Cleveland. com Metro | 03.04.2018

Parenting in prison: Ohio nursery offers inmate moms, children a chance to bond

MARYSVILLE, Ohio — One-month-old Javon Jackson fidgets with his mom’s jacket as he drinks from his bottle and holds her hand. His mom coos. Her friends laugh, and a precocious, 2-year-old toddler stops by and waves hi. In all, it is a typical, upbeat moment for any mother and child — until prison officials tell Javon’s mom, Janisha Meredith of Cleveland, that a head count is scheduled in 5 minutes.Read More

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle | 03.03.2018

Make no mistake, solitary confinement is torture

If New York state were punishing misbehaving prisoners by pulling out their fingernails, I believe our local senators and assemblymen would put a stop to this. Yet the legislature continues to allow the extended use of solitary confinement in prisons. Make no mistake, this is torture. Don’t take my word for it.Read More

CNN.com | 02.14.2018

Tampons in the mail? Just the beginning of the change we need

Women pressuring T.J. Shope, a Republican Arizona state representative, to push forward a bill that would provide free and unlimited feminine hygiene products to female inmates in Arizona’s state prison are sending him — what else? — tampons and pads. The bill, introduced by Rep. Athena Salman, was stalled over the weekend by Shope, because the Department of Corrections is currently revising its policy.Read More

WBAI On The Count | 02.10.2018

AUDIO: Solitary at Southport on “On the Count”

On Saturday, February 10, Tyrrell Muhammad was joined by Scott Paltrowitz, both of the CA, on WBAI’s  “On The Count” radio broadcast, to discuss and read excerpts from the recently released report, “Solitary at Southport.” Southport Correctional Facility is one of the two super-maximum security prisons in NYS with the primary purpose of holding people in solitary or isolated  confinement. Read More

US News and World Report | 02.02.2018

Prison Contraband Seizures Up, Guards Say More Can Be Done

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The union representing New York correction officers says new security methods are needed to reduce the amount of contraband smuggled into state prisons, while prison officials say more prohibited items are being seized than ever before. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said this week that the number of incidents involving contraband at the state’s 54 prisons more than doubled over the last decade, from 2,540 incidents in 2008 to 5,231 incidents last year.Read More

Albany Times Union | 01.15.2018

Cuomo’s prison package crackdown is suspended

Following an outcry from prison-reform advocates and a flurry of news reports, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said he was suspending an initiative that sharply limited the content of care packages that inmates can receive in state prisons. Reform advocates said the program, in which friends and families of inmates had to send items through private vendors, was too restrictive and would cut off contact between prisoners and their families.Read More

Huffington Post | 01.13.2018

NY book ban to make prisons “safer” draws backlash

New York State Department of Correctional and Community Service (DOCCS) enacted Directive 4911A in December as a pilot project in three New York prisons. Under this Directive, prisoners may only receive packages from six approved vendors (a couple more vendors may be later added), and packages from family members are restricted to non-electrical musical instruments, a wedding ring, and clothing for the prisoner to wear upon release.Read More

The New York Times | 01.11.2018

What Can’t You Send to an Inmate in New York? Apples, Used Books and More

ALBANY — Until very recently, care packages for inmates in New York State prisons could contain a hodgepodge of items to let them know someone on the outside was thinking of them: a fresh apple, a hoodie, a dog-eared paperback. As of this month, all those things are no longer allowed.Read More

Albany Times Union | 01.10.2018

Advocates take issue with new state policy on inmate care packages

Reform advocates contend a restrictive new program that privatizes the sending of care packages to prison inmates is punitive, but prison officials say it’s intended to fight contraband. “People are very upset and families are upset,” said Jack Beck, who runs the Prisoner Visiting project at the Correctional Association of New York, a group that advocates for better prison conditions.Read More

The Nation | 12.23.2017

All They Want for Christmas Is a Limit on Solitary Confinement

After being accused of cursing at a corrections officer, Jessica Concepcion, seven months pregnant, spent the Christmas of 2006 in solitary confinement at Bedford Hills, New York’s maximum-security prison for women. Confined to her a cell for 23 consecutive hours, she had no opportunity for any human interaction, let alone a chance to wish her family a merry Christmas.Read More