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.
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.
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.
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.
Chief judges in the region, including Connecticut’s Chief Judge Janet Hall, say they oppose plans to convert a federal prison in Danbury into a men’s facility. The facility is the only federal prison in the northeast for women.
Yale Law School’s Visual Law Project has created a film about Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut. The documentary film sheds light on the hidden world of supermax prisons, where inmates may be held in solitary confinement for weeks, months, and even years at a time. The film is called "The Worst of the Worst."
It's been a year since two terror suspects were extradited from Britain to a supermax prison in Connecticut. Government authorities say Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan operated a group of websites that allegedly recruited fighters, and provided cash, military equipment and training to terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya.
The partial government shutdown has a silver lining for some inmates being housed in Connecticut. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has temporarily suspended its plan to move over 1,100 women from the low-security Danbury Correctional Institute until they an pay the $1.1 million dollar cost for the transfer.
The plan to transfer all female prisoners out of the Danbury federal facility is back in effect today, although it remains to be seen whether the government shutdown will slow transfers. While we wait to see what happens next, The Wheelhouse Digest is making a pit stop in New London, where a German website has taken an interest in development news. Also a must-see: the "Saturday Night Live" send-up of a square white Connecticut mom who checks out Grand Theft Auto 5, and ended up playing it all week.
As we mourn the passing of legendary Connecticut photojournalist Bill Eppridge today -- he was 75 -- we're also thinking at The Wheelhouse Digest about the bizarre incident in Washington, D.C. on Thursday that ended fatally, when a Stamford woman tried to drive through a barrier toward the White House. More on that and our dashed hopes about commuting by helicopter below.
As the fall leaves begin to turn in Connecticut, we're thinking today at The Wheelhouse Digest about a few other things turning a corner as well. Efforts toward school reform in Bridgeport were pushed back last week. A former Latin Kings member in New Haven found a way to transform herself and her work. And everything will be turning up jobs if we just borrow some more, according to a new report. Here's a taste of the news you need to know now.
The county's Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles is a hulking, massive concrete structure. It is also part of the largest municipal jail system in the United States.
On a recent day, four men enter handcuffed with a police escort. The sheriff's deputies assign them cells, and for the duration of their sentences, this is home. The men wear bright blue pants and neon yellow shirts to set them apart from other inmates.
Piper Kerman brought a suitcase of cash across international borders as the 20-year-old girlfriend of an international drug trafficker.
By the time she was 34, Piper outgrew her need for adventure, but not the crime that landed her in prison more than a decade later, despite that she was living a respectable life with a boyfriend, family, and artisanal soap business in New York City's West Village.
The Bureau of Prisons has suspended the transfer of more than 1,100 female inmates from the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut to Alabama. Their decision comes after a letter to the bureau, co-signed by 11 Northeast senators, including Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut. In a statement, Murphy said the transfer would "nearly eliminate federal prison beds for women in the Northeast" while using the facility for male inmates.
We talk this hour about the case of Bonnie Foreshaw, serving the longest sentence of any Connecticut woman for the death of a pregnant woman. Her case is back in the news because of new revelations and high profile support.
Two bills that would change the way Connecticut sentences juveniles convicted of serious crimes are making their way through the legislature. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, they come in response to U-S Supreme Court rulings that say treating young people like adults could violate the constitution. The proposed bills come with the recommendation of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission -- a mix of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, corrections officials and others. And both of them deal with the lengthy adult sentences imposed on juveniles and hinge on the idea that kids are different than adults, and should be treated that way. One is called house bill 6581. For those people in prison serving lengthy sentences for crimes they committed when they were younger than 18, this bill would give them a second-look. That means it would mandate a parole hearing after a good portion of their sentences had been served. Sarah Russell is a law professor at the Quinnipiac School of Law.
Gideon v. Wainwright is arguably one of the most influential cases in law history. Fifty years ago this month, it changed American law by providing counsel to those who could not afford it on their own.
Today, on Where We Live, we reflect with Connecticut public defenders on this landmark verdict. The anniversary comes in the midst of funding troubles for public defenders and concerns about overzealous and overreaching prosecutions. We talk about work being done in the state to free those who have been wrongfully convicted.
For the first time in a long time, observers of the phenomenon of mass incarceration in America have seen some good news. The rate of African Americans in prison has dropped sharply over a decade - a trend that pushes back against a historical disproportionality of blacks in our prison system. These numbers come from The Sentencing Project.
I never gave much thought to today's topic until 1990, when the Associated Press reported that a woman identified only as Margaret was engaged to be married to Dennis Coleman, serving a 34 year sentence for the murder of Joyce Aparo. The case -- for reasons I don't have time to explain right now -- had transfixed Connecticut and was one of the state's most high profile murders of the 20th century.
The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that state prison officials can restrain and force-feed inmates to protect them from life-threatening dehydration and malnutrition. Meanwhile, as WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the inmate who filed suit against the Department of Correction for force-feeding him is on a hunger strike once again.