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.
Despite an August memo from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) instructing the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to begin phasing out contracts with private prison operators, CoreCivic of Nashville, Tenn., formerly the Corrections Corporation of America, announced Nov. 15 that the BOP exercised a two-year renewal option at the 1,978-bed, company-owned McRae Correctional Facility in McRae.
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.
The Planning of New Institutions (PONI) training program hosted throughout the year by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) offers an in-depth look at the planning and preparation needed to ensure a successful correctional construction project.
Alexandria-headquartered Justice For Vets recently announced that the number of Veterans Treatment Courts across the nation increased by 28 percent between 2013 and 2014, with hundreds more in the planning stages.
A U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit reported released in late September that the Navajo Nation in Window Rock spent $30 million more than necessary to build two oversized jails.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced earlier this month it has funded $10 million in grants for projects in 20 communities in 14 states to provide comprehensive pre-release services to inmates as well as ongoing support as they re-enter their communities.
With dwindling options for state-level mental health treatment, county jails are managing a population of inmates that they are often ill equipped to handle. According to the Department of Justice’s 2006 Special Report, 64 percent of those being held in local jails had a mental illness, up from 16 percent in 1998.
Roughly 40 percent of state and federal prisoners and jail inmates reported having a current chronic medical condition, according to the 2011-2012 National Inmate Survey released in January from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).