Reporter investigates the harsh realities of civil commitment

Investigative reporter Barbara Koeppel takes a critical look at the practice of civil commitment in the United States in a report for the Washington Spectator. The introduction to the article calls civil commitment “the third rail of the criminal justice system.” Organizations and professionals familiar with the abuses of civil commitment are its harshest critics.Continue reading “Reporter investigates the harsh realities of civil commitment”

Iowa court rules two men can’t be held in civil commitment

The Iowa Supreme Court struck a blow against Iowa’s civil commitment program, ruling that the state couldn’t hold two men indefinitely past their court-mandated¬†sentences. Here are a couple key quotes from the Associated Press article. “Preventive detention is very limited in American law because it is seen as antithetical to fundamental liberty interests and theContinue reading “Iowa court rules two men can’t be held in civil commitment”

How Texas created a prison that’s not a prison

The Texas Observer has a story on that state’s new civil commitment facility — a repurposed, privately-run prison in Littlefield, Texas, that the state really, REALLY, doesn’t want you to call a prison.¬† Once inside those old prison walls, the men surrendered their IDs, Social Security cards, birth certificates and credit cards, along with cashContinue reading “How Texas created a prison that’s not a prison”