Week ending Jan. 2, 2015

bedtime stories 1

PROGRAMS

Story time by mail: Utah prison program lets inmates record books for their children by Jennifer Dobner, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Amid the holiday cards and the boxes of gifts delivered to households across Utah this season were some extra special packages bearing the return address of the Utah State Prison. The gifts inside: CD recordings of holiday books and other beloved children’s classics read aloud by the incarcerated women who are away from their kids for far more than just the 12 days of Christmas.”

Utah prison program connects incarcerated moms with their kids by Keri Lunt Stevens,  Daily Herald

“In the middle of the room, Rainey Bridges’ face brightens as she suppresses a laugh. On her right, Sasha Foltz reads a story about a farmer whose animals go on strike. Dressed in maroon jumpsuits, the women take turns reading books about the adventures of a brown rabbit, a family of Berenstain Bears and a pig who eats a pancake. For 45 minutes, they read and giggle, feeding off each other’s energy.”

PRISON RELOCATION

Top Utah stories of 2014 by Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

“8. State prison relocation creates uproar: In the not-so-distant past, Utah towns competed for a state prison that was eventually built near Gunnison.”

OPINION

Utah prison movers miss opportunity for real change by Jean Hill, government liaison for the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake in The Salt Lake Tribune

“Sadly, as the Prison Relocation Commission seeks a location for what should be a smaller prison with better programming and greater access to substance abuse and mental health treatment to reduce recidivism, communities are not shouting, “Improve the system,” but rather, “Not in my backyard.”

Prisons bring much positive change by Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, Deseret News 

“Missing from the public debate on prison relocation is an acknowledgement of the vital purpose of the prison and the valuable service rendered by corrections employees.”

Our 2015 community goals, Daily Herald

Find a prison location outside Utah County: The Prison Relocation Committee must determine the best location for the Utah State Prison.”

Letter: Prison hysteria by Gordon Springer, Salt Lake City, Deseret News

STORIES OF INTEREST

As more inmates are released from prison, more parolees return by Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times

“Randy Whittenburg was a ‘commendable’ candidate for release from prison. After 31 years behind bars for his role in a Los Angeles strong-arm robbery that ended in murder, Whittenburg had earned four vocational certificates; completed Bible study, anger management and 12-step programs; and accumulated a file of prison officials’ praise. He was married and had detailed plans for success.”

Record Number of Prison Lifers Released, but Few Return by Ken Broder, AllGov California

“California has been paroling prison inmates with life sentences at a record rate since Governor Jerry Brown  took office and, so far, they don’t seem to be bouncing back.”

Are More Criminal Justice Reforms on the Horizon in 2015? by Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Brennan Center for Justice

“2014 was a year, as many are, of modest steps forward and a few steps back in criminal justice reform. But the national focus on flaws in our criminal justice system could lead to stronger reforms in 2015.”

Editorial: Kids and Jails, a Bad Combination, The New York Times

“There are few bright spots in America’s four-decade-long incarceration boom, but one enduring success — amid all the wasted money and ruined lives — has been the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the landmark law passed by Congress in 1974.”

Charles Koch to push criminal justice reform ‘over the next year’ by Ashley Killough, CNN

“Charles Koch, the billionaire GOP donor whose money plays a big role in shaping Republican campaign efforts, said he plans to make criminal justice reform a priority of his as the country heads into the next presidential election.”

 

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