mass incarceration

The ACLU of Ohio is collecting complaints from inmates in Ohio through a new hotline and the organization is already pressing the state to play more of a role overseeing county and municipal jails through the coronavirus outbreak.

Women in prison, when compared with incarcerated men, often receive disproportionately harsh punishments for minor violations of prison rules, according to a report released Wednesday by a federal fact-finding agency.

It's recreation time at a Los Angeles County jail known as the Twin Towers. Nearly a dozen disheveled young men stand docilely as they munch on sandwiches out of brown paper bags.

They're half-naked except for sleeveless, thick, blanket-like restraints wrapped around them like medieval garments.

All are chained and handcuffed to shiny metal tables bolted to the floor.

"It's lunchtime and they're actually [in] programming right now," says a veteran guard, LA County Sheriff's Deputy Myron Trimble.

Advocates of bail reform protest Cuyahoga County Jail conditions in January 2019.
Nick Castele / Ideastream

Columbus recently moved to stop requesting cash bonds for most people charged with non-violent crimes, instead letting them out of jail as they await trial. It’s the latest in a statewide effort to reform cash bail, which tends to keep poor people behind bars.

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Columbus city leaders celebrated the inaugural class of a new career development program to help recently incarcerated individuals find jobs.

Robert Alexander has been away from home for more than a decade. His days and nights are spent locked up behind walls topped with barbed wire.

"Prison kind of gives you that feeling that you're like on an island," says Alexander, 39, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in biblical studies while serving his third prison sentence.

Clad in an oversized gray sweatshirt under the fluorescent lights inside the visiting room of Wisconsin's oldest state prison, he is more than 70 miles from his last address in Milwaukee.

Billionaire presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has acknowledged that one of his vendors hired a subcontractor that used prison workers to make phone calls for his 2020 campaign.

That prison labor was being used by the Bloomberg campaign was reported Thursday morning by The Intercept. The campaign says it was unaware that inmate workers were making phone calls on its behalf until informed by The Intercept's reporter, and says it immediately cut ties to the vendor.

PIxabay

A new federal report says in 2018, Ohio was the worst state in the nation when it came to incarcerated youths reporting being forced or coerced into sexual activity.

Gov. Mike DeWine, with Dean Christopher Peters of the University of Akron School of Law behind him, announces his expedited pardon process at Ohio State.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Gov. Mike DeWine says he wants to make it easier and quicker for people who have long-ago criminal convictions to be considered for pardons.

In this Oct. 30, 2019 photo, Joshua Bessey discusses what happened to him in September at the Gallia County Jail in southern Ohio, during an interview in Vinton, Ohio.
Mark Gillispie / Associated Press

Families of inmates who died or were seriously injured at a small Ohio county jail in the last year are seeking answers about what happened to their loved ones.

The 2020 Census will be conducted next year. Many citizens will be counted in the places where they’ve grown up and currently live.

But if you’re incarcerated, you may be counted as a resident of the county in which you’re imprisoned and not the one you’re actually from.

That practice is known as prison gerrymandering. It can inflate the population of a county with a large prison population, giving more power to the people who vote there.

Donna McMullen holds a photo of her daughter, Jessica, who died in September.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

“That’s my mommy, look!” Three-year old Adalynn McMullen points a little dimpled finger at a collage of photos on a trifold board.

The photos show her mom, Jessica McMullen, over the years – from when she was in diapers to just a few years ago, holding Adalynn on her lap.

Gabe Rosenberg / WOsu

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved changes to a bill, SB18, that would ban prison guards from shackling pregnant inmates.

Alisha Floyd and her son Chance were part of the Ohio Reformatory for Women's ABC Program.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Thursday marks the grand opening of a new home for the Ohio Reformatory for Women's Achieving Baby Care Success program (ABC). 

How Incarceration, Economic Decline Affect Opioid Deaths

Aug 26, 2019

As officials look for ways to stem the opioid epidemic, a lot of effort has been put into limiting narcotic prescriptions. But new research suggests underlying social issues -- like incarceration and poverty -- are linked to overdose deaths. 

Pages