In July, Fox News reported on a “mass shakedown” at the Tamms Correctional Facility in Illinois. The subject of search and seizure was not the prisoners and illegal contraband; it was the guards and administrative staff. The shakedowns did not occur early in the morning as the workers arrived at Tamms, but in the evening before they clocked out—strange because the fear is usually of what will be brought into prisons, not what could be taken out.
More of the 2.7 million children of prisoners in the U.S. will be connected with their incarcerated parents this holiday season, thanks to a new partnership between Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program and the Church of the Nazarene. The denomination’s Board of General Superintendents recently voted to encourage Church of the Nazarene congregations across the country to take part in the only nationwide, year-round effort that reaches out exclusively to children with a parent in prison.
Sharletta Evans met Raymond Johnson in a Colorado prison. She held his hands—the hands of her son’s killer.
Seventeen years ago, one of those fingers had snaked around a trigger and squeezed it, ending the life of her three-year-old son. The meeting allowed Evans to find closure after a long and difficult grieving process.
How much trouble would you guess a small business owner could get in for depositing perfectly legal cash revenue in his bank account? If you said “none at all—that’s a ridiculous question,” you’re wrong. He might actually be a federal felon.
Gina Ray got a speeding ticket. Because she failed to show up in court, and didn’t have the money to pay her $179 ticket, she spent 40 days in jail and now owes $3,170 in court and penalty fees.
As the economy worsens and debt loads increase, federal and local governments are extracting funds wherever they can.
The United States locks up too many people. Globally, the average incarceration rate is 125 prisoners per 100,000 people. The United States arrest rate is 743 per 100,000. This gives the U.S. the highest incarceration rate on Earth.
A recent article in The Christian Century says America seems to enjoy locking people in prison.
Governor Nathan Deal has signed a criminal justice reform bill that will keep the public safe while cutting the costs of state prisons by reserving expensive prison beds for the most violent criminals. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports reforms from House Bill 1176 are projected to save Georgia taxpayers $264 million over the next five years.
The New York Times has a new feature called “Room for Debate,” which invites outside contributors to discuss current news events and issues facing the culture. This week, Craig DeRoche, former House Speaker of Michigan and now Director of External Affairs at Justice Fellowship, contributes his first column on A Failing Criminal Justice System.
Craig DeRoche, former Michigan Speaker and now Director of External Affairs at Justice Fellowship talks to Michigan Matters host Carol Cain about his issues due to alcoholism as well as the problems and remedies of America’s prison system. Click here to see the full interview.