Pennsylvania Prisons May Halt Hiring

In an effort to save money, Pennsylvania Corrections Secretary John Wetzel has instituted a department-wide freeze on new hiring, which union representatives are calling a threat to correctional staff safety.

Thomson Prison Receives Funding Boost

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced on June 5 that he and other members of the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved $43.7 million for equipment and staffing to continue the activation of Thomson Prison.

Pueblo Unit Opens for Juvenile Justice Girls

By Jessie Fetterling
To avoid sending teenage girls accused or convicted of crimes to a maximum-security women’s prison, the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) decided to renovate an existing, self-contained building on the Albert J. Solnit Psychiatric Center – South Campus in Middleton.

Former Lorton Prison to House New Residential Development

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a $188 million overhaul of the former Lorton prison site, which closed in 2001, on June 3.

Ohio to End Solitary Confinement for Juveniles

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has settled a lawsuit against the State of Ohio to end what it deemed unlawful seclusion of youth in juvenile correctional facilities. According to a release issued by the DOJ, the United States and private plaintiffs have reached an agreement with the state under which the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) will dramatically reduce, and eventually eliminate, its use of seclusion on young people.

DeSoto Supervisors Green Light Jail Addition

DeSoto County supervisors recently approved the second phase of construction on the DeSoto County jail, which will include space for 268 new inmates.

BJS Honored for PREA Standards

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and several of its partners have received the 2014 Policy Impact Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). The BJS was honored for its innovative efforts to measure sexual victimization in correctional facilities under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Senior Statistical Advisor and Program Lead for BJS Allen J. Beck accepted the award on behalf of the bureau and its data collection agents, including RTI International of Durham, N.C., Westat of Rockville, Md., National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Census Bureau, at the annual AAPOR conference on May 17.

Christie Commits to Inmate Education, Rehabilitation

At a recent press conference, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie applauded the expansion of the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons program (NJ-STEP). The privately funded program offers New Jersey inmates the opportunity to complete free college courses and credits, and will expand to serve 2,000 inmates by 2018. This move is the latest in a series made by the state to improve services for inmates and reduce recidivism.

Lousiana House Passes Parole Bill

The Louisiana House has passed a bill reducing the time violent prisoners are required to serve before they become eligible for parole.

Minnesota Correctional Facility Marks 100th Year

The Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater, recently marked its 100th year in operation.