Philadelphia prison populations are declining; reformers say more to come

Has a bold reform plan helped to shrink Philly’s prison population?

Back in January, Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield was undertaking a radical experiment in criminal-justice reform from the otherwise drab confines of an 11th-floor courtroom in the Criminal Justice Center. There were no major criminal cases on her docket – just addicts, small-time drug dealers, and a man accused of stealing a power drill from inside a car.

Pennsylvania inmates with mental illness no longer subject to solitary confinement

Deal aims to end solitary confinement for seriously mentally ill prisoners in Pa.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has reached a settlement with the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania requiring sweeping reforms in the care of inmates with serious mental illness in the state’s prison system. Inmates with serious mental illness or intellectual disabilities no longer will be subject to solitary confinement, according to the terms of the settlement, reached late Monday.