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Zombie Commissioners and Antiquated Structure Pose Hurdles for Parole Reform
Governor Kathy Hochul says she will finally fill vacancies on the state’s parole board, opening the potential to shift from presumptive detention.
Nick Pinto   ·   February 8, 2022
Cop Shooting Highlights Slow Start for City Effort to Remove Police from 911 Mental Health Emergencies
The shooting occurred in the program’s pilot area, but even there, police still respond to four out of every five crisis calls - more than twice as many as the city had initially projected.
Garrison Lovely   ·   February 4, 2022
“They Didn’t Test Anybody”: Jails Across New York Administer Alarmingly Few Tests During Omicron Surge
During the first eight weeks of omicron, only one jail system administered enough tests to screen every incarcerated person even once, a New York Focus analysis found. Most didn’t come close to that rate.
Chris Gelardi   ·   February 2, 2022
After Years Locked Up For Stealing Cold Medicine, Reginald Randolph is Released
But if he loses his appeal and Gov. Kathy Hochul declines to grant him clemency, he will likely be sent back to prison.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg   ·   January 25, 2022
The Real Way to Get Guns Out of Schools
Putting more police officers and metal detectors in schools won’t solve the crisis of youth gun violence. We need to invest in community-based programs to address the root causes of the violence.
Freddy Medina   ·   January 24, 2022
I Know What It Means to Strike at Rikers
I helped organize a strike at Rikers during the first wave. Those striking now are not to be ignored.
David Campbell   ·   January 14, 2022
He Was Homeless, So the Judge Kept Him at Rikers
How a lack of stable housing, combined with bureaucratic hurdles in New York’s labyrinthine re-entry process, kept one man at Rikers during the height of its crisis.
Sam Mellins   ·   January 3, 2022
Women Sent from Rikers to Maximum-Security Prison: ‘They Treat Us Like State Property’
Governor Hochul and Mayor de Blasio’s quixotic plan to relocate women from Rikers Island to the Bedford Hills state prison has prompted fierce opposition from women who insist they do not want to go.
Tana Ganeva   ·   December 9, 2021
State Senators Ask Gov. Hochul to Commute Sentence of Man Who Spent Over 800 Days in Rikers
Reginald Randolph is currently serving a two to four year sentence in state prison for stealing cold medicine.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg   ·   December 4, 2021
“The Worst Prison in New York State”
The situation at Rikers is bad, but at Great Meadow Correctional Facility, a maximum security facility more than 200 miles north of New York City, it’s worse.
Victoria Law   ·   November 10, 2021
A Year After Reforms were Promised, People Leaving New York Jails and Prisons Still Lack IDs
Reentering society without ID makes jobs and apartments almost impossible to get. Still, many people leaving prison lack the essential paperwork.
Sam Mellins   ·   November 4, 2021
Homeless Man Spent Over 800 Days in Rikers After Stealing Cold Medicine from Duane Reade
Blind in one eye and at risk of losing vision in the other, 58-year-old Reginald Randolph has spent much of the past three years in jail. Now he’s on the verge of being sent to state prison for four more years.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg   ·   November 2, 2021
Charges Filed Against Andrew Cuomo for Forcible Touching
The Albany Criminal Court issued a criminal summons charging Cuomo with a Class A misdemeanor.
Akash Mehta   ·   October 28, 2021
Disabled and Abandoned in New York’s Prisons
Incarcerated people with disabilities detail a labyrinth of humiliations in prison.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg   ·   October 25, 2021
Illegal Evictions Are Rising Across The State, But Landlords Rarely Face Consequences
There’s a growing trend of landlords changing locks and shutting off utilities to get tenants out without going to court, tenant organizers say.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   October 21, 2021
Legislators Push to Make Phone Calls in New York’s Jails and Prisons Free
Incarcerated New Yorkers pay some of the steepest rates for phone calls in the country, as high as $9.95 for a single 15-minute call.
Rachel M. Cohen   ·   October 14, 2021
Prison Agency Resisting Oversight, Say Lawmakers and Watchdogs
A dispute between the prison agency and the independent prison monitoring organization has left lawyers and advocates wondering whether Gov. Hochul’s commitment to transparency will extend to state prisons.
Daniel Moritz-Rabson   ·   October 12, 2021
Death at Rikers: How NYC Judges Fueled the Swelling Jail Population
An analysis by New York Focus and Gothamist/WNYC reveals the judges who set bail most frequently, driving up the jail population as it entered crisis.
George Joseph and Akash Mehta   ·   September 27, 2021
As Rikers Crisis Persists, Prosecutors Continue to Request High Bail
“We only ask, and the court sets the bail,” the president of the state prosecutors’ association said.
Sam Mellins   ·   September 24, 2021
He Says He Was Wrongfully Convicted. His Trial Prosecutor Led The Unit That Rejected His Petition.
Anthony Sims’ case shows the conflict of interest inherent in Conviction Review Units led by former prosecutors, critics say.
Ethan Corey and Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg   ·   September 23, 2021
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