Saturday, December 19, 2015

Louisiana prisoner won't be executed after federal court finds he's intellectually disabled

Amy Howe breaks down the Fifth Circuit's ruling here

December 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Recent complaint alleges state health plan for low income Californians discriminates against Latinos

As The LATimes's Soumya Karlamangla reported earlier this week:

Medi-Cal, a joint federal-state program that was greatly expanded under Obamacare last year, has come under fire recently for not ensuring that patients are able to find doctors. Many complain that Medi-Cal's reimbursement rates, among the lowest in the nation, create a shortage of doctors willing to see Medi-Cal patients.


Because Medi-Cal covers a population that is so heavily Latino, the complaint alleges, it fosters a "separate and unequal system of health care" that amounts to a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 


The complaint cites a recent study that found that cancer patients with Medi-Cal were generally less likely to have their cancers caught at early stages, receive recommended treatments and be alive five years after diagnosis, compared to those with other types of insurance.


The complaint also alleges violations of a federal law that requires Medicaid programs offer enough doctors for patients, as well as a section of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination in health programs that receive federal funding.


The complaint demands an increase in Medi-Cal-provided reimbursement rates and improved monitoring of the Medi-Cal program. 

December 19, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Virginia teacher has high schoolers write Islamic statement of faith in Arabic calligraphy... part of a lesson on world religions. Some people lose their minds, and several district schools close

December 19, 2015 in Schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York agrees to changes to state's solitary confinement practices

The Atlantic's Matt Ford explains:

New York will enact major changes to its use of solitary confinement in prisons as part of a settlement with the New York Civil Liberties Union, the state announced Wednesday. The announcement from one of the nation’s largest prison systems caps the most successful year yet for solitary-reform advocates.


Under the agreement, about one-quarter of the state’s 4,000 prisoners in solitary confinement will be placed in less isolated housing. New York will also reduce the use of solitary for future inmates by limiting both the reasons they can be placed in it and the time they spend in it. Some of solitary confinement’s more troubling aspects will also be curtailed: Prison officials will no longer be allowed to use food as punishment, and pregnant inmates won’t be placed in solitary “except in exceptional circumstances.”


The agreement, which will needs approval from a federal judge before it goes into effect, was reached after two years of negotiations following a NYCLU lawsuit.

Read the full article here.

December 19, 2015 in Prisons and Prisoners, Theories of Punishment | Permalink | Comments (0)