Rehabilitation Posts

New BOP Chief Kathleen Hawk Sawyer: Prison or Rehabilitation?

New Bureau of Prisons Leadership Should Focus on Rehabilitation: (“Over the past decade and a half, many of our state criminal justice systems have abandoned unnecessarily punitive and ineffective practices and instead refocused on rehabilitation and preparing inmates for a successful return to society. Now is the time for the federal system to do the same. * * * Attorney General William Barr’s appointment of Kathleen Hawk Sawyer as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons offers an opportunity to enact change at the federal level. For this to happen, Sawyer will need to show the same commitment, foresight, and drive she demonstrated when she previously held the role. * * * In 2001, when there was strong bipartisan support for so-called ‘tough-on-crime’ policies, Sawyer pushed back and said, ’70-some percent of our female population are low-level, nonviolent offenders.’ Sawyer went on to say that ‘[the fact that these women] have even come into prison is a question mark for me. I think it has been an unintended consequence of the sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums.’ She concluded by saying that many of the incarcerated women in question should have received probation instead.”)

Thoughts on Mandatory Minimums, Violent Gangs, and Rehabilitation by a Federal Judge

This Judge Defends “Unredeemables” Even as He Sends Them to Prison: (“It seemed routine when Judge Jack B. Weinstein issued stiff prison sentences to three young men who had robbed a family at gunpoint in the Cypress Hills Houses in East New York last year. After all, when the men broke into the family’s apartment, there were, in addition to adults, five children inside — all of them 10 years old or younger. The robbers, moreover, had been accused of working with two violent street gangs, which New York law-enforcement officers have been cracking down on — especially in the city’s public housing projects.”)