Justice Department to Tackle Recidivism, Promote Rehabilitation


(12/07/2016)
On Nov. 30, the Washington-based Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a series of reforms at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) designed to reduce recidivism and increase the likelihood of inmates’ safe and successful return to the community. These efforts include building a semi-autonomous school district within the federal prison system, reforming federal halfway houses, covering the cost of obtaining state-issued photo IDs for federal inmates prior to their release and providing additional services for female inmates, according to a statement by the DOJ.
 

Q&A Part I: Virtual Rehab Makes Its Way into Corrections

By Jessie Fetterling
(12/07/2016)
Today, the term “virtual reality” (VR) refers to a computer-generated, 3-D image or environment that can be interacted with in real-time using input devices such as headsets. Popular in the video game world, VR technology has become a household item and is slowly making its way into the correctional industry.
 

Design Roundtable: A Paradigm Shift in Correctional Design

By Jessie Fetterling
(11/29/2016)
The corrections industry is currently facing a paradigm shift that will have a major effect on the future of correctional design. Growing emphases on rehabilitation, mental-health programming, sustainable design and evolving technologies continue to play a huge role in this shift.
 

Nevada to Establish Mental Health Unit in Carson City


(11/29/2016)
The Nevada Department of Corrections is working to ensure that prison inmates living with mental illness receive the treatment they require. On Nov. 15, department director James Dzurenda stressed to members of the Nevada Board of State Prison Commissioners that several changes would soon take place in the management of mentally ill inmates. These changes are intended to improve and tailor the treatment of Nevada’s mentally ill inmate population, reduce violence in the state’s prisons and increase safety for all prison staff and inmates.
 

Kings County Jail Embarks on Latest Expansion Phase

By Lindsey Coulter
(11/16/2016)
Kings County Jail in Hanford, no stranger to construction projects, is expanding yet again. Although the jail added 252 beds in spring 2016, officials broke ground again Nov. 14 on a 33,000-square-foot addition that will increase the jail’s housing capacity and ability to deliver much-needed substance abuse and mental health programs.
 

Update on New Funding for Jail Construction Across U.S.

By Lindsey Coulter
(11/16/2016)
Voters across the United States took to their polling places Nov. 8 to determine the outcome of races, initiatives and amendments large and small; a number of which focused on funding correctional and justice construction projects. Correctional News has compiled a brief round up of successful local-level efforts across the nation to fund both new projects and improvements to correctional and justice facilities.
 

Pennsylvania’s New Prison to Open a Year Behind Schedule


(11/16/2016)
Construction on the State Correctional Institution Phoenix in Skippack Township continues and will now open more than a year behind schedule. The 1.06 million-square-foot facility will replace the 1920s Graterford complex nearby and serve as the main detention center for Philadelphia-area inmates. The project goal is to get the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) into a modern, multi-use correctional facility that will allow the department to continue to carry out its mission and provide a safe and secure facility for the staff and inmates.
 

Crawford County Detention Center Completed Under Budget


(11/08/2016)
Crawford County, Ark., corrections officials cut the ribbon on the new Crawford County Detention Center in Van Buren on Nov. 4. The 300-bed facility was initially budgeted at more than $20.5 million, but was completed under budget for approximately $17.4 million, saving the county more than $3.1 million despite the addition of an impound yard and radio tower not originally built into the plans. All savings will likely be paid back to the project’s bonding company, allowing the county to pay off the facility’s debt more quickly.
 

Project to Watch: Utah State Prison Design to Emphasize Rehabilitation


(11/08/2016)
Locally based GSBS Architects, designing the new Utah state prison in Salt Lake City, presented design ideas to the state legislature’s prison development commission in late September. As the architecture firm continues to gather ideas from hundreds of modern correctional facilities across the country, its main goal is to create a campus that focuses on rehabilitation, normalizing day-to-day life for inmates, according to the Associated Press.
 

ICE May House Undocumented Immigrants in Private Prisons


(10/26/2016)
Private detention facilities in Ohio, New Mexico and Texas may soon be used to house undocumented immigrants, despite an announcement by the Washington-based U.S. Justice Department in August to phase out its use of private prisons. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is currently seeking to house approximately 5,000 additional undocumented individuals, as the movement of immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to increase in the coming weeks and months.