Tag: incarceration

The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act or FIRST STEP Act reforms the federal prison system of the United States of America, and seeks to reduce recidivism. An initial version of the bill passed the House of Representatives (360-59) on May 22, 2018, a revised bill passed the U.S. Senate on December 18, 2018. The House approved the bill with Senate revisions on December 20, 2018. The act was signed by President Donald Trump on December 21, 2018, before the end of the 115th Congress. The act, among many provisions, allows for employees to store their firearms securely at federal prisons, restricts the use of restraints on pregnant women, expands compassionate release for terminally ill patients, places prisoners closer to family in some cases, authorizes new markets for Federal Prison Industries, mandates de-escalation training for correctional officers and employees, and improves feminine hygiene in prison.

This is a MAJOR breakthrough in the long-fought battle for criminal justice reform. We are closer than we have been in a decade to passing robust criminal justice legislation in Congress, and one step closer to justice and relief for nearly 200,000 people in federal prisons and their families.

More than 5 million children, or one in 14, in the U.S. have had a parent in state or federal prison at some point in their lives, according to the Casey Foundation. Their numbers swelled by 79 percent between 1991 and 2007, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) figures, largely driven by tough drug laws and mandatory sentencing.

Children of color are much more likely to have a parent in prison. One in nine African-American children had a parent behind bars in 2008, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report (Pew also funds Stateline). One in 28 Latino children had an incarcerated parent and one in 57 white children did.

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Solitary Nation with Matt Duhamel

Heather and James

Judee Reeves wrote in 1994, “Families of inmates have been called the “hidden victims of crime” (Carlson & Cervera, 1992, p.5). When a crime is committed, there are victims other than the primary victim(s). These secondary victims include the families of the primary victim and another often overlooked group of victims — family members of the person who has committed the crime. The families of inmates are often overlooked in research and in designing social programs, yet many suffer devastating consequences as a result of a loved one’s incarceration.”

Host, Matt Duhamel speaks with Heather who’s husband James is incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit.  She lives as a ‘prison wife’ everyday but explains that she is blessed and happy to be married to such a loving man.  Join us for this two-part podcast series about spouses behind bars.

Resources:

Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March
InterNational Prisoner’s Family Conference
Hope For James – Raising Attorney Fees

 

Solitary Nation Podcast

Nancy Nordyke Shelley, Coordinator for Justice For All, an Affiliate of the STOP Mass Incarceration Network, joins Solitary Nation for this powerful second episode.

Nancy talks about her son’s experience with the criminal justice system (he was arrested, incarcerated but NEVER convicted) and the effects of mass incarceration in America.

Host, Matt Duhamel asks the tough questions about what needs to be done to fix the broken system.

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