prisons

State Supreme Court
9:27 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Conn. Court To Take Up Juvenile Sentencing

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 4:01 pm

Connecticut's Supreme Court has decided to take up three cases that could decide how the state handles the convictions of children who commit murder and other violent crimes.

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Women's Prison
1:23 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Report Urges Action on Renovations to Federal Prison In Danbury

A renovation to FCI Danbury, expanding its capacity, has stalled.
Credit U.S. Bureau of Prisons

A new report details the challenges for female prisoners who have been moved out of the federal prison in Danbury into federal jails in Philadelphia and Brooklyn.

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Litchfield
12:14 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

State Sells Historic Litchfield County Jail

The former Litchfield County jail, built in 1812, is at 7 North Street in Litchfield. It's one of the oldest penal facilities in Connecticut.
LitchfieldBZ YouTube

The state of Connecticut has sold the historic former Litchfield County jail to a real estate investor for $130,000. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:46 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Psychopath Show

Arielle Baskin-Sommers is an assistant professor of Psychology at Yale University
Chion Wolf

You know lots of sociopaths right?

It could be anyone from your ex-spouse to the guy who cut you off on your drive to work today. It's a term we throw around loosely to refer to anyone whoever lied to us or didn't follow the rules. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Leaving Prison, and Re-Entering Society

After decades in prison, former inmates must re-adjust to an outside world that's very different from the one they left.
Credit Neil Conway / Creative Commons

After spending years, sometimes decades behind bars, inmates leave prison with little direction for moving forward. They face difficulties obtaining employment, education, and housing. Although Connecticut is a national leader on re-entry programs, a recent study finds nearly 80 percent of inmates released in 2005 were re-arrested within five years.

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Alternatives to Incarceration
8:35 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Instead of Jail, Judges Take More Hands-On Role With Addicts in Connecticut

Support Court participant Rosa, left, with U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant.
Connecticut U.S. District Court

Support courts for defendants with substance abuse issues have existed for over two decades in many states, including Connecticut. They give people an opportunity to seek treatment to avoid the cycle of repeated incarceration. In recent years, federal courts have begun similar programs. 

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Wrongful Conviction
4:27 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 21 Years Seeks Damages From Connecticut

Kenneth Ireland spent 21 years imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.
Credit Connecticut Innocence Project

Kenneth Ireland was released in 2009 after DNA tests exonerated him for a crime he didn't commit. Now the state of Connecticut is holding hearings about how much to compensate him.

When police questioned 17-year-old Kenneth Ireland for the rape and murder of a Wallingford woman in 1986, he thought it all would pass. "I figured they would figure this out and that it would just go away," he said. "I just went on with my life. I joined the National Guard to get the grant for college. I had gotten a decent job for my age. I was heading down this path where I was constructing a life."

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Transgender Teen
1:58 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Connecticut Child Advocate Criticizes DCF for Care of Transgender Teen

Connecticut's child advocate, Sarah Eagan, in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Office of the Child Advocate is criticizing the Connecticut Department of Children and Families for its "public shaming" of Jane Doe after a recent incident at the state locked unit for troubled girls. Child advocate Sarah Eagan is also concerned about how often DCF staff is restraining youth at the state's locked facilities for girls and boys.

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Drug Offenders
3:01 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Drug Sentencing Guidelines Reduced For Current Prisoners

Attorney General Eric Holder, seen here Monday, has supported changes in drug sentencing, but the Sentencing Commission went further than he preferred
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:51 pm

The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday voted unanimously to reduce terms for drug traffickers already in prison.

More than 46,000 drug offenders will be eligible for early release, unless Congress makes a move to stop the plan by Nov. 1.

On average, sentences could be reduced by more than two years.

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Transgender Teen
8:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Transgender Community Watching Connecticut's Jane Doe Case

Supporters of Jane Doe rallied in Hartford last spring.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

The transgender community has been watching Connecticut and its handling of a 16-year-old transgender girl, who's in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

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Juvenile Justice
3:06 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Transgender Girl Moved to Male Facility in Middletown

A Connecticut juvenile detention facility.
Credit State of Connecticut

The attorneys for a transgender teen in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families want a judge to oversee her care. This comes after DCF moved her to an all-boys facility after she allegedly assaulted a youth and staff member over the weekend.

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Learning Behind Bars
10:03 am
Sat June 21, 2014

A Former Drug Dealer Gives A Great Defense Of The Liberal Arts

The Bard Prison Initiative gives inmates at six prisons around New York state the opportunity to study in person with professors from top colleges and universities in the region.
China Jorrin

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 1:00 pm

In preparation for my visit to the 11th annual commencement ceremony of the Bard Prison Initiative, I sat down for a conversation with Donnell Hughes, an alumnus of the program. BPI, as it's called, gives inmates at six prisons around New York state the opportunity to study in person with professors not only from Bard College, but from MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Vassar and local community colleges.

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Affordable Care Act
7:08 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Health Care Can Be Key To A Better Life For Former Inmates

Juanita Alvarado (right), a community health worker at the Transitions Clinic in San Francisco, helps a patient.
courtesy of Transitions Clinic

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:41 am

A San Francisco law now permits the sheriff's department to enroll inmates in health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act — policies designed to cover medical care after a prisoner's release. Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi believes that making sure people have health coverage when they leave jail will help keep them from committing another crime and coming back.

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Transgender Teen
3:09 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Talks Continue to Place Jane Doe With Foster Family

Robin McHaelen, director of True Colors, an advocacy group for LGBT youth.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Advocates for a 16-year-old transgender girl at York women’s prison are working with the Department of Children and Families to find a foster family for Jane Doe. Her story continues to attract national attention. 

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

Who Are The 5 Guantanamo Detainees In Prisoner Swap?

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:34 am

As part of a prisoner swap to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the United States agreed to transfer five Guantánamo detainees to Qatar.

NPR's Tom Bowman received a list of the prisoners being released from a Pentagon official. According to documents leaked to the organization WikiLeaks, all five prisoners were high-ranking Taliban officials. Some were considered high-risk and "likely to post a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies."

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Lethal Injection
7:12 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

State Lacks Execution Drugs Despite Eleven On Death Row

txking/iStock Thinkstock

Connecticut prison officials have confirmed they do not have a supply of any lethal injection drugs or a way to obtain them, even though there are eleven inmates on death row. 

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Connecticut First
6:11 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Metro-North Officials Discuss Progress; Political Conventions Being Held

More delays this morning for Metro North commuters. The railroad’s New Haven line service was suspended between Stamford and Harrison, N.Y. as officials worked to improve railroad safety after a downed overhead catenary electric line blocked three of four tracks in the vicinity of Cos Cob.  The incident came just hours before MTA officials and lawmakers met to discuss Metro-North’s safety and training plans.

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Juvenile Justice
5:01 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

When States Can't Control Violent Youth, Is Prison The Answer?

Protesters rally outside the Department of Children and Families in Hartford, Conn., in April. The state's decision to send a transgender teen to adult prison has galvanized juvenile justice and LGBT advocates.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

More than 4,000 children are in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families. But it's one girl, known as Jane Doe, who has galvanized advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth.

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Juvenile Justice
12:23 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Transgender Teen at York Moved to Different Part of Prison

Sarah Eagan is Connecticut's child advocate.
Credit Chion Wolf

A 16-year-old transgender girl who has been detained at the state women's prison for more than a month has been moved to another location at the prison.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

From DCF to Prison, an Update on Jane Doe; Connecticut's "Berlin Wall"; Teens Talk Fashion

Jane Doe is currently being held at York Correctional Facility.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The story of an inmate at York Correctional Facility, known simply as Jane Doe, has caught the attention of Governor Dannel Malloy. She’s a 16-year-old transgender female at the center of a rare transfer of custody from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Corrections.

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Jail Sentences
1:39 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Mo. Man Whose Prison Term Was Delayed By Clerical Error Is Free Again

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson walks out of the Missouri County Courthouse along with his wife, LaQonna Anderson, their daughter Nevaeh, 3, and his attorney Patrick Megaro on Monday in Charleston, Mo.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:58 pm

Cornealious "Mike" Anderson is a free man once again.

Back in 2000, the Missouri resident was sentenced to 13 years in prison for holding up a man with a gun. Anderson was 23 at the time and was told to await orders on when to show up to prison.

Thirteen years went by and he never received notice. According to the AP, in the meantime, Anderson started a construction business, got married, had children and volunteered at his church near St. Louis.

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Juvenile Justice
3:42 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Rallies Held in Connecticut and New York City For Jane Doe

A rally in Hartford in support of an imprisoned transgender teen on Friday included members of activist groups and other supporters.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

DCF Commissioner Joette Katz met on Friday with the juvenile who was the focus of two rallies in Connecticut and New York City.

More than three dozen supporters of a transgender teen being held at Connecticut's women's prison protested in front of the Department of Children and Families headquarters in Hartford.

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Juvenile Justice
5:33 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Jane Doe Speaks From Prison: "I Don't Deserve This"

York Correctional Institution in Niantic, where Jane Doe is being held.
Credit Connecticut Dept. of Correction

The 16-year-old transgender girl who has been detained at a Connecticut women's prison for over two weeks issued a statement on Wednesday asking DCF Commissioner Joette Katz to visit her in prison.

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Juvenile Justice
3:10 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Transgender Teen In Adult Prison For Nearly Two Weeks

Credit Joshua Davis

Attorneys for the teen and the state are moving towards an agreement on "conditions of confinement" as a 16-year-old transgender girl reaches the two-week mark for being detained at Connecticut's women's prison. Her lawyers have been adamant that she be removed from York Correctional Institution as soon as possible.    

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Transgender Teen
3:23 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

DCF Commissioner Defends Transfer of Transgender Juvenile to York Prison

Joette Katz during an earlier visit to WNPR.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The Commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families is defending her agency's rare transfer of a 16-year-old transgender girl to Connecticut’s women’s prison. Joette Katz said the state had run out of options for the troubled youth.

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Juvenile Justice
6:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Transgender Teen Outlines Years of Abuse While in DCF Custody

Credit Brian Turner / Creative Commons

A temporary restraining order has been filed in federal court on behalf of a transgender juvenile being detained at Connecticut's women's prison. It includes an affidavit from the 16-year-old alleging multiple accounts of physical and sexual abuse while she was in DCF custody.

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Connecticut First
5:38 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Bill Protecting Public's Right to Record Police Officers; Metro North Survey

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would further protect the public’s right to record police officers. The bill has been pushed through the Judiciary Committee, which approved it two weeks ago. They’re awaiting waiting again for the Senate and House to act. Current law already allows people to record police from a safe distance, but the bill would take it a step further by allowing people to sue officers who interfere with the recording of their actions.

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Juvenile Justice
3:44 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Attorneys Go to Federal Court in Case of Transgender Teen at York

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

Attorneys for a transgender teen recently placed at Connecticut's women's prison said the Department of Correction is expected to announce on Friday whether she will remain there, or be sent to a male facility. 

Meanwhile, an attorney for the 16-year-old was in federal court Thursday morning.

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