarceration, drug courts, sentence lengths, and recidivism, among others.
Click here for the full article.
"Whatever the label, the experience for the person is the same —confinement in an isolated cell (alone or with a cellmate) for an average of 23 hours a day with limited human interaction, little constructive activity, and in an environment that ensures maximum control over the individual."
Click here for the report,
On April 23rd, 2015, in an an op-ed published on CNN.com, New Jersey Senator (D) Cory Booker called for large-scale reform of America's criminal justice system:
"As we reform our criminal justice system at the national level, we will alter the cycles of poverty and recidivism that plague too many American
"As of late March, over 400 people had been locked up for more than two years without being convicted of a crime ... As part of Mr. de Blasio’s proposal, all cases involving defendants who have been incarcerated for over a year — currently more than 1,500 people — are
"What if, a few times a week, massive open online courses, or MOOCs, were streamed on the prison’s internal station, channel 3? ... The MOOCs, which are free for the rest of the world, could help American prisoners become more educated and connected."
Read the full NYTimes article, by John
(photo courtesy of archdaily.com)
"Tom was adamant that overcoming his substance-abuse problem was his responsibility alone. But he conceded that the environment at Halden, and the availability of therapists, made it easier. Compared with other prisons, “it’s quiet,” he said. “No fighting, no drugs, no problem,” he added. “You’re safe.""