Popular in the video game world, virtual reality (VR) technology has become a household item. Last year, TrendForce predicted that VR device sales would reach approximately 14 million units by the end of this year and reach more than 38 million units by 2020.
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.
Nebraska’s seven-member Department of Correctional Services Special Investigation Committee released a 62-page report on Dec. 15 calling for sweeping reforms and the firing of several correctional officials.
Utah recently became the 25th state to embark on a corrections and sentencing reform campaign aimed improving rehabilitation and reducing recidivism and prison construction. Governor Gary Herbert announced the state’s Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) will continue work with The Pew Charitable Trusts to increase public safety and limit expected growth in the state’s prison budget.
On April 17 the City of New Orleans and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office signed a partial settlement concerning sweeping improvements to the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). These changes, required under terms of a federal consent decree, address improvements to both living conditions and management of the facility. Costs for the court-ordered upgrades have been estimated at up to $22 million.
Though inmates at St. Clair County Correctional Facility had announced plans for their second labor strike this year, hoping to draw attention to what they consider an unjust free labor system, facility administrators have yet to see evidence of the protest.
A new prison reform bill has been introduced to the Colorado House of Representatives that would potentially improve reentry reintegration and initiatives for adult offenders. The bill was co-sponsored by Republic Representative Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs and Daniel Kagan, a Democrat from Denver.
The time is now to modernize prison sentencing, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.
In a speech to the American Bar Association, the attorney general said the criminal justice system should take a more focused effort to reduce crimes of violence and reconsider the current standards of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes. Several changes in the Justice Department’s handling of prison sentences were announced.
A very large political wind has shifted in the state of Texas. The Texas Association of Business (TAB), known as the most powerful business lobbying group in the Lone Star State, recently made criminal justice reform one of its main legislative priorities.