Out of sight, out of mind

Dangerous conditions of confinement; labor and management challenges in an institutional culture; lax oversight and accountability; flaws in the available knowledge and data about violence and abuse : four areas of concern covered in a report by the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons. The Commission's findings and recommendations were released Thursday and made available on their web site. (It is also possible to register to receive email updates about the work of the Commission and its findings.)

The non-partisan Commission is co-chaired by former United States Attorney General Nicholas de B. Katzenbach and the Honorable John Gibbons, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and staffed by and funded through the Vera Institute of Justice. FR will report more at a later date on Vera whose mission includes:
innovative, affordable programs that often grow into self-sustaining organizations, studies social problems and current responses, and provides practical advice and assistance to government officials in New York and around the world.
Reaching consensus on controversial issues, the diverse Commission stated:
There are nearly 5,000 adult prisons and jails in the United States - no two exactly alike. Some of them are unraveling or barely surviving, while others are succeeding and working in the public's interest. There is no reason why health and safety should be limited to only some correctional facilities and no reason why even the best institutions cannot make a larger contribution to public safety and public health...it influences the safety, health, and prosperity of us all.

Confronting Confinement, a report on violence and abuse in U.S. jails and prisons.
Full report (pdf, 126 pages / 8 MB)
Summary of Findings and Recommendations (pdf, 7 pages / 123 kB)
Commonly Asked Questions about the Report (pdf, 3 pages / 99 kB)


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