prison system

Just past 10 p.m. on a summer night, attorney Cheryl Wattley is standing near a quiet street in West Dallas, reconstructing an old crime.

It's a moonless night. One street light and one porch light from a nearby house illumine the scene, nearly identical conditions to the night 30 years ago, when a young man was left to die on the street not too far from here.

Wattley points toward a man standing under the street light, a private investigator named Daryl Parker, as he positions himself in the alley 40 feet away.

"Can you identify him?" she asks.

Inside A Judge's Rehab: Unpaid Work At An Oklahoma Coca-Cola Plant

Dec 4, 2017
Shane Bevel / Reveal

Retired Oklahoma Judge Thomas Landrith is hailed as a hero of criminal justice reform.

He started the first rural drug court in the nation and has reaped awards for sending defendants to treatment rather than prison. Most judges in the state model their drug courts after his.

But Landrith also is involved in a more sinister byproduct of criminal justice reform.

The New York jail complex Rikers Island maintains a "culture of violence" among both inmates and staff, despite efforts to improve conditions at the storied correctional facility, according to a recent government report.

The court-mandated report said staff on the island "relish confrontation" with inmates, rather than avoid it. It described incidents such as a senior corrections officer using pepper spray on an inmate who was in restraints, and other incidents of unnecessarily kicking and stomping inmates.

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Glenna Gordon/Courtesy of The New York Times

If you've followed the War on Terror at all, you're almost certainly familiar with the US detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — a US prison that exists outside the realm of the US justice system.

Now, it turns out, there's a secret US detention system in the War on Drugs, too — and this one is aboard US Coast Guard cutters sailing in the Pacific Ocean.

The Trump administration wants to expand its network of immigrant jails. In recent months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has called for five new detention facilities to be built and operated by private prison corporations across the country. Critics are alarmed at the rising fortunes of an industry that had fallen out of favor with the previous administration.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and, sitting in for Ryan Kiesel, Stillwater Democratic Representative Cory Williams about the House failing to pass a Republican plan to fix the shortfall in the budget, House Minority Leader Scott Inman announcing his resignation from the state legislature as well as dropping out of the governor's race and the State Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional a law which would have added fees on to electric and hybrid vehicles.

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

Oklahoma is replacing the decks of playing cards they sell in the prison canteens with new custom decks featuring the faces of victims from 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons cases. Other states have similar programs and the program is working.

During the Iraq war, a surprisingly effective tool for the military was a deck of cards distributed to troops featuring the faces of Iraq’s most wanted. Now, law enforcement officials are hoping inmates in American prisons will help play a similar role in unsolved cases.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to a receptive audience Thursday when he addressed members of the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association at Rose State College in Midwest City.

Sessions said law enforcement nationwide is dealing with an increase in the violent crime rate, gangs, the opioid epidemic and threats of terrorism. Sessions says these issues are combined with cultural changes that concern him.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about pending cuts to health and mental health agencies with the stalemate over a $215M shortfall in the budget, lawsuits against drug rehabilitation centers accused of forcing clients to work at chicken farms without pay and in dangerous conditions and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes to the state to give the keynote address at the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association.

Oklahoma Rehab Work Camps Were About To Be Regulated. Then A Friend Stepped In

Oct 18, 2017
okhouse.gov

This story was originally published by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit news organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at revealnews.org and subscribe to the Reveal podcast, produced with PRX, here.

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