prisons

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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Incarceration
10:55 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Holder Backs Reduced Sentences For Some Drug Traffickers

Attorney General Eric Holder appearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, in January.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:40 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder is backing a proposal to shorten sentences for nonviolent drug dealers in an effort reduce federal spending on prisons.

Holder appeared before the United States Sentencing Commission on Thursday to announce his support of the panel's recommendations to trim federal guidelines for sentencing of drug traffickers to 51 months from 62 months.

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Code Switch
8:12 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color

An inmate walks through the yard at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, which recently switched to private management.
Ty Wright Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:03 am

A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

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Higher Education
8:21 am
Tue March 11, 2014

N.Y. Governor Says College For Inmates Will Pay Off For Taxpayers

Inmates at New York's Coxsackie Correctional Facility. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says reinstating state-funded prison college programs will ultimately save taxpayers money.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:28 am

America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.

Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.

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Prison Health Care
3:46 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Connecticut Parolees May Receive Easier Access to Health Care

A new budget proposal could allow certain parolees to sidestep a federal law and access health care in the community.
Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

When Milton Vereen got out of jail, he went to a halfway house. The idea was simple. He'd find a job. He'd look for housing. He'd reintegrate into his New Haven neighborhood and cut his ties to prison.

Except one tie was holding him back: his medical care.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Will Connecticut See a Second Maximum Security Facility for Girls?

Where We Live guest Martha Stone.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each year, 1.4 million of the nation’s eleven- to 17-year-olds enter the juvenile justice system. Of these boys and girls, some 71,000 are sent to incarceration facilities, where they may remain for several months in seclusion from the outside world. 

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New York
9:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

N.Y. Becomes Largest Prison System To Curb Solitary Confinement

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:57 am

New York made sweeping changes this week to the way prisons use solitary confinement.

The deal, signed by a federal judge on Wednesday, was prompted by a federal lawsuit filed by critics who say thousands of inmates — some of them pregnant or mentally ill — are being held for months and even years in isolation, often for minor infractions.

Years Spent In Solitary

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Connecticut First
3:26 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Blast of Snow Arrives; Legislative Opening Delayed

Heavy, wet snow has blanketed the region on Wednesday, leaving up to eight inches of snow along the shoreline and up to a foot of snow in the northern part of the state. The next system to watch is Sunday night into Monday. For Wednesday evening, mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the teens.

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