Bureau of Prisons in Hot Water After Associated Press Expose

A recent expose by the Associated Press reported that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) “is a hotbed of abuse, graft and corruption, and has turned a blind eye to employees accused of misconduct.” According to the report, over 100 federal prison workers have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for crimes since the start of 2019. …

D.C. Council Tackles Sweeping Rewrite of Criminal Code

As reported in the DCIST:  The DC Council has begun a process to evaluate a sweeping rewrite of the city’s criminal code, a deep-in-the-weeds and yet potentially consequential effort to better define crimes, clarify terms and penalties, and repeal outdated offenses — some dating back more than a century. The proposal could also have a …

Advocates Call for Better Regulations Governing the D.C. Clemency Board

The Clemency Board Establishment Act of 2018 gave the District an opportunity to create its own, local Clemency Board. Currently, the path to clemency is winding and almost always results in a dead end. Proving this is a broken system, of the 2,822 clemency grants issued by five presidents since 1989, only one single person …

Redesigning Risk and Need Assessment in Corrections

The National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the US Dept. of Justice, has published an article titled Redesigning Risk and Need Assessment in Corrections. The article introduces a report released by the agency titled Guidelines for Post-Sentencing Risk Assessment.  The agency said it undertook to produced these guidelines because: “… the kind of …

Senior administration officials mulling ousting US prisons director

The Associated Press has reported that “Senior Biden administration officials have discussed whether to remove Michael Carvajal, the holdover director of the beleaguered federal Bureau of Prisons” as reported in the Washington Post. The Post article says that “there’s an indication that the bureau is shaking up its senior ranks following growing criticism of chronic mismanagement, …

Rep. Norton Asks Bureau of Prisons to Share Information on Residents Leaving Custody and Returning to DC

FROM REP. NORTON PRESS RELEASE: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wrote the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to request that BOP provide information on District of Columbia residents leaving BOP custody so that the District can help with reentry into the community. Alternatively, Norton requested that if BOP continues to take the …

Article: DC Statehood and the Criminal Legal System

Co-chair of the DC Reentry Task Force, Louis Sawyer, was featured in this Washington Post article. He spoke of how his family took 14-hour road trips to visit him in federal prison in southwestern Virginia, until he was moved to a prison too far away for them to continue their visits.

PDS Publishes its new D.C. Reentry Navigator!

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) has announced its publication of The D.C. Reentry Navigator, a 900-page, 16-chapter book that is a comprehensive compilation of expert knowledge and reentry resources for people arrested, charged, tried, and/or convicted under District of Columbia law. PDS created The D.C. Reentry Navigator as a resource …

Mayor Signs Bill That Makes It Easier For Residents With Criminal Records To Find Work

Mayor Muriel Bowser has signed a bill passed unanimously by the DC Council called the Removing Barriers to Occupational Licensing for Returning Citizens Amendment Act of 2019. The new law bars occupational licensing boards withholding a license based on a criminal conviction, unless it is currently pending or “directly related” to the occupation. Boards will …

Galen Baughman case gains support to overturn unjust civil confinement

Galen Baughman was one of the original organizers of what became the ReThink Justice DC Coalition, assisting Charlie Sullivan in forming and operating the group, when it was called the First Friday Group. He was the group’s first administrator, until his incarceration in Virginia three years ago based on a technical violation of his parole. …