Tag Archives: oversight

El Salvador prison overcrowding creates horrific conditions in police station holding cells

From the article: “El Salvador’s prisons are wretched, overcrowded hellholes, among the worst in Latin America, but for William Romero Cartagena a trip to prison would be a step up in life. Romero is among 3,000 or so detainees currently housed in police station holding cells, unable to get remanded to one of the nation’s 19 prisons. The holding cells are even more crowded and ghastly than the prisons.”

Read more here.

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OH: Director views inmate suicides as failures; new steps being taken

From the article: “Prisons officials are taking new steps to prevent suicides: using “safe cells,” disposable paper uniforms, soft food and paper eating utensils for inmates on suicide watch; spot-checking video to make sure corrections officers are making rounds; training employees to be watchful for signs that inmates might be suicidal; and reviewing mental-health assessments done when inmates enter the system. But [Director] Mohr cautioned that no amount of vigilance, precautions and staff attention will stop all inmates who are determined to take their own lives.”

Read more here.

h/t Vera Institute

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Most Ohio prison suicides are committed by violent predators, watchdog group says

If you are not living under a rock, you may have heard about some recent suicides in Ohio’s prison system.  The state legislative committee charged with prison oversight published a report today with some key characteristics regarding inmates who have committed suicide in the Ohio prison system since 2000.

Here are some key findings:

  • The DRC experienced 88 completed suicides from 2000 to present.
  • The total number of suicides in any given year fluctuates.
  •  Inmates classified as white accounted for 76.1 percent of suicides.  Male inmates were responsible for 94.3 percent of all suicides since 2000.    

  • Higher security and reception institutions generally experience more suicides.

  •  The average age of inmates who committed suicide was 35.

  •  The majority of inmates committed suicide after having been incarcerated for less than two years or for ten or more years.  The median length of time served was 1.8 years prior to suicide.

  •  75% of inmates committing suicide had sentences of five or more years.

  •  Suicides generally happen in segregation or general population cells. Hanging is the most common method of suicide.

  •  Suicide is most frequently committed by inmates convicted of violent crimes against other persons.  86.4% of all suicides were committed by an inmate convicted of one of the following offenses (including attempts and aggravated offenses): murder, assault, rape, robbery, sexual battery, or burglary.

  •  Ohio is below the national rate of prison suicide.

Read more from a news article on the report here.

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OH: State report rips Toledo prison

From the article: “The 164-page report from the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee shows that inmate-on-inmate assaults increased by nearly 113 percent and inmate-on-staff assaults increased nearly 74 percent from 2010 to 2012. The legislatively established committee monitors prison facilities, conducts unannounced inspections of prisons, and writes reports of their activities.”

Read more here.

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PA: Audit cites training deficiencies at state prisons

From the article: “A report by the state auditor general has found the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections failed to monitor and review employee training as required by agency policy and the standards of the American Correctional Association.”

Read more here.
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Audits: Prison vendor charged for unserved meals

From the article: “A private vendor in line to begin feeding roughly 100,000 prison inmates in Ohio and Michigan has a track record of billing for food it doesn’t serve, using substandard ingredients and riling prisoners with its meal offerings, past audits in several states show.”

So that makes me feel optimistic about how it’s going to go in Ohio…

Read more here.

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Ohio prison works to reduce inmate assaults

From the article: “Inmate-on-inmate assaults nearly doubled in two years at a north-central Ohio prison, higher than the statewide average, according to a new report that also notes an increase in disturbances and low morale among guards.”

The union says that the report paints too rosy a picture of the facility and that it’s still a dangerous place to work.

Read more here.

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Question from the internet: “Who do you report a Warden’s misconduct to?”

When you run a blog, you can see what people googled that led them to your blog.  Sometimes the search terms are strange – frankly, you wonder not just how that term brought them to your blog, but also why the creeper wanted to know the answer in the first place.

Sometimes, though, I know the answer and wish that I could respond.  So, to you, Mr. “Who do you report a Warden’s misconduct to?”, I have an answer. 

First, it depends on what state you’re in.  If you’re in Ohio, inmates can report a Warden’s misconduct through the inmate grievance procedure by filing an original grievance directly to the DRC Chief Inspector.  An inmate, family member, or concerned citizen could also submit a complaint to the Ohio Inspector General.  Last, an inmate, family member, or concerned citizen could contact the legislature’s Correctional Institution Inspection Committee.

If you’re not from Ohio, I am less help to you.  There are a handful of inmate advocacy/oversight groups around the nation and you can check some of them out if you scroll down to the bottom of my blog to my “Links” section.  I would definitely contact them for assistance.  Finally, my guess is that every state has an inspector general and that would be who I would go to, as well.

Hope that helps!

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UK: Prison conditions slammed in report

From the article: “Inmates are still being housed in “archaic and Dickensian” conditions in some parts of Cork Prison, a report has revealed…”We welcome the Government’s commitment to a new prison in Cork and hope it will resolve the issues of overcrowding, the practice of slopping out, and meet international standards and human rights criteria.”

I don’t know what “slopping out” entails, but it doesn’t sound good…

Read more here.

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NH officials decide against private prison

From the article: “New Hampshire officials have decided against building a private prison to house state inmates after a consultant’s report raised serious security concerns about the arrangement and questioned whether proposals from four private companies addressed the state’s needs.”

Read more here.

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