Justice Newzzz

Prison videos uploaded to TikTok expose the world behind bars; Chauvin’s request for a public defender is denied; staff shortage and surge in COVID-19 forces a lockdown — your weekly justice news

COVID-19 doubled: Two Denver jails' covid cases doubled last week. This news comes only two weeks after advisory warnings were issued by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment to address current facility operations of COVID-19. KDVR (Oct. 5, 2021)

educated behind bars: Twenty-three men incarcerated earned bachelor’s degrees and walked in the first Cal State graduation ceremony inside a state prison. KABC-TV (Oct. 6, 2021)

facility lockdown: Staff shortages and a rise in COVID-19 cases force the Cumberland County Jail in Portland to go on lockdown. As of now, no new inmates are allowed in and those in custody are being restricted to their cells. WMTW (Oct. 4, 2021)

the scramble for police: David Brown, the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department says his force needs to employ thousands of more officers. However, bad public opinion of police officers is hurting the recruiting efforts. As a way to combat poor recruitment rates, CPD is looking to expand their recruitment search nationally. Block Club Chicago (Oct. 5, 2021)

prison through Tiktok: Keiko Kopp is serving a three-year sentence​​ at Lowell Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Ocala, Florida. Kopp uses the popular social media platform TikTok to expose the realities behind Lowell’s walls such as medical neglect and unhygienic practices. WUFT (Oct. 6, 2021)

fight to end qualified immunity: Following the death of George Floyd, there was a surge in states across the country demanding an end to qualified immunity, a legal doctrine freeing police from liability. While the demands have garnered large-scale traction, police departments are not budging. The Washington Post (Oct. 7, 2021)

request denied: Former police officer Derek Chauvin’s request for a public defender to represent him in his appeal of his conviction and sentencing has been denied by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Chauvin is held responsible for the killing of George Floyd in summer 2020. HuffPost (Oct. 7, 2021)

5-year-old in a chokehold: A mother was met with an officer placing her 5-year-old son in a chokehold. School staff called the officer to deal with the kindergartner, who has ADHD and was reported to be singing too loudly in class. The mother is demanding the elimination of life-threatening restraints in schools. NBC News (Oct. 5, 2021)

decline in prison population: The administration of Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the prison populations in Pennsylvania are at their lowest point in 20 years. Gov. Wolf said that his administration has taken a comprehensive approach to prison reduction and is proud of their progress. Penn Live (Oct.7, 2021)

void of any charges: The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey will not face any federal charges for criminal civil rights violations. In August 2020, Officer Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times during a domestic dispute which left Blake paralyzed. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Oct. 8, 2021)


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COVID-19 resources: State policy changesNewsBureau of Prisons updatesState court changesPrison holistic self care and protectionJailhouse Lawyers Handbook.

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