justice

U.S. Justice Department officials plan to phase out their use of private prisons to house federal inmates, reasoning that the contract facilities offer few benefits for public safety or taxpayers.

In making the decision, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates cited new findings by the Justice Department's inspector general, who concluded earlier this month that a pool of 14 privately contracted prisons reported more incidents of inmate contraband, higher rates of assaults and more uses of force than facilities run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Tracy Symonds-Keogh / Wikimedia Commons

The ten-part Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" covers the 2007 conviction in Manitowoc County, Wisc., of Steven Avery for the murder of Teresa Halbach. A secondary story in the film is the interrogation, confession, and later conviction of Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, as an accessory to the crime.

In a turn of events that forces to mind Adnan Syed and "Serial," a federal judge on Friday overturned Dassey's conviction on the grounds that his confession was coerced and unconstitutionally obtained. (Read the decision here.)

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we discuss Governor Malloy's Second Chance 2.0 legislation and find out why it failed to pass during the 2016 session. We also look at what some Connecticut communities are doing to support re-entry. And we talk to a local restaurant owner about his decision to hire ex-offenders

President Obama has commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates — "almost all" of whom were serving sentences for nonviolent crimes. According to the White House, it's the "most grants in a single day since at least 1900."

Jim Glab / Flickr

There are few genres of entertainment more American than the Western. But for a genre so steeped in the iconography of our past, its accuracy in portraying historical event leaves much to be desired. Many argue that the Western is more myth than reality, and that this myth is akin to revisionist history.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Most of us know the Miranda rights -- our "right to remain silent" -- even if we've never been arrested. But do you know the full history behind them? This hour, we talk to a local public defender about the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona.

A Baltimore court has acquitted Officer Caesar Goodson of second-degree murder and all other charges in a case related to the death of Freddie Gray.

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died from a spinal cord injury sustained while in police custody last year.

Goodson drove the van that transported Gray after his arrest. Gray apparently sustained the fatal injury during that van ride, during which he was handcuffed, shackled and not wearing a seat belt. The incident sparked protests and riots in Baltimore and raised questions about police negligence.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Most of us know the Miranda rights -- our "right to remain silent" -- even if we've never been arrested. But do you know the full history behind them? This hour, we talk to a local public defender about the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona.

On Friday Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim launched a new initiative to help ex-felons find jobs.




Ganim was re-elected as mayor of Connecticut's largest city last November after spending seven years in prison. 

Thomas Hawk / WNPR

A new report commissioned by two Connecticut organizations looks at the challenges children face when their parents are in prison. This hour, we check in with one of those groups -- the Connecticut Association for Human Services -- to see what they found and how they plan on using the results to guide future policy conversations. We also hear from a college student whose father spent nearly a decade behind bars.

826 Paranormal / Creative Commons

When people are found not guilty in a court case by reason of insanity, how often do they end up back in trouble? 

A top federal prosecutor says the federal government has a lot more power to protect victims of cybercrime since the 2014 hack of Sony Entertainment, according to Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who spoke to IT professionals at a cybersecurity conference in Stamford, Conn., on Monday.

The controversial North Carolina law that prevents transgender people from using public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, and limits protection for LGBT people, violates federal civil rights law and can't be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Over the past three years, juvenile court judges in Connecticut handled 6,900 cases on average. 

This post was updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A Texas judge has sentenced Ethan Couch, whose lawyers notoriously presented an "affluenza" defense to argue that he wasn't responsible for killing four people when he was driving drunk, to nearly two years in jail.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In the decade since Connecticut first adopted a human trafficking law, not a single person has been convicted.

David Locke / Creative Commons

Lawmakers are weighing a proposal that could prevent people charged with less serious crimes from being stuck in jail before they're convicted. 

NorwichBulletin.com

The federal government deports thousands of people from the U.S. each year. Number one on its priority list are violent criminals.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Department of Children and Families ordered a suicide prevention audit after the Child Advocate issued a critical report last summer over conditions at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for boys and the Pueblo unit for girls in Middletown.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a set of proposals that builds on Governor Dannel Malloy's Second Chance Society reforms. 

Just after President Obama and I concluded our interview — and after the microphones and cameras clicked off — he added a thought.

Senate Republicans' vow not to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, he said, could have profound consequences for the high court and the justices themselves.

Michael Coghlan / Creative Commons <a href="http://blogtrepreneur.com/media-justice">blogrepreneur.com/media-justice</a>

Connecticut’s Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. recently resigned his position. He had been at the center of a controversy for awarding $16.8 million to four men whose murder convictions in a 1996 gang­-related shooting were overturned. Because of this recent award, lawmakers are looking to make changes to the state’s wrongful incarceration statute.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

In December, the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Correction captured the attention of criminal justice reform advocates with a proposal for a new facility solely for 18-to-25-year-olds. It's part of a string of initiatives under the leadership of Scott Semple.

Kathleen T. Rhem / Creative Commons

A military justice expert from Yale Law School said the president’s comments on closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay are a first step in an effort to get the American people behind him on the issue.

The Department of Justice has filed a motion to compel Apple to cooperate with a government investigation and help access data on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino assailants.

The motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (read it in full below) lays out the government's legal case for why Apple should provide technical assistance.

In a cavernous auditorium in the state’s largest prison, a group of about a dozen men serving life or lengthy sentences for homicide or other violent crimes take their seats in a circle with a mother who has suffered the loss of two murdered sons. Some of the inmates seem nervous, shifting in their seats, staring down at the floor.

Stephen Masker / Creative Commons

The 2016 presidential election took a dramatic turn this weekend with the sudden death of Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's most divisive, yet colorful justice. Revered for his brilliance, quick wit, and lively writing, he was equally reviled for a mean streak and his refusal to recognize the subjectivity in his objectivity in adhering to the original intent of the constitution. 

The father of two men who were among the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and are now in jail, was himself arrested in Portland, Ore., Wednesday night.

Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher prominent in protests to end federal control of western lands, is being held in the Multnomah County Detention Center. His sons Ammon and Ryan were arrested Jan. 27 and are there as well.

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET: Bundy Is Charged With Conspiracy

Keoni Cabral / Creative Commons

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced it will hold hearings to see whether discrimination played a role in the handling of Flint’s water crisis. The decision came early last week, amid allegations of environmental racism against the city’s largely black community.

This hour -- from Flint, Michigan to New Haven, Connecticut -- we learn about the environmental justice issues affecting America's low-income communities of color. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

With another legislative session about to begin, Governor Dannel Malloy has announced new proposals under his Second Chance Society initiative. One of his ideas will change how the state defines a juvenile delinquent.

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