Week ending July 5, 2015

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UTAH STATE PRISON

Run-On Sentence: A Game of Healing by Rick Maese, The Washington Post

“The prison’s small gym had begun to smell like sweat. The room was filled with heavy breathing, grunts and inmates counting their reps. In one corner, a group huddled around a prisoner on the bench press, spotters standing ready at either side with a third behind him. A prison therapist observed from one corner.”

SENTENCING

Should Megan Grunwald get life without parole? by Pat Reavy, Deseret News

“She wasn’t old enough to vote. She should have been preparing for her freshman year in college. Instead, Meagan Grunwald, who was 17 when she drove the getaway vehicle for her boyfriend after he shot and killed a Utah County sheriff’s sergeant and later shot and critically injured another deputy, could be sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

3 more Utah prison employees on leave after inmate dies from missed dialysis by Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune

“Three Utah State Prison employees have joined their boss on administrative leave amidst investigations by the state Department of Corrections into the April 5 death of inmate Ramon C. Estrada in connection with a missed dialysis appointments.”

3 more employees put on leave as investigation into Utah State Prison inmate’s death continues by Mark Green and Caroline Connolly, Fox13

“Three more employees at the Utah State Prison have been placed on administrative leave based on the preliminary findings of two investigations sparked April 5 when an inmate died after he didn’t receive scheduled dialysis treatments.”

July 2 press release: Update on April 5 inmate death

OPINION

Move the prison for the sake of better prisoner reform by People Not Prisons, Deseret News

“Utah has a uniquely religious culture, a culture that often espouses important values of charity and forgiveness. We now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to act on these values — by building a new and better prison from the ground up. Unfortunately, a large part of our community seems ready to throw away this amazing opportunity.”

Letter: A ‘cursory’ look

STORIES OF INTEREST

The ACLU Has a New Plan to Win on Criminal Justice Reform and LGBT Equality by Zoe Carpenter, The Nation

“Though the Supreme court gave the left a series of resounding victories last week. one of the nation’s leading legal groups is increasingly looking beyond Washington and the court to advance its agenda.”

Ariz. sends special forces to quell Kingman prison riot by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy and Craig Harris, The Arizona Republic

“A private prison near Kingman that was rocked with rioting during the July 4th weekend appeared under control Sunday, after the Arizona Department of Corrections was forced to bring in 96 members of its special tactical support unit to help quell the disturbances.”

Georgia Leads A Push To Help Ex-Prisoners Get Jobs by Susanna Capelouto, NPR

“In the 1990s, states went on a prison-building binge. Today, millions who spent time in those prisons are back in society — and many are struggling to find work. Jay Neal is in charge of Georgia’s new office of re-entry. Its purpose is clear: “Helping Georgia’s returning citizens find training, assisting Georgia’s returning citizens find jobs,” he reads off the website.”

Jersey City bakery hiring ex-convicts through McGreevey program by Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal

“Martin’s Place, the city’s prisoner re-entry and jobs program, has released a video touting its efforts to bring jobs to ex-convicts. Cocoa Bakery, the Downtown Jersey City café and bakery located on Grand Street, has hired three former offenders through Martin’s Place, the Martin Luther King Drive office of the Jersey City Employment and Training Program, run by former Gov. Jim McGreevey.”

Sentencing reform dies in Legislature by Jordan Schrader, The News Tribune (Washington)

“A plan to address Washington’s highest-in-the-nation levels of property crime likely won’t move forward before lawmakers leave Olympia for the year, two supporters said.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Sentencing Reform Law by eNews Park Forest 

“Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation yesterday to reform the state’s severely punitive marijuana laws and reduce criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession. The law is expected to save the state up to $17 million and will reduce the chances of Louisianans caught with small amounts of marijuana ending up with lengthy jail or prison sentences or saddled with a criminal conviction.”

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