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incarceration

A rape survivor is suing Texas' Harris County after she was jailed for more than a month and subjected to beatings and "psychological torture."

According to court documents, she had suffered a mental breakdown while testifying against her rapist, and authorities checked her into the general population at Houston's Harris County Jail because they feared she would flee before finishing her testimony.

Nika Nellum (right) graduated Wednesday from the rigorous King County Juvenile Drug Court program. The program has drawn national attention. But Nellum gave her mother most of the credit.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s graduation week at the King County Juvenile Drug Court. Four teenagers made it through a tough program that’s drawn attention from around the nation. Instead of incarceration, they got help.


Life in prison is no picnic. But imagine being blind or deaf or in a wheelchair behind bars.

A new report out Wednesday says state prison systems should be doing more to accommodate disabled inmates.

Prison bars file photo.
Flickr Photo/Neil Conway (CC BY2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6NUT6x

Emily Fox talks with Karen Lee, CEO of Pioneer Human Services, about how to disrupt the cycle of convicted criminals returning to prison after they're released. This week, Lee was appointed to Governor Jay Inslee's Statewide Reentry Council.

It’s been five months since Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that over a 13-year period nearly 3,000 prison inmates were accidentally released early. Wednesday, Washington Senate Republicans issued a 66-page report that places significant blame for the problem not being fixed on former corrections Secretary Bernie Warner.

Kenneth Bae spent two years in a North Korean prison
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

After a year in the North Korean prison, Kenneth Bae softened toward his guards.


According to a report by the Vera Institute for Justice, there are more than 3,000 local jails in America, holding more than 730,000 people on any given day. Nancy Fishman, a project director at the Vera Institute, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that jails "have impacted a huge number of Americans ... many more than are impacted by state prisons."

The man in charge of Washington’s island-lock-up for sexual predators has resigned after two-and-a-half years on the job. Mark Strong submitted his resignation Friday as CEO of the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

A California parole panel has recommended that former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten receive parole.

Van Houten, 66, has been serving a life sentence for her role in the 1969 murders of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca, part of the notorious string of slayings carried out by the Charles Manson cult over two nights in Los Angeles.

The California Board of Parole Hearing's legal team will review the case and California Gov. Jerry Brown will make the final decision about whether to grant Van Houten parole, Danielle Karson tells our Newscast unit.

Bonnie Rice was released from prison last year. After a five-year, drug-related prison sentence, she knew she couldn't go back to any of the people who led her into trouble.

"I didn't know where to go, how to go," Rice says with a quiver in her voice. "It was scary." She was completely alone.

She managed to find a place to live in a halfway house. But even though she filled out lots and lots of job applications in the first few months out of prison, she didn't get many calls back. "People look down on you," she says.

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Kim Malcolm talks with state Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) about the problems facing Western State Hospital and why she believes adding staff and raising pay is a big part of the solution.

Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Washington, pictured Oct. 2015.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Bill Radke talks to Associated Press reporter Martha Bellisle about the recent escapes from Western State Hospital and the facility's ongoing struggle with safety concerns.

This seems like a contradiction: Put a dangerous prison inmate into solitary confinement, and then give him a cellmate. An investigation by NPR and The Marshall Project, a news organization that specializes in criminal justice, found that this practice — called double celling — is widespread in state and federal prisons. And as we learned, those cellmates often fight, attack and, sometimes, kill.

Nestora Salgado, an activist from Renton who was imprisoned in Mexico, spoke with supporters upon arrival at Sea-Tac Airport.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Nestora Salgado — an activist and grandmother from Renton — is back home. Salgado spent more than two years in a Mexican prison on charges that have now been dropped.  A crowd gathered at Sea-Tac Airport to greet her, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

Seattle.gov

On today's installment of StoryCorps from Seattle's New Holly neighborhood, Gerald Hankerson talks to Rachael DeCruz about the mental tricks he used to survive 22 years  in prison, many in solitary. Today Hankerson is president of both the NAACP's Seattle King County branch and the three-state conference overseeing Alaska, Oregon and Washington. This talk was recorded last summer in the StoryCorps booth. 

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday that another former Washington Department of Corrections official has resigned over the accidental early release of nearly 3,000 prison inmates. Four other employees have been disciplined.

Washington state abolished parole more than 30 years ago. Now, there’s a push by some inmate advocates to bring parole back. They had a chance to make their case Tuesday before a panel of state lawmakers.

Jimmy Hung in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Three teenage brothers have been charged in the January shooting at the homeless encampment known as the Jungle in which two people were killed and three wounded.

The two older boys, aged 16 and 17, were charged as adults per Washington state law.

Partisan tensions are building over the early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates that resulted in two deaths. Republicans held a third hearing Monday into the matter.

The state lawyer at the center of an early release error involving Washington prison inmates has testified under oath for the first time. Two deaths are attributed to the mistake.

The accidental early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates will be the subject of a three hour legislative hearing Monday. Meanwhile, the findings of a separate investigation ordered by Governor Jay Inslee are expected to be released this week.

A Washington state correctional officer is recovering at home after a vicious assault. The attack came almost five years to the day after another prison guard was murdered. This latest incident is renewing questions about staffing levels inside Washington’s prisons.

When Karriem Saleem El-Amin went to prison in 1971 for the murder of Baltimore grocer David Lermer during a robbery, he was an 18-year-old killer named William Collins.

In 2013, El-Amin left prison after serving 42 years, 3 months and 3 days. Today, he is 60 years old, back in the city of his youth, converted to Islam, subdued by age and often baffled by the experience of freedom.

Little things, like dining in a restaurant, can be disorienting.

A photo of Nestora Salgado from her website. The caption says it is a photo of her as the leader of the community police.
Courtesy of freenestora.org

The case of a Renton woman who is jailed in Mexico is getting new attention.

Nestora Salgado was arrested 30 months ago, detained because of her involvement in a community-based police force in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

Three-strikes offenders serving life in prison without the possibility of parole should get a “second look.” That’s the position of Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said an investigation into the early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates should be finished soon. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans got an update from their investigator on a separate inquiry underway.

In 1987, Gerald Hankerson was wrongfully convicted of aggravated murder. After 22 years behind bars, Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire commuted Hankerson’s life sentence. Hankerson was the first man in the history of the state to be freed after receiving a life sentence.  

Head Of Washington State Prisons Resigns

Feb 7, 2016

Washington Secretary of Corrections Dan Pacholke has resigned his position after less than four months in the job. His unexpected announcement Saturday came just one day after the Republican-led Washington Senate voted not to confirm Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson resulting in her immediate departure from that agency.

Washington prison officials have said a computer programming error led to the accidental early release of more than 3,000 inmates over 13 years. Documents obtained by public radio reveal that a decade ago sentencing calculation errors plagued a major IT upgrade.

Veterans serving time behind bars are still entitled to some — but not all — of the benefits earned through military service. Wednesday, we told you the story of the struggle one former inmate faced trying to inform the Department of Veterans Affairs about his incarceration. Today, we look at a one-of-a kind inmate-run program trying to help other incarcerated veterans work and communicate with the VA to get their benefits.

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