• Wed, July 17, 2019 11:10 AM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)


    Homicides in California county jails are on the rise almost everywhere except Los Angeles. That’s one of the key findings from the second installment of The Sacramento Bee and ProPublica yearlong investigation into how California prison reforms changed county-run lockups all over the state.

    Here’s the lede on today’s piece from Jason Pohl and Ryan Gabrielson.

    Deadly violence surged in county jails across California since the state began sending thousands of inmates to local lockups instead of prisons, the result of a dramatic criminal justice transformation that left many sheriffs ill-equipped to handle a new and dangerous population.

    Since 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to overhaul its overcrowded prisons, inmate-on-inmate homicides have risen 46 percent in county jails statewide compared with the seven years before, a McClatchy and ProPublica analysis of California Department of Justice data and autopsy records shows.

    Killings tripled and even quadrupled in several counties.

    The increase in violent deaths in jails began soon after California officials approved sweeping reforms called “realignment” in response to the court ruling. The result has meant the conditions in many jails now mirror those in the once-overcrowded prisons, with inmates killing each other at an increasing rate.

    Inmates have stabbed, bludgeoned or strangled their cellmates, moved bodies and wiped away blood before guards noticed, autopsy reports show. Staff at the jails have missed several of the crimes entirely, only finding the bodies hours later.

    Here’s the full story, ‘Hellbent’ on killing: Homicides surge in overwhelmed California jails.

  • Tue, July 16, 2019 5:17 PM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    Perhaps the strangest aspect of practicing medicine in a jail or prison is "comfort requests." This is when an inmate comes to the medical practitioner asking for something like a second mattress, the right to wear their own shoes, a second pillow, a second blanket, etc. This, of course, never happens in an outside medical practice. READ THE FULL ARTICLE

  • Tue, July 02, 2019 1:03 PM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    News | June 26, 2019

    BRECKENRIDGE — Summit County officials are hopeful that recent changes at the Summit County Detention Facility will help to reduce rates of recidivism among incarcerated individuals dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.

    Last week, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office introduced a new mental health navigator position at the jail, a move meant to ensure individuals receive the proper care for their mental health and addiction issues, both in custody and after their release.

    “The goal is to have less recidivism in the jail,” said Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, who made the addition of the navigator position a key point in his campaign last year. “We want fewer people coming into the jail that have committed a crime because they’re in crisis, or because they have a substance use disorder, and they’ve committed a crime to maintain their substance use. … I think we will see a big community impact.” https://www.summitdaily.com/news/summit-county-jail-adds-mental-health-navigator-to-help-inmates-transition-to-life-after-incarceration/

  • Fri, June 28, 2019 1:15 PM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    The "dope boys" hang out near the jail awaiting newly freed inmates with addiction. They'll hand you a free sample to get you back. Triggers to use drugs again – the corners where you've used, for one – are all around, and any plans for a fresh start easily evaporate.

    "In here, it’s black and white," said Ashley Pels, a Hamilton County jail inmate, looking around the recovery pod for women. Get released, she said, and "it’s like 'The Wizard of Oz.'”

    The opioid receptors in her brain just "light up," she said, and her cravings roar back.

    There's a big chance of relapse after release, and some who do will die. If they survive, three of four ex-inmates like Pels will end up returning to their addiction – and potentially returning to the crimes they committed to support their addiction.

    It's a vicious cycle for the addicted and their families, one that has safety, financial and other consequences for the rest of society. But since May, health care providers at the Hamilton County jail have been using medicine to help break the connection.

    Cincinnati | The Enquirer I will die' without it: Hamilton County jail offers addicted inmates meds behind bars

  • Fri, June 28, 2019 12:47 PM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    They’re classified as “unwanted’’ on hospital security and police reports.

    Betty, 76, was one -- a partially blind and homeless woman suffering from the onset of dementia last fall. She refused to leave the emergency department at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center.

    The Northwest Portland hospital called Portland police, who showed up about midnight.

    Betty told an officer she had no plans to leave. The officer contacted Multnomah County’s Adult Protective Services. The agency was familiar with the woman but wouldn’t provide a voucher to stay in a motel because she had a history of causing property damage and hoarding. The officer asked a sergeant if Betty could stay in the precinct’s lobby, but the police supervisor decided that wouldn’t be safe. READ MORE The Oregonian

  • Wed, November 15, 2017 11:07 AM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    From jail to treatment: Helping get the mentally ill on track 

    Dana LittlefieldDana Littlefield Contact Reporter

    San Diego Union Tribune 

    In San Diego County, help for mentally ill offenders can come from several sources — including the county and the courts — but demand is high, resources are limited and people, especially those living on the street, can fall through the cracks. Last month, the county Board of Supervisors approved a three-year spending plan for new and existing programs, some of which focus specifically on people with serious mental illness who are also in the criminal justice system. The funding — nearly $570 million over the next three years — comes from the Mental Health Services Act, passed by California voters in 2004, which imposes a 1 percent tax on millionaires’ income. (The county also receives money for mental health programs from other local, state and federal sources.)    READ ABOUT IT HERE 

  • Thu, November 09, 2017 1:49 PM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    Press Release
    Tonko Introduces Legislation to Prevent Overdose Deaths, Improve Care Transitions for Individuals Reentering Community

    Recent research indicates that individuals who are released back into the community post-incarceration are roughly eight times more likely to die of an overdose in the first two weeks post-release compared to other times. The risk of overdose is elevated during this period due to reduced physiological tolerance for opioids among the incarcerated population, a lack of effective addiction treatment options while incarcerated and poor care transitions back into the community. Allowing states to restart Medicaid benefits prior to release will dovetail with innovative reentry programs already being implemented in communities across the country and would give individuals reentering society a fighting chance to live a healthier, drug-free life.
    Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced H.R. 4005, the Medicaid Reentry Act, a bill that would provide states with the flexibility to restart Medicaid coverage for eligible incarcerated individuals up to 30 days prior to their release.

  • Thu, November 09, 2017 11:44 AM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    The dismal state of transgender incarceration policies

    by Elliot Oberholtzer, November 8, 2017

    Delaware currently has the best policy for the treatment of transgender people in prison.

    Most states’ policies are sparse, and convey a clear discomfort with and ignorance about the trans community. We have, however, identified one state’s policy as representing current best practices in the field: the Delaware Department of Corrections policy. This twopart policy, revised in 2016 in response to an ACLU lawsuit, sets an informed and comprehensive standard.

    In this post we review the scope of the gaps and inadequacies in states’ transgender incarceration policies, hold up suggestions from Delaware and other leaders in the field as partial solutions, and make recommendations for further research that is desperately needed in this area...."

  • Thu, November 09, 2017 11:32 AM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    The Baltimore Sun
    Suboxone in Prisons: the forgotten front in the battle against the opioid epidemic

    Multiple leaders across the nation, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and even President Donald Trump, have declared states of emergency in response to the opioid epidemic. Policymakers claim to be battling this public health crisis on all fronts, but one arena continues to be conspicuously ignored: our prisons and jails.

    "This is not a problem of resources. Many incarcerated patients currently receive appropriate care for other chronic conditions, including diabetes, HIV, cancer and even more-newly-recognized disorders, like gender dysphoria. Our federal and state corrections systems have the capacity to offer this treatment — a treatment defined as “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization. Anne Arundel's Road to Recovery program and other correctional facility programs (Rikers jail in New York, the prison system of Rhode Island and Vermont) demonstrate that success with medication-assisted therapy is possible."

  • Fri, October 27, 2017 11:07 AM | Marsha Grant (Administrator)

    A staggering number of women who are incarcerated are not even convicted: more than a quarter of women who are behind bars have not yet had a trial. Moreover, 60% of women in jail have not been convicted of a crime and are awaiting trial.

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