Government auditors began investigating the exclusive contracts held by Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to provide financial services in the 121 facilities managed by the Bureau of Prisons.
California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill prohibiting forced or coerced sterilization in all state prisons. The bill, SB 1135, was a response to a 2013 Center for Investigative Reporting report that stated unlawful and coercive sterilization procedures had been performed on female inmates in two state prisons as recently as 2010.
Construction on an estimated $3.5 million expansion to nearly double the capacity of Elko County Jail began in early August, with locally-based Ormaza Construction Inc. serving as the construction manager.
Nebraska’s issues with prison overcrowding continue as the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services released its latest budget request earlier this month. The prison system is seeking 195 new employees, a 15 percent increase in spending (to $239.9 million) and expansion of a program that houses state prison inmates in county jails. This is the latest update to a still incomplete prison-system master plan that would help ease overcrowding.
Vermont’s Northwest State Corrections Facility has reached full compliance with the state’s new Universal Recycling of Solid Waste law nearly a year ahead of schedule. The Northwest State Correctional Facility met compliance on Sept. 17, and joins Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in diverting these materials.
Changes to California’s prison realignment funding formula based on poverty rates and the effects of state prisons on the counties in which they are located will result in correctional funding boosts for several counties. These funds will provide more support for jails and probation programs, and could be used to increase beds or expand efforts to end recidivism.
The first phase of the $16.5 expansion project at the Greene County Detention Center was officially completed and began accepting inmates last month, about five months after the jail held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Although the construction has been behind schedule, the facility was built under budget, according to project manager Dave Tierney.
More than a dozen employees of the Florida Department of Corrections have been fired following a crack down on employee misconduct. The department announced 13 officers, sergeants and other prison staff have been dismissed for separate incidents of inmate abuse at the Lancaster Correctional Institution in Trenton and the Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley. Two additional offers were dismissed for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is under public scrutiny after delaying the construction of a new prison for women in Danbury. U.S. senators from the Northeast urged the BOP in a letter to get the project back on schedule so women in the Danbury prison complex can be close to their children, as well as have the opportunity to participate in drug rehabilitation and job training programs.
A new study released by Oregon State University (OSU) shows Hispanics are disproportionately represented in private prisons across the United States, while white inmates are underrepresented, a pattern which could leave private correctional facilities vulnerable to legal challenges.