Prison Commission Releases Final
Report: Confronting Confinement
on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons has released "Confronting
Confinement", a report on violence and abuse in U.S.
jails and prisons, the broad impact of those problems on public
safety and public health, and how correctional facilities nationwide
can become safer and more effective.
The report addresses dangerous conditions
of confinement - violence, poor health care, and inappropriate
segregation -- that can also endanger corrections officers and
the public; lack of political support for labor and management;
weak oversight of correctional facilities; and serious flaws
in the available data about violence and abuse.
"For the vast majority of inmates
prison is a temporary, not a final, destination. The experiences
inmates have in prison -- whether violent or redemptive -- do
not stay within prison walls, but spill over into the rest of
Federal, state, and local governments must
address the problems faced by their respective institutions and
develop tangible and attainable solutions," said Senator
Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
on Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The Commission is staffed by and funded
through the Vera
Institute of Justice. To read a summary of the commission's
findings and recommendations, and a brief Q&A about the report,
or to access the complete report, go to www.prisoncommission.org/report.
Prison Commission Report Makes News, Gains
I'm writing to let you know about the extraordinary
degree of interest in and support for the Commission's report,
Confronting Confinement. Since the release of the report
on June 8th, there have been more than a hundred national, regional
and local news stories, editorials, and opinion pieces focused
on the Commission's findings and recommendations.
The report has captured the attention of
members of Congress - in particular Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK)
and Richard Durbin (D-IL) who chaired a hearing on the results
of the Commission. The report has received endorsements from
organizations ranging from the National Association of Evangelicals
to the ACLU's National Prison Project.
The Association of State Correctional Administrators
has said that the Commission's report "presents an opportunity
for public discussion of issues that corrections professionals
have been working on for years. Leaders of large and small correctional
systems are requesting copies of the report to help guide reform.
Healthcare advocates are seizing on the
Commission's message that the well being of neighborhoods and
communities depends on decent correctional health care. There's
even interest in the report outside the United States, particularly
in Latin America, and we've just published a summary of the report
in Spanish and Portuguese. You can download those documents at
This broad-based and positive response
to the report is very encouraging. We'll keep you informed as
the staff and Commissioners assist corrections leaders, lawmakers,
and others who are working to advance reforms at the federal,
state, and local levels - and we'll be sure to let you know how
you can get involved.
Sincerely, Alex Busansky, Executive
Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's
Prisons - July 25, 2006