prison

On April , The Village Square’s Kansas City group hosted a panel discussion on "American Justice: The Impact of Incarceration." An expert panel examined imprisonment as the most effective form of achieving public safety, the racial disparities that exist in our prison system, and the alternatives to solving these issues. Former U.S. Ambassador Alan Katz moderated the conversation. 

Panelists: 

A shortage of beds for Missouri inmates means a West Bottoms center for parolees and probationers will go back to being a minimum security prison.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

 

A prison space crunch amid a state budget crisis is lending urgency to legislative proposals aimed at steering drug offenders toward community treatment rather than prison time.

The House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, chaired by Rep. John Rubin, is looking at a couple of bills that he said are meant to try a new approach after decades of stiff penalties spurred by the unsuccessful “War on Drugs.”

publik15 / flickr.com

America’s prisons are dealing with an unprecedented issue: a rapidly increasing population of elderly inmates. It’s estimated that one-third of the entire prison population will be 55 years and older by the year 2030.

Julie Denesha

    

A new program in Kansas aims to improve conditions in prisons, but it’s not for inmates. The state Department of Corrections is one of many prison and jail systems around the country working to overcome “correctional fatigue” — the mental and physical stress that lead to corrections workers burning out.

From Orange Is The New Black to Shawshank Redemption to Cool Hand Luke, prison guards often have gotten a bad rap as some of the worst bullies featured on television and in the movies.

And that rankles John Bates.

University of Kansas

Ethnomusicologist Daniel Atkinson describes Louisiana State Penitentiary (commonly called "Angola") as a “living, breathing plantation.” The land where the prison stands today was converted from plantation to penitentiary after slavery was abolished. 

Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wanted to take a peek at the case files of mobsters, bootleggers or even murderers?

On Monday's Up to Date, we look into the historical underbelly of Leavenworth Penitentiary as we delve into its records with a local archivist.

Guest:

Early Teen Years Inspired Innocence Project Chief

Nov 28, 2012
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

There is a new chief executive at the Kansas City-based Midwest Innocence Project. The not-for-profit corporation works to free men and women behind bars for crimes they did not commit.

A 'TurnAround' For Those Leaving Prison

Jul 15, 2012

For many who are leaving prison, the chances that they very well may return are high.

One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes "systemic, egregious and dangerous practices" at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."

KC Civil Rights Summit

Apr 23, 2012
Auntie P / Flickr

On this Monday's Central Standard we speak with Ayanna Hightower-Mannon and Paul Pierce, who work in Kansas City's Civil Rights Division.

What's plentiful in upstate New York? Cows and prison inmates, to name a few things.

Reformists in the two communities don't make natural allies, but organizer Lauren Melodia is trying to do just that.

"I was living in this prison town, and at the same time, the dairy industry was in a lot of turmoil," Melodia tells The Salt. "We thought this [dairy] might be the perfect ally in trying to build a different economy in upstate New York, and shift some of the economic dependency away from the prison system."