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Department of Corrections
News: Department of Corrections
Jarrett Murphy/City Limits

Even Model NYS Inmates Face Steep Barriers to Parole

The state's approval rate for parole applications has been sliced in half since 2005. Inmates convicted of high-profile crimes face almost insurmountable barriers—because of politics, not the penal code.

Politics of Prison Rape: How PREA Came To Be

In 2003, Congress voted unanimously for the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, which President Bush signed on Sept. 4 of that year.

Solitary Confinement On the Rise at Rikers

There's been a 44 percent jump in the number of punitive segregation cells in city jails the past two years. Jail officials say it's to prevent violence, but advocates argue the punishment is counterproductive.

NY Prisoners Counted Differently, But Still Not Voting

Now that they'll be counted in their hometowns rather than where they're incarcerated, state inmates could shift district lines. One thing neither they nor parollees can do, however, is vote.

Hurricane Passes, But Worries About Rikers Evacuation Remain

It turns out storm Irene was not a threat to the 14,000 inmates at the city's huge jail complex. But other risks abound. Is there a plan for how to empty the island?

Leaving Prison, Free ... and Homeless

It's hard for many New Yorkers to find an apartment they can afford. Those getting out of jail or prison face even steeper obstacles—especially those who need not just a place to sleep, but some help adjusting to life on the outside.

Prison Guards Get Light Sentences For Sex Abuse

New York State prison guards who break the law by having sex with an inmate often receive favorable treatment by juries and light sentences from judges.

A Years-Long Struggle For Prison Moms

Some women who give birth behind bars find new motivation to stay straight. Others continue to wrestle with drugs and the challenges of parenthood.

Male Guards, Female Inmates And Sexual Abuse In NYS Prisons

Several New York State prisons ranked high in a recent federal survey of inmates reporting staff sexual abuse. A City Limits investigation finds that sexual misconduct in New York's prisons eludes stereotypes—and, sometimes, detection.

Altering A Prison's Sexual Chemistry

For at least 35 years, New York State legal advocates, prison officials and unions have wrestled over how to protect female inmates from sexual abuse when male officers guard them.

The Enforcement Of New York's Prison Sex Law

DOCS says that misunderstandings about pat-frisks might explain some of the sexual misconduct allegations its inmates have made against guards. Some evidence suggests, however, that the problems in New York’s female prisons are deeper than that.

DOJ: 4 NYS Prisons Among Nation's Most Sexually Abusive

New York State has four of the 11 prisons and jails found in a sample to have the highest rates of staff-inmate sexual misconduct.

Census Uncertainty For New York's Prisoners

This week Maryland became the first state to say it will count prison inmates in their home towns when redrawing legislative districts. Will New York follow?

Hep C In Prison: Scourge
Finally Gets Health Review

Hepatitis and HIV are rampant in the state's prisons. Rather than leaving the care of sick prisoners solely in the hands of corrections officials, a new law gives the Department of Health oversight, too.

Soldiers, Prisoners, Casualties—A Drug War's Characters

Just because the drug trade and the law enforcement crusade against it aren't as obvious as they were in the past doesn't mean drugs and the war against them have disappeared from New York.

A Barbershop Is A Beacon
For Those Leaving Prison

Barber, businessman and ex-offender Al Gleaton-Mathieu tries to keep his neighbors out of prison, and smooth the way for those coming home.

Prison Panel Calls
For 'Revoking' Parole

The governor's Sentencing Commission garnered attention for its call to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Less noticed was its call for practically eliminating discretionary releases from state prisons.

Preventing Crime 101:
More College In Prisons

Increasing higher ed opportunities behind bars lowers recidivism rates and incarceration costs over the long run, say advocates.

HIV Education Championed
To Stem Prison Epidemic

Rates of HIV and Hepatitis C are sky-high in state prisons; a state bill aims to help.

Punctuating the Sentence:
Prison Terms Re-Examined

Felons on furlough, Rockefeller drug laws, and other thorny issues are considered by a state commission.

The New York City Department of Corrections is the body responsible for administering the city's jailing facilities and inmate population. In recent years, issues related to solitary confinement, the use of bail, and whether prisoners committing crimes in New York City should be located closer to their homes have all been central issues.

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Report Finds 'Epidemic' of Aging in Prison - Jarrett Murphy

One increasingly common facet of the problem: Elderly prisoners with dementia so pronounced they cannot remember the crime for which they are incarcerated.

What Was the Bloomberg Admin. Saying About Jail Violence? - Jarrett Murphy

A look back at annual reports on jail conditions shows an emphasis on progress being made, but also an acknowledgement of an increasing violence problem.

City Limits Criminal Justice Reporting Honored - Jarrett Murphy

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency recognized our coverage of staff sexual misconduct in New York's prisons and the housing challenges facing former inmates.

Is NYC Going Solo on Solitary Confinement? - Jarrett Murphy

A report questions whether increasing the number of solitary cells in the city's jails is a wise move. Our weekly round-up of policy reports also looks at new findings on climate change, living wages and community colleges.



Rikers Scandal: Key Leaders Are Between Policymakers, Prisoners

By David A. Fullard

Rikers Scandal: Key Leaders Are Between Policymakers, Prisoners

The revelations about systemic brutality in the city's jails point to the critical role that captains—the first layer of leadership over correction officers—play.

How to Stop an Explosion of Violence on Rikers Island

By David A. Fullard

How to Stop an Explosion of Violence on Rikers Island

Amid a sharp increase in fights and injuries, a former corrections officer lays out a plan to avoid more bloodshed.

Attica Must Be Shut Down

By Soffiyah Elijah

Attica Must Be Shut Down

The head of the nonprofit Correctional Association argues that Attica Correctional Facility should be closed—not because of its tragic history, but because of a present-day atmosphere of hostility and harsh treatment.

Mayor's Panel Aims to End the Illness-to-Incarceration Pipeline

By Dora B. Schriro

Mayor's Panel Aims to End the Illness-to-Incarceration Pipeline

The city's jails have become mental health treatment centers of last resort, writes the city's corrections commissioner. A new task force will try to get in front of the psychological problems that put people behind bars.

Zero Tolerance: NY Prison System Committed To Preventing Sex Abuse

By Brian Fischer

Zero Tolerance: NY Prison System Committed To Preventing Sex Abuse

The commissioner of the state prison system responds to our investigation of sex abuse involving male staff and female inmates.



Is Blogging a Slog? Some Young People Think So

A new media study shows that long-form blogging may have fallen out of favor by young people, who have turned to social networking and video content-based websites instead.