police reform a major issue in Nov. local elections; DOJ reaches $88M settlement with the families of Charleston shooting victims — your weekly justice news
cost–benefit analysis: Kalvin Barrett, the Dane County Sheriff calls jail conditions “inhumane and borderline unconstitutional.” To fund the new jail project, an additional $23 million is needed. In the meantime, the Sheriff has to weigh the costs of temporary housing alternatives for jail residents. WISC-TV (Oct. 25, 2021)
on the ballot: Residents of the city of Albany can vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for Proposal 7. Proposal 7 grants the Community Police Review Board the power to conduct independent investigations of allegations of police misconduct and the power to subpoena Albany Police Department records. WRGB (Oct. 26, 2021)
voting for police reform: This November, cities around the country are holding elections. A major issue at stake is the criminal justice system and its operation for the future. If votes are casted in favor of reform, the Appeal predicts dramatic change in the structure of police departments. The Appeal (Oct. 26, 2021)
protests over the vaccine: The New York City police union requested for a judge to not implement the city’s vaccination mandate that is planned to go into effect November The union argues the mandate does not specify exceptions for medical or religious reasons and does not provide unvaccinated officers with possible alternatives. CBS News (Oct. 26, 2021)
confined to a cell: Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been labeled an “outlier” for its continued use of locking inmates in their cells for up to 23 hours a day while only permitting one hour for showers, phone calls and recreation. PINJ (Oct. 27, 2021)
poor management: Texas county jails are facing multiple lawsuits and people are protesting for reform of the conditions of the facilities. One lawyer is calling it “a decades long problem" that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Houston Public Media (Oct. 27, 2021)
uncontrollable conditions: Since the start of the pandemic, San Quentin State Prison has been unsuccessful in addressing the overcrowding and poor ventilated housing units which allowed the virus to run rampant in the prison. Shadowproof (Oct. 27, 2021)
Charleston church shooting: This past week, the Justice Department announced it will pay $88 million to the families of the nine victims killed and the five survivors harmed in the 2015 racist attack at a historically Black church in South Carolina. Associated Press (Oct. 28, 2021)
cry for answers: The family of Dana Fletcher, a Black man who was shot and killed by Madison police in 2019, is suing the police department for their failure to release body camera footage or police reports relating to Fletcher’s killing. Alabama Local News (Oct. 28, 2021)
demand for transparency : Civil Beat, a Hawaiian news service, has filed a lawsuit requesting the First Circuit Court in Honolulu to overrule the policy that permits Hawaii to not publicly announce inmate deaths as they happen. Honolulu Civil Beat (Oct. 29, 2021)
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