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ACEs in the Criminal Justice System

Discussion and sharing of resources in working with clients involved in the criminal justice system and how screening for and treating ACEs will lead to successful re-entry of prisoners into the community and reduced recidivism for former offenders.

Tagged With "Compassion Prison Project"

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"5 myths about putting people in prison and what actually works." (upworthy.com)

When people commit crimes, we send them away from their families and communities to become better by locking them in cells. That idea really starts to fall apart when you consider the number of people who abuse drugs , people with mental illness, and people of color in the prison system. Sometimes society's most egregious myths are right in front of our faces. Thankfully, as a society, starting to take a second look at the parts of our criminal justice system, especially prisons, that might...
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5 things you've probably never considered about being pregnant while in prison. (upworthy.com)

Here are five things you may not know about being pregnant and incarcerated. 1. Thousands of incarcerated women are pregnant, and access to prenatal healthcare in prison is abysmal. 2. There are huge barriers to getting an abortion while incarcerated. 3. Pregnant women who are incarcerated often have to deal with dehumanizing, dangerous practices like shackling. 4. Giving birth while incarcerated can be a nightmare. 5. Mothers are separated from their newborns almost immediately. The bottom...
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7.25+

Zachary Dorholt ·
I have spent over a decade working at the intersection of mental health and social/criminal justice systems, but it wasn't until recently when I started collecting ACE scores with the inmates I work with in county jails. Prior to working in the jails, I worked in the state prison system, where I did mental health intake evaluations at the state prison where all offenders in Minnesota enter through. So often, in the back of my mind, was the thought that "if only these guys had the right...
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A California Court for Young Adults Calls on Science [NYTimes.com]

On a cloudy afternoon in the Bayview district, Shaquille, 21, was riding in his sister’s 1991 Acura when another car ran a stop sign, narrowly missing them. Both cars screeched to a halt, and Shaquille and the other driver got out. “I just wanted to talk,” he recalls. But the talk became an argument, and the argument ended when Shaquille sent the other driver to the pavement with a left hook. Later that day, he was arrested and charged with felony assault. He already had a misdemeanor...
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A college education in prison opens path to freedom (calmatters.org)

Cal State LA’s Prison Graduation Initiative is the state’s only public bachelor’s degree program sending professors to teach behind bars. College programs like it were once far more common, and today advocates are hopeful the political winds have shifted enough to bring public dollars back to prison education. Federal legislation that would make grant aid available has bipartisan support, and in California, a bill to open the state’s financial aid program to incarcerated students is headed...
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A Federal Judge’s New Model for Forgiveness (nytimes.com)

Should a judge care what happens, years down the road, to the defendants convicted in his courtroom? In 2003, John Gleeson, a federal district judge in Brooklyn, presided over the trial of a woman charged for her role in faking a car accident for the insurance payments. After a jury found her guilty, Judge Gleeson sentenced the woman to 15 months in prison. Many judges might leave it at that, but in an extraordinary 31-page opinion released on March 7, Judge Gleeson stepped back into the...
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A Food Truck Run by Former Inmates Charts a New Course (nationswell.com)

Since 2014 the New York City based Drive Change has been operating a food truck, called Snowday , as a way of reducing recidivism rates among young people. The organization hires and mentors formerly jailed young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. And so far, it has ushered more than 20 of them through its paid fellowship program, which provides both specific training in the culinary arts as well as broader professional-development skills. Graduates of the program have gone on to work as...
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A Mass Incarceration Mystery [themarshallproject.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
One of the most damning features of the U.S. criminal justice system is its vast racial inequity. Black people in this country are imprisoned at more than 5 times the rate of whites; one in 10 black children has a parent behind bars, compared with about one in 60 white kids, according to the Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality. The crisis has persisted for so long that it has nearly become an accepted norm. So it may come as a surprise to learn that for the last 15 years, racial...
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A Modern-Day Harriet Tubman (nytimes.com)

She was 4 years old when her aunt’s boyfriend began to abuse her sexually. Then at 14, she had a baby girl, the result of a gang rape. Soon she fell under the control of a violent pimp and began cycling through jails, prisons, addiction and crime for more than 20 years. Yet today, Susan Burton is a national treasure. She leads a nonprofit helping people escape poverty and start over after prison, she’s a powerful advocate for providing drug treatment and ending mass incarceration — and her...
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A New Justice Challenge for Trump: Mental Health & Drugs [TheCrimeReport.org]

It’s a common lament of the nation’s police officers and prison wardens alike: A large proportion of the crime suspects and inmates they find themselves dealing with suffer from mental illness, substance-abuse issues, or both. Today, a coalition of organizations spanning justice and health interests are launching a new campaign to focus on what they call “behavioral health issues in the criminal justice system.” At a meeting in Washington, D.C., the groups are issuing what they termed...
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A Prison With No Walls (nationswell.com)

To be clear, inmates at Moriah do not receive shock therapy, as its formal name seems to infer. Rather, non-violent felons, like DiSilvestre, are shocked by therapeutic social programs and military-style schedules designed to lower recidivism rates. Still, there are two shock programs in New York that have proven effective and have drawn praise from state department heads, academics well-versed on military-style prisons and inmates. The prisons boast both lower recidivism rates and lower...
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A Prosecutor's Vision for a Better Justice System (dailygood.org)

I am a prosecutor. I believe in law and order. I am the adopted son of a police officer, a Marine and a hairdresser. I believe in accountability and that we should all be safe in our communities. I love my job and the people that do it. I just think that it's our responsibility to do it better. The staggering inefficiency is what drove me to criminal justice work. The unfairness of it all made me want to be a defender. The power dynamic that I came to understand made me become a prosecutor.
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A Trauma-informed, Resiliency-based Community of Practice for Prison Educators

Sheryl Huggins Salomon ·
An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled " How Philanthropy Can Create Public Systems Change " describes how Renewing Communities, a five-year, multifunder initiative aimed increasing education of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students by California’s public colleges and universities, partnered with the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research in order to address educator burnout through a trauma-informed and resiliency-based community of practice.
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A Vision of Healing, and Hope for Formerly Incarcerated Women (nationswell.com)

Topeka K. Sam sits on a plush purple sofa in the living room of an immaculate row house in the Bronx, ordaining all of the ladies in the room. Sam, a founder of Hope House , a residence for previously incarcerated women, points to her cofounder, Vanee Sykes. “She’s a Lady of Hope,” Sam says, then swivels and points at another woman who has just entered the room. “That’s another Lady of Hope.” And, apparently, so too is this reporter. “The Ladies of Hope is you, and it’s all of us,” she adds.
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Action steps using ACEs and trauma-informed care: a resilience model (link.springer.com)

The prison system is an example of the ways undigested trauma from early childhood experiences can join with the conditions of harshness and violence in many of our U.S. prisons and contribute to reinforcing a cycle of reactivity in both Correction Officers and prisoners. The correctional system is rife with challenges to the health and well being of Correction Officers (COs) as well as prisoners. Suicide rates of COs are more than double that of police officers as well as for the national...
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Adult Reentry Grant Program (ARG): Proposals due November 1st.

The Adult Reentry Grant (ARG) Program was established through the Budget Act of 2018 (Senate Bill 840, Chapter 29, Statute of 2018) and appropriated $50,000,000 in funding for competitive awards to community-based organizations to support offenders formerly incarcerated in state prison. The Budget Act requires that funding be allocated as follows: -$25 million be for rental assistance; -$9.35 million to support the warm handoff and reentry of offenders transitioning from prison to...
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At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard (latimes.com)

The cost of imprisoning each of California’s 130,000 inmates is expected to reach a record $75,560 in the next year. Gov. Jerry Brown ’s spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes a record $11.4 billion for the corrections department while also predicting that there will be 11,500 fewer inmates in four years because voters in November approved earlier releases for many inmates. The price for each inmate has doubled since 2005, even as court orders related to overcrowding...
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At Least 61,000 Nationwide Are in Prison for Minor Parole Violations [TheMarshallProject.org]

Among the millions of people incarcerated in the United States, a significant portion have long been thought to be parole violators, those who were returned to prison not for committing a crime but for failing to follow rules: missing an appointment with a parole officer, failing a urine test, or staying out past curfew. But their actual number has been elusive, in part because they are held for relatively short stints, from a few months to a year, not long enough for record keepers to get a...
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“BECOMING MS. BURTON: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women” by Susan Burton and Cari Lynn

I met Susan Burton in 2010, but I had learned her name years before. I was doing research about the challenges of re-entry for people incarcerated due to our nation's cruel and biased drug war. At the time, I was in the process of writing The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - a book that aimed to expose the ways the War on Drugs had not only decimated impoverished communities of color but had also helped to birth a new system of racial and social control eerily...
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Behind Bars, Mentally Ill Inmates Are Often Punished For Their Symptoms (npr.org)

By some accounts, nearly half of America's incarcerated population is mentally ill — and journalist Alisa Roth argues that most aren't getting the treatment they need. Roth has visited jails in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta and a rural women's prison in Oklahoma to assess the condition of mentally ill prisoners. She says correctional officers are on the "front lines" of mental health treatment — despite the fact that they lack clinical training. "Most of [the correctional...
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Big Jump Seen In Number Of Inmates Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs In California (npr.org)

The number of inmates in California who've been prescribed psychiatric drugs has jumped about 25 percent in five years, according to a recent analysis of state data. These inmates now account for about a fifth of the county jail population across the state. The increase might be a reflection of the growing number of inmates with mental illness, though it also might stem from improved identification of people in need of treatment, say researchers from California Health Policy Strategies , a...
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Bill On Governor’s Desk Aims To Reduce Childhood Trauma By Diverting Parents Into Treatment, Instead Of Prison [witnessla.com]

By Taylor Walker, Witness LA, September 13, 2019 An estimated 10 million US children have parents who are currently locked up, or who have previously been incarcerated. A bill currently on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, SB 394, seeks to reduce the number of parents and children separated by incarceration by boosting diversion. Children arguably suffer the worst consequences of mass incarceration. In 2014, a UC Irvine study found that having a parent behind bars can be more damaging to a kid’s...
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Bill would require more mental health screening for some state convicts (pressdemocrat.com)

A state legislative bill that would require judges in certain cases to consider a defendant’s mental health during sentencing was approved by the Legislature this week and is headed for Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The bill, AB 154, would require judges to make a recommendation to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation that a convicted felon receive a mental health evaluation if mental illness played a role in the crime. North Coast Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael,...
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Birthdays behind bars: An essay by an inmate [Street Roots News]

Everybody celebrates in a different way Enrique Bautista is an incarcerated person at Snake River Correctional Institution in Eastern Oregon. He is a periodic contributor to Street Roots. Dec. 22. It is the day after my birthday. I am now 35 years old. I am a 35-year-old man. Wow! It feels like only yesterday I was just another 18-year-old kid with a chip on his shoulder coming into the system. With 20-something years to serve, mad at the world, full of hate and frustration. Everything was...
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Bryan Stevenson Wants the U.S. to Face Its History [nytimes.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
Last month, Congress passed the First Step Act, a prison-reform bill intended to reduce recidivism. Do you think this bill will actually change the realities of mass incarceration? It’s important but insufficient, in terms of the actual number of people in jails and prisons. We’ve gone from 300,000 people in jails and prisons in the 1970s to 2.2 million people today. We have to radically reorient ourselves and start talking about rehabilitation, restoration and how we end crime. And if we do...
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Buddhas on Death Row: A Bridge of Art & Friendship (dailygood.org)

Buddhas on Death Row was born out of the collaboration of two pen friends, based in the United States and Finland. Their names: Moyo and Maria When I came to prison I was quite inarticulate and made an oath to myself that I wouldn’t ever again allow someone else to tell my story. I would be the one from here on out telling it. But I knew that what I wanted to do was master the art of communication. For a long time, I spent my time dealing with difficult emotions within the space of my art.
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Building a Resilient Community (United Way of East Central Iowa)

Former Member ·
  ACES: Building a Resilient Community Childhood trauma has affected the majority of people in our community.  Specific family problems as well as child abuse and neglect (summarized as Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACEs) have been shown...
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CA Could Reduce Its Prison Population By 30,000, Says Report (witnessla.com)

A new report outlines strategies the state of California could employ that would reduce its prison and jail populations by 30,000 and save approximately $1.5 billion in prison spending. In 2016, there were over 200,000 people were locked in California’s prisons and jails. According to the report, lowering the incarcerated population by 30,000—by reducing the length of prison time for the majority of inmates by 20 percent—would make it possible for the state to close five prisons. The report,...
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California Ramps Up College Education Behind Bars (capitalandmain.com)

Prisons have been called universities of crime. What if they became, instead, actual universities? There is plenty of evidence to support bringing higher education classes into prisons. Nearly all inmates will eventually be released, and a comprehensive 2013 RAND Corporation study found that inmates who participated in educational programs lowered their chances of recidivating by 43 percent. The RAND study also found that each dollar invested in correctional education returns between four...
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Can Restorative Justice Help Prisoners to Heal? (greatergood.berkeley.edu)

The Insight Prison Project helps incarcerated men learn new emotional skills in order to succeed in and out of prison. But it can also help crime survivors. A dozen men sit in a circle. Some are old and some are young. A facilitator asks each one to check in with the group about how they are feeling emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Sometimes a man tears up with emotion as he talks. The others listen, offering nods of support or asking clarifying questions. It sounds like a typical...
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Childhood Researchers Study Health Effects Of A Parent Behind Bars (sideeffectspublicmedia.org)

Having a parent behind bars can poorly impact a child’s behavioral, emotional and even physical health. A new community-led research project in Indianapolis seeks to understand that link more clearly. The research project is a partnership between a community leader Shoshanna Spector, executive director of the Indianapolis Congregational Action Network (IndyCAN), and two academic researchers, Tomlin, who is the director of the Riley Childhood Development Center at the Indiana University...
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Children of imprisoned parents get Oregon bill of rights [streetroots.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
"The first state law of its kind..." reads the article! A big thanks to Oregon law makers for pioneering law supporting the rights of children of incarcerated parents. On Tuesday September 19 th , Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill of rights for Oregon's children requiring the Oregon Department of Corrections to develop and sustain policies and procedures supporting the needs of families, and protecting the rights of children, when parents are incarcerated. This legislation is...
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Children of Incarcerated Parents

Patrick Anderson ·
As a middle aged, naive and wide eyed kid with a new mission, that of addressing the many behavioral issues we faced in our Alaska Native Community, I focused on what I referred to as restoring responsible fatherhood to families. As the son of an absent father, I believed that the simple act of re engaging fathers with their children could have immediate results. Well, as I discovered, nothing is easy, especially in the field of corrections. I did start a fatherhood initiative for Alaska...
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Clark instructors help Larch inmates earn GEDs (columbian.com)

YACOLT — Posted on the walls in the Larch Corrections Center’s education building are photos of inmates, beaming in blue caps and gowns. These are men who have earned their General Educational Development certificates, or GEDs. These are the men who came first. In a nearby classroom, other men in beige and burgundy uniforms huddle over textbooks and worksheets. These are the men who hope to come next. Clark College’s GED program at Larch Corrections Center is a cornerstone of the educational...
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Community Reentry Resources

Joanna Weill ·
Addressing Trauma Among Incarcerated People Source: Corrections & Mental Health Description: A guide to treating trauma in prisoners reentering the community. Link: http://community.nicic.gov/blo...rcerated-people.aspx Guidelines for the Successful Transition of People with Behavioral Health Disorders from Jail and Prison Source: Gains Center, SAMHSA Description: These guidelines promote the behavioral health and criminal justice partnerships that are necessary to develop...
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Connecting With Incarcerated Parents Is Easier With Photo Patch, an App Developed By a Teen [teenvogue.com]

Laura Pinhey ·
When Jay'Aina Patton was three, her father, Antoine, went to prison for gun possession. It wasn’t until she was seven or eight that Jay’Aina (or “Jay Jay” as friends and family call her) really understood where her father was. She also knew just how difficult maintaining a relationship with him was. Her father was imprisoned hours away. Her mother, raising two children on her own, could only afford to take them to visit twice during his seven-year incarceration. They couldn’t make up the...
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Consider alternative before building a bigger jail [Bangor Daily News]

Penobscot County is planning a new, bigger jail. The argument is that the currently overcrowded facility is a risky environment. While roughly 75 new beds are needed to reduce overcrowding, the group is planning to add twice that , just in case. Now seems like a good time to re-imagine prison. Since 2005, the Corrections Alternatives Advisory Committee of Maine has been discussing the need for reform in the state justice system, citing bail reform, providing resources toward reducing...
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Court fees and minor fines are leading to debilitating cycles of incarceration in the US (Aeon.co)

Ashley Brown ·
In St Louis County in Missouri - and, indeed, across much of the United States - court fines and fees for minor traffic violations can quickly mount, leading to jail for those unable to pay. This is a crisis hidden in plain sight, with non-white communities disproportionately targeted for police stops. A Debtors' Prison tells the story of two women, Samantha Jenkins and Meredith Walker, who became plaintiffs in a landmark $4.75 million illegal jailing case. Set in the hometown of Michael...
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Court Resources

Joanna Weill ·
7 Common Characteristics of Juvenile Mental Health Courts Source: Gains Center, SAMHSA Description: Identifies seven common characteristics of Juvenile Mental Health Courts (JMHCs) as part of a National Institute of Justice – funded study,...
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Crime and Punishment in America

Jill Karson ·
This book--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--is for readers interested in the criminal justice system and how poverty, abuse, and neglect early in life shape our future citizens and can predict, in part, whether or not they will become the perpetrators of violent crime. According to author Elliott Currie, to prevent violent crime and create a more peaceful society, the first priority is to address the roots of violence and invest resources in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. He...
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Cycle of Risk: The Intersection of Poverty, Violence, and Trauma (issuelab.org)

We make the case that the conditions that foster violence and the conditions that perpetuate poverty are interconnected and reinforce each other; we further show the traumatic effects of violence -- and how trauma drives both poverty and violence. We then examine how violence has been used to enforce systems of racial oppression and how communities of color are disparately impacted by violence today. The conditions that perpetuate poverty and the conditions that foster violence often...
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Dispatches From San Quentin: Is San Quentin State Prison The Future Of Prison Reform? [witnessla.com]

By James King (WLA Guest), Witness LA, October, 20, 2019 I hear it all the time. “San Quentin is unique,” “If only we could take what’s happening here and reproduce it in other prisons,” blah, blah, blah. You know what? That was kind of overdramatic. Let me start again. I have yet to meet anyone here who doesn’t think San Quentin is the best prison in the state, and possibly on the country. As a person who has been here for nearly six years, I can confirm that the opportunities at this...
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Early, Individualized Interventions Key to Reentry Success, Report Says [JJIE.org]

Former offenders need timely, individualized reentry paths that focus on career development, a new report by ICF International says. Too often, the hundreds of thousands of people returning from prison each year are unable to find employment, a situation compounded by trouble securing housing, health care and transportation — all factors that increase the likelihood of recidivism. “All they’ve got is a criminal record. That’s all anyone can see,” said Brent Orrell, a family and economic...
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Editorial: Inmates Risking Their Lives to Fight California's Wildfires Deserve a Chance at Full-Time Jobs [latimes.com]

By The Times Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times, November 1, 2019 As California continues to burn, the state’s firefighters have spent day after day in the searing heat and ferocious wind, hiking toward the flames, cutting fire lines and protecting homes. It’s grueling, heroic work that saves lives and prevents more devastation. And sometimes, it’s done by prison inmates. Among the thousands of federal, state and local firefighters on the fire lines, there are also more than 2,500 prisoners...
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Edovo: Provide inmates with access to education, communication, and self-improvement tools (nationswell.com)

76.6 percent of previously incarcerated people will return to prison within five years. A variety of constraints on both correctional facilities and their populations often limit an inmate’s ability to have a meaningful rehabilitation. The team at Edovo want to change that. Here’s how: Edovo’s mission is to provide inmates with access to education, communication and self-improvement tools. It does this by introducing secure wireless networks and tablets to prisons and jails. This makes it...
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Educational Trauma: Examples From Testing to the School-to-Prison Pipeline (Dr. Lee-Anne Gray)

Educational Trauma is the inadvertent and unintentional perpetration and perpetuation of harm in schools. The use of standards and the normal distribution or the bell curve to rank students and identify those at risk of developing problems later is born in the same theories and practices as eugenics. Eugenics practices thrive in schools and feed the school-to-prison pipeline, which is the most extreme example of Educational Trauma. This book ambitiously aims to open a feld of inquiry into...
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#MeToo Doesn’t Always Have to Mean Prison (nytimes.com)

Restorative justice is an alternative we should also consider Ashley Judd, one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers and a key figure in the #MeToo movement, reacted to the Hollywood producer’s conviction with satisfaction. But she would have preferred a “restorative justice process in which he could emotionally come to terms with his wrongs.” The criminal justice system, she said, was less satisfying than this “more humane” alternative. For decades, victims’ rights advocates, including many...
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Momentum Grows In Congress To Expand Access To Quality Postsecondary Education For People In Prison [witnessla.com]

By Witness LA, July 8, 2019. Twenty-five years ago, the massive Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which, among other things, prevented incarcerated students hoping for a college degree from accessing Pell Grants, was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton, and essentially resulted in the slashing of opportunities for higher education in federal and state prisons across the U.S., a move that, as Mikaol T. Nietzel, president emeritus of Missouri State University,...
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Montana prison program that helps women recover from trauma, change lives is expanding [HelenAir.com]

In a campus near the river here, a program that focuses on helping women who have suffered trauma is seeing success a year and a half after its inception. Riverside Recovery and Reentry Program, operated by the state Department of Corrections along with private contractors, aims to provide a safe, secure and trauma-informed program for women who have been sentenced to time with the department. [For more of this story, witten by Holly K. Michels, go to ...
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Montana Prison Report: 7 out of 10 female inmates committed non-violent crimes [KXLH.com]

Women are being incarcerated at a higher rate than ever in Montana and across the nation and most of them are serving time for non-violent crimes. Twila Johnke, 36, has been in and out of prison since 2001 for crimes of forgery, drug possession, and distribution. Like most of the inmates at the Montana Women’s Prison, Johnke is serving time for a non-violent crime. In fact, a 2017 Montana Corrections report revealed that seven out of 10 women, compared to three out of 10 men, are locked up...
 
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