Skip Navigation
on:

NCPR is supported by:

News stories tagged with "prisontime"

Sabrina Jones translates the history and statistics of America's era of mass incarceration into a graphic, sometimes claustrophobic story. Image: Sabrina Jones
Sabrina Jones translates the history and statistics of America's era of mass incarceration into a graphic, sometimes claustrophobic story. Image: Sabrina Jones

A graphic account of America's love affair with prisons

This year marks the 40th anniversary of New York's controversial Rockefeller drug laws -- laws that set tough mandatory prison sentences for drug dealers and addicts.

Many of those laws have been reformed and New York's inmate population has been shrinking dramatically.

But the aftershocks of New York's prison boom are still being felt, from urban neighborhoods in New York City to the North Country prison towns where thousands of inmates are still held behind bars.

We're exploring these issues with our year-long Prison Time Media Project.

In our latest installment, Brian Mann profiles Sabrina Jones, a political artist in Saratoga County who's using comic books to capture the complicated, painful history of America's era of mass incarceration.  Go to full article
In New York state, the number of youth confined in public facilities decreased from 2,517 in 2001 to 1,005 in 2010, a 60 percent decline. Photo: Richard Ross, Juvenile-in-Justice Project
In New York state, the number of youth confined in public facilities decreased from 2,517 in 2001 to 1,005 in 2010, a 60 percent decline. Photo: Richard Ross, Juvenile-in-Justice Project

Study finds fewer NY, US children behind bars

A new study released this week finds that the US is putting fewer children behind bars. New York state has seen one of the sharpest drops.

In 2000 there were more than 2,800 kids being held in detention centers across New York. That number has dropped by nearly two-thirds -- and 13 youth detention centers have closed statewide.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has made closing those facilities one of his priorities: "You have juvenile justice facilities today where we have young people who are receiving help, assistance, program treatment that has already been proven to be ineffective."  Go to full article
Kim Dadou from Rochester spent seventeen years in state prison on first degree manslaughter charges after she killed her boyfriend, a man who abused her severely. Photo courtesy the Correctional Association
Kim Dadou from Rochester spent seventeen years in state prison on first degree manslaughter charges after she killed her boyfriend, a man who abused her severely. Photo courtesy the Correctional Association

Are too many domestic violence victims going to prison?

As the legislature winds to a close in Albany, a coalition of prison reform and domestic violence activists are hoping to convince the Republican-controlled Senate to bring one more bill to the floor for a vote.

Supporters say the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act would allow judges to factor physical and mental abuse into sentencing decisions in felony criminal cases.

District Attorneys are opposing the bill, arguing that it would allow too many people to claim that domestic violence was a factor in their crimes.  Go to full article
Prisons for sale. As two more prisons close down, there a dozen corrections and juvenile justice facilities in NY will be mothballed or up for sale. Photo: Brian Mann
Prisons for sale. As two more prisons close down, there a dozen corrections and juvenile justice facilities in NY will be mothballed or up for sale. Photo: Brian Mann

Act now! Clinton County prison just $140,000!

State officials have set a price tag on the mothballed prison in Clinton County and it looks like a bargain.

The Office of General Services says it will accept a minimum bid for the Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility of just $140,000.

That includes more than 27 acres of land and 23 buildings.  Go to full article
On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission
On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission

Why don't we talk more about North Country prisons?

Locking people up and keeping them behind bars is one of the North Country's biggest industries. There are more than twenty jails and prison facilities scattered across our rural region. Corrections and law enforcement agencies provide high-paying jobs from Ogdensburg to Glens Falls.

But the prison industry isn't something we talk about very often. The North Country's Regional Economic Development plan talks about renewable energy and trains and farms and government. But it doesn't even mention prisons -- not once.

Earlier this month, a student group at SUNY Plattsburgh invited community members, faculty and activists to meet and talk about mass incarceration and how it affects communities.  Go to full article
Once a public school, the Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility operated from 1984 until 2011.  Now it's up for sale. Photo: New York state
Once a public school, the Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility operated from 1984 until 2011. Now it's up for sale. Photo: New York state

Want to buy a North Country prison? Bargain basement prices!

What happens to prisons and correctional facilities when there aren't enough inmates to fill the jail cells?

That's the dilemma facing nearly a dozen communities in upstate New York. After a massive prison construction boom that continued for nearly four decades, the state has seen its inmate population decline steadily in recent years. The change follows a sharp decline in crime rates and changes to sentencing guidelines that mean fewer nonviolent drug offenders spending years behind bars.

Now a state agency called Empire State Development is struggling to auction off eleven former prisons and juvenile justice centers, including two facilities now for sale here in the North Country.

But many rural communities fear that another economic engine is dying with nothing to replace it.  Go to full article
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MilkNotJails?fref=ts">MNJ Facebook page</a>, used by permission
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: MNJ Facebook page, used by permission

What if NY invested more in dairy farms and less in prisons?

This week we've been looking at the fortunes of the North Country's dairy industry and some of the hurdles faced by farmers and processors.

Over the last few months, our Prison Time Media Project has also been looking at the way prisons shape communities and the local economy in the North Country.

There are more than a dozen state and Federal prisons in the region, along with eleven county jails. That makes corrections work one of our top employers.

One activist group based in Brooklyn thinks these two issues -- prison jobs and the dairy industry -- should be linked in people's minds, as we think about ways to grow the rural economy. That group's called "Milk Not Jails."  Go to full article
Fewer inmates have meant fewer prisons. It turns out Camp Gabriels was part of a slow but important national trend. Source: Save Camp Gabriels
Fewer inmates have meant fewer prisons. It turns out Camp Gabriels was part of a slow but important national trend. Source: Save Camp Gabriels

NY, US see dramatic drop in prison inmate population

New York state officials say the state's prison population is expected to drop again this year by nearly 800 inmates.

The Department of Corrections will close two more prisons this year, bringing to a total of nine the number of correctional facilities shut down since 2011.

Inmate populations in New York have been edging downward for more than a decade. But a report from the Justice Department suggests that for the first time in decades, fewer Americans nationwide are being sent to prison.

Surveys of state and Federal prisons nationwide show the number of inmates actually declined over the last three years - the first downward trend in a generation.  Go to full article
"My association with being a felon is probably the same as most people's: You're dehumanized. There's a stamp on your forehead that says 'you're less than.'" Photo: Natasha Haverty
"My association with being a felon is probably the same as most people's: You're dehumanized. There's a stamp on your forehead that says 'you're less than.'" Photo: Natasha Haverty

Alternatives to Incarceration: Back in the world

Today, the final part in a series about society's efforts to turn away from long-term incarceration for nonviolent offenders. In Part one, we met Jeff, a college-bound young man from Western New York who fell into serious drug addiction, broke into a pharmacy, and cycled through drug courts and rehab for years before being sentenced to prison.

But instead of serving a four year sentence, Jeff went to Moriah Shock, a bootcamp-style, six-month program in the Adirondacks. We left off yesterday when Jeff was three months away from his release, and feeling confident his time in Shock would help him stay drug and crime-free when he returned home.

"I mean obviously I'm not going to walk around, I'm not going to march around and call cadence, but it helps establish certain discipline that's essential through the program, and this is from the heart, I'm not just speaking to build up the program because I know whatever I say is going to be fine."

In Part three, producer Natasha Haverty finds Jeff back in the world, rebuilding his life and looking ahead.  Go to full article
Lunchtime in the mess hall. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Lunchtime in the mess hall. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Alternatives to Incarceration: into Shock prison

This week as part of our Prison Time Media Project, producer Natasha Haverty is looking at some of the approaches cash-strapped states are taking to try and cut prison their populations.

Yesterday, we began the story of Jeff, a young man from western New York who fell into serious drug addiction and broke into a pharmacy to feed his habit. After spending years cycling through drug courts, unable to stay off drugs, he was sent to prison here in the North Country.

"It's very true to say that I as given a great opportunity at drug court and I failed. I failed at drug court. I failed. I'm going to prison, for years. That's the lowest of the low, that's the lowest I can think of before death."

But unlike many other inmates, Jeff was sent to a shock prison in Moriah, in Essex County, which focuses on life skills training and rehabilitation. Part two of our series takes us to Moriah Shock and finds Jeff at the middle of his prison sentence.  Go to full article

« first  « previous 10  54-116 of 79  next -37 »  last »