The 3 R’s: Reentry, Recidivism, and Reality

by Daniel A. Rosen | The PBS Newshour's excellent series "Searching for Justice" aired a piece recently about how difficult it can be for returning citizens to secure valid photo identification ("How Obtaining ID Can Complicate the Road From Prison," February 16, 2021). As one longtime inmate and recent parolee said of the state bureaucracy, … Continue reading The 3 R’s: Reentry, Recidivism, and Reality

Alabama Jails and Inmates Facing COVID-Related Challenges

by Daniel A. Rosen | Like local jails and prisons across the country, Alabama's carceral system is being sorely tested by COVID-19 - and inmates are paying the price. For weeks, Dylan Garrard fell asleep on a thin foam mat on the floor of his jail cell, next to a toilet. The two bunks in … Continue reading Alabama Jails and Inmates Facing COVID-Related Challenges

Hundreds of Virginia Inmates Await Parole Consideration Under New Law

by Daniel A. Rosen | In 1995, during a tough-on-crime era across the country, Virginia abolished parole entirely, along with several other states. But it wasn't until 2000 that jurors sentencing defendants were told of that change. As a result, jurors may have recommended more prison time, incorrectly believing offenders would only serve a fraction … Continue reading Hundreds of Virginia Inmates Await Parole Consideration Under New Law

ICE Holding Cuban Detainee for 11 Years and Counting Following Florida Prison Release

by Daniel A. Rosen | Heriberto Delvalle's story sounds like a Kafka novel, but it's sadly true. After serving his 15-year sentence for attempted murder in a Florida state prison, he was detained by federal immigration officials, and remains there to this day - almost 12 years later. The 70-year-old Cuban man has now spent … Continue reading ICE Holding Cuban Detainee for 11 Years and Counting Following Florida Prison Release

“Let Them Eat Dog Food”: Nutrition and Health Behind Bars

by Daniel A. Rosen | Meghan McCain, the Republican Party's resident Marie Antoinette, casually said this on "The View" recently: "He's a criminal - he should eat dog food!" She was talking about Jake Angeli, the so-called "Q-Anon Shaman" who hails from her home state of Arizona, and was arrested after leading the siege of … Continue reading “Let Them Eat Dog Food”: Nutrition and Health Behind Bars

What Early Vaccinations Mean to Prison Inmates

by Daniel A. Rosen | Recent news reports have informed those of us incarcerated in Virginia that the COVID-19 vaccine is coming soon - we'll be part of Group 1B sometime in January, apparently. According to those same reports, some Virginians are angry that inmates would be put in line ahead of the general public. … Continue reading What Early Vaccinations Mean to Prison Inmates

The Prison Music Project Brings Inmates’ Stories to Life in Song

by Daniel A. Rosen | Folsom Prison was once the setting for an iconic musical performance, when Johnny Cash first played live there in 1968. Now, Folsom inmates are performing their own songs, and telling their stories with help from the Prison Music Project. The "Long Time Gone" album was released in the summer of … Continue reading The Prison Music Project Brings Inmates’ Stories to Life in Song

Medical Copays Suspended in Several States Due to COVID-19

by Daniel A. Rosen | In most states, inmates pay an average of $2 to $8 copays for medical appointments, lab tests, and medication. But as prisons across the country have become COVID hotspots, some corrections departments are waiving the fees to encourage inmates to seek treatment for virus symptoms. Most states say they charge … Continue reading Medical Copays Suspended in Several States Due to COVID-19

Missouri Inmate Pled for Release Before Dying of COVID

by Daniel A. Rosen | Waylon Young Bird, a 52-year-old federal prisoner with serious kidney disease, wrote over a dozen letters to the judge that sentenced him asking for compassionate release. He died of COVID-19 in early November of 2020, a week after his last plea was written. "I'm afraid I may be infected by … Continue reading Missouri Inmate Pled for Release Before Dying of COVID

First Ex-Offender Elected to Washington State Legislature

by Daniel A. Rosen | On election day in November, 2020 Washington attorney and former inmate Tara Simmons became the first person convicted of a felony elected to the state's legislature. Prior to the election, she said she was running to help give people "a first chance so they won't need a second chance later … Continue reading First Ex-Offender Elected to Washington State Legislature

The Allure of Kosher Meals in NY Prisons

by Daniel A. Rosen | According to a recent story in Tablet, as many as seven percent of inmates in New York's prison system are identifying as Jewish, primarily so they can receive kosher meals. If that's accurate, there are twice as many Jews as Nation of Islam members locked up in New York. This … Continue reading The Allure of Kosher Meals in NY Prisons

Federal Judge Dismisses Arizona Woman’s Wrongful Conviction Suit

by Daniel A. Rosen | Ex-death-row inmate Debra Milke's civil suit against Arizona authorities claiming wrongful conviction was dismissed by a federal judge because she repeatedly destroyed documents relevant to her case. Judge Roslyn Silver harshly criticized Milke in her ruling, saying the destroyed records would have addressed the main issue at the heart of … Continue reading Federal Judge Dismisses Arizona Woman’s Wrongful Conviction Suit

New Mexico Lawyer Fights to End Solitary Confinement

by Daniel A. Rosen | An attorney with a small private practice in Albuquerque has blazed an unconventional path to reformng the use of solitary confinement in New Mexico. According to a recent profile in Rolling Stone magazine, Matthew Coyte has successfully sued local corrections departments over abuses of the practice, and he's won millions … Continue reading New Mexico Lawyer Fights to End Solitary Confinement

On the Election of Joe Biden: Impressions of a Former Senate Intern

by Daniel A. Rosen | I don't know if I'm the only one of Joe Biden's former interns serving time in prison, but I'm sure it's not a long list. During my junior year of college at UCLA, I took off school for a quarter to intern in Joe Biden's Senate office in Washington, D.C. … Continue reading On the Election of Joe Biden: Impressions of a Former Senate Intern

Florida Jail Administrators Fired After Woman Gives Birth in Cell

by Daniel A. Rosen | A jail inmate in Broward County gave birth in her cell recently, with staff ignoring her pleas for help until just prior to delivery. Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony fired two top administrators at the jail just 24 hours after learning of the incident. It's the second time in two years … Continue reading Florida Jail Administrators Fired After Woman Gives Birth in Cell

Nevada Stops Taking Inmates’ Money for Restitution

by Daniel A. Rosen | Nevada state officials recently suspended a Department of Corrections policy that used a victims' bill of rights to take up to 80 percent of funds sent to inmates by family members. Marsy's Law was approved by Nevada voters in 2018 as an amendment to the state constitution. It's a nationwide … Continue reading Nevada Stops Taking Inmates’ Money for Restitution

The Murder of Mercy: Attacking Virginia’s Parole Board

by Daniel A. Rosen | A young black man named Vincent Lamont Martin killed a white police officer named Michael Patrick Connors in November of 1979. Martin served 37 years in prison as a result. He was supposed to walk out of the Nottoway Correctional Center on May 11, after being granted parole on Good … Continue reading The Murder of Mercy: Attacking Virginia’s Parole Board

Uncaging the Panthers: A Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

by Daniel A. Rosen | As a white guy in prison, it's tricky to talk about racial issues, but I'm going to proceed anyway. There was a Friday afternoon a couple years ago, a little wave of excitement and anticipation rippled through my prison dorm. Word had come from the rec workers, who were always … Continue reading Uncaging the Panthers: A Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Overtime Payouts in CA Prison System Approach $500 Million in 2019

by Daniel A. Rosen | The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation paid out almost half a billion dollars in overtime in 2019, nearly twice what it paid in regular salaries. Responding to a public records request from CalMatters, CDCR provided salary data on regular and overtime pay for the last two years. Uniformed correctional … Continue reading Overtime Payouts in CA Prison System Approach $500 Million in 2019

Tear Down These Walls: A Justice Reform Agenda for the Biden Administration

by Daniel A. Rosen | "This moment calls for structural change and transformative change." -Patrice Cullors, BLM Co-founder | As the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism came to a head in 2020, the Trump Administration had an opportunity in an election year to provide real leadership and demonstrate that people's lives mattered. They … Continue reading Tear Down These Walls: A Justice Reform Agenda for the Biden Administration

St. Louis Corrections Officer Has History of Taser Abuse

by Daniel A. Rosen | A captain with the St. Louis County Justice Center is under investigation for potentially inappropriate use of a Taser in several recent cases. In May, a Taser was employed to subdue a woman in crisis with a history of mental illness. In June, the same captain used a Taser to … Continue reading St. Louis Corrections Officer Has History of Taser Abuse