prisons

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.

Sara Jo / Creative Commons

Eleven jail systems around the country -- including in Connecticut -- will receive $11 million in grants to help revamp operations to eventually reduce prison inmate populations throughout the state.

A bill that would close Connecticut’s juvenile detention facility in Middletown by 2018 passed the General Assembly Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The Connecticut Juvenile Training Facility was under investigation last year for illegally putting children into restraints and seclusion.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Now that Governor Dannel Malloy has pegged July 1, 2018 as the deadline to close the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, the state Department of Children and Families must come up with a plan on how to do it and still serve delinquent youth in its custody. 

Michael Coghlan / Creative Commons

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.

U.S. operation of the Guantanamo Bay military detention center in Cuba is "contrary to our values" and is seen as "a stain on our broader record" of upholding the highest rules of law, President Obama said Tuesday as he announced plans to close the facility.

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.

David Sweat, the surviving convict who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility last June, setting off a 23-day manhunt, spoke at his sentencing on Wednesday. Already facing life in prison without parole on a previous murder conviction, Sweat was sentenced to up to another seven years.

Thomas Hawk / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Department of Correction is changing the way it rewards prison inmates for good behavior.

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.

Osseous / Creative Commons

Dr. Bill Petit spent Sunday, July 23, 2007 playing golf with his father. The day was sunny and hot and a great day to be outside. His wife and two daughters spent the day at the beach. Life was good - until it wasn't.

Within 24 hours, his wife and daughters would be murdered, his home burned, his belongings gone. The trauma would render him unable to return to his medical practice. 

Thomas Hawk /thomashawk / Flickr

Connecticut state police and the Department of Correction said they are investigating the death of an inmate at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic as a possible suicide.

A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued "an urgent call to action" Tuesday to overhaul the nation's federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade.

On Monday, President Obama announced changes to the federal prison system that include banning solitary confinement for juvenile offenders and for prisoners who have committed low-level infractions, calling the practice overused and potentially devastating.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The state of Connecticut is to close an annex to the York Correctional Institution, the fifth prison closure in recent years. 

The morning of June 6, 2015 was to become historic for the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.  The facility had never had an escape occur from its maximum security wing – until that day. As part of our series on the biggest stories of 2015, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks back at the 23-day manhunt and its aftermath.

Rennett Stowe / Flickr Creative Commons

Young people coming out of college today have a strong desire to do good in the world, but it’s not easy to find jobs with a social purpose. Instead, many are starting their own businesses, combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a social mission.

Connecticut to Open Prison for Younger Adult Inmates

Dec 17, 2015
Kudumomo / Creative Commons

A prison that will exclusively house and deal with the issues of inmates between the ages of 18 and 25 is being planned in Connecticut, said the state's correction commissioner.

Anonymous Inmate / Permission by Ron Jenkins

Dante's painful journey through the nine circles of hell in "Dante’s Inferno" defies description: "If I had verses harsh and grating enough to describe this wretched hole…"

Yet this is the most alluring section of the "The Divine Comedy," in the most enduring poem of all time. Dante Alighieri was a 14th century poet and politician who wrote his epic poem about sin and redemption upon his permanent exile from his beloved city of Florence.

When I first met Shaun Tullar, he was locked up in the Vista Detention Facility in San Diego County, Calif.

He was being held in what the jail calls the vets pod — a ring of cells for veterans to live together like a military unit. We met in a room that felt like a school classroom, but with military flags on the walls, and guards at the door.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and like most of us, the men at the maximum-security prison in Cranston will sit down to a Thanksgiving meal. Their turkey and stuffing will be seasoned with herbs harvested from their prison garden. 

Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

Young people coming out of college today have a strong desire to do good in the world, but it’s not easy to find jobs with a social purpose. Instead, many are starting their own businesses, combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a social mission.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut has received national attention for juvenile justice reforms, like its efforts to reduce the number of kids in the system. But advocates say a black eye remains.

For years, critics of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School have called on lawmakers to close the facility for delinquent boys, saying youth -- especially with a history of trauma -- aren't being helped. 

George Chochos.

Lawmakers in Washington are considering federal criminal justice reform legislation, as some 6,000 inmates are released nationwide, part of the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in U.S. history.

An ex-offender from Connecticut is in Washington, DC today to tell his story as part of Senate and House briefings with faith leaders.

When you’re on vacation or in an unfamiliar part of town looking for something to eat, you might look up restaurant reviews on Yelp to help narrow your choices. But now, prisoners across the country are also gravitating toward the platform and describing their experiences in jail. Review platforms like Yelp have become an unexpected online space for people to make the prison system more transparent while simultaneously fulfilling a personal and therapeutic void.

Connecticut has received six federal grants totaling more than $2 million in support of efforts to reduce recidivism and better reintegrate nonviolent offenders after they are released from the criminal justice system.

fergregory/iStock / Thinkstock

The state of Connecticut has received $2.3 million in grants for programs aimed at reducing recidivism and giving ex-offenders better opportunities to restart their lives.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of more than 2,000 convicted juvenile murderers.

In 2012, the high court struck down as unconstitutional state laws that mandated an automatic sentence of life without any possibility of parole in these cases. The question now is whether that decision applies retroactively.

Pages