Week ending Sept. 27, 2015

FROM OUR FACEBOOK PAGE:

On Sept. 11, the Utah State Prison Honor Guard spent the morning at Hidden Hollow Elementary School in Eagle Mountain. The guard was there to retire the school’s flag and replace it with a new one.

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UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Human resources professionals weigh benefits, risks of hiring people with criminal histories by Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

“Serving eight months in a federal prison camp for his part in a mortgage fraud scheme forever changed how Jeffery Garrett approached his job as a human resources director, he says.”

PRISON RELOCATION

Utah Supreme Court rejects ballot effort to stop the prison from moving by Ben Winslow, Fox 13

“The Utah Supreme Court has rejected a ballot effort to stop the state prison from moving, ruling that organizers missed their deadline.”

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Officer shoots, kills intruder who stabbed Salt Lake woman, police say by Pat Reavy, Deseret News

“A Salt Lake police officer shot and killed a man early Wednesday after he allegedly broke into at least two homes and stabbed a woman.”

Police Officer Saves Utah Sisters, Ills Suspect During Violent Home Invasion by Adam Carlson, People Magazine

“With tears in her eyes, a Salt Lake City, Utah, woman is calling a local officer “our angel” after reportedly saving her and her sister by shooting and killing a violent home invader on Wednesday, she told local TV station Fox 13.”

UTAH BOARD OF PARDONS & PAROLE

Family of man killed in DUI crash asks parole board for maximum sentence by Pat Reavy, Deseret News

“Rose Martinez says sometimes she can still hear her husband’s voice.”

RECIDIVISM

Recidivism rates expected to decrease with new housing program for women in Salt Lake County by Lauren Steinbrecher, Fox 13

“The women in the CORE II program have a mantra. ‘Sobriety, empowering, beautiful you. We are the women of Core II,’ said participant and CORE II Leader Brittany Peck.”

77 Percent of State Prisoners Rearrested Within Five Years of Release: Study by Victoria Bekiempis, Newsweek

“A common question concerning prisoners in the U.S. runs: After they are released, how many return to a life of crime? A new Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) analysis sheds some light on this matter.”

As Recidivism Rates Drop in Ohio, Officials Work To Keep Ex-Felons From ‘Revolving Door’ Of Prisons by Brian Bull, Ideastream.org

“A one-day summit on helping former inmates ease back into society and not back behind bars was held today at The Word Church in Warrensville Heights. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction organized the event. Director Gary Mohr says ex-offenders are being helped to tackle addiction, unemployment, and other barriers that may keep them from fully re-integrating into society.”

IN COURT

Utah prison inmate pleads guilty to killing cellmate by The Salt Lake Tribune

“A Utah State Prison inmate who killed his cellmate earlier this year during an apparent fight pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge. Mario Alfonso Lucero, 34, was charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder in the February 10 strangulation death of 23-year-old Julio Guerrero.”

STORIES OF INTEREST

Inside a Philadelphia prison, the pope offers inmates hope and redemption by Karen Heller, The Washington Post

“On his last day in the United States, Pope Francis offered hope to inmates inside this city’s largest prison, telling them that confinement is not the same thing as exclusion.’”

Prison Officials Join Movement to Curb Solitary Confinement by Timothy Williams, The New York Times

“In a sign of how far the nation has moved from supporting solitary confinement for inmates, the leading organization for the nation’s prison and jail administrators on Wednesday called for sharply limiting or even ending its use for extended periods.”

Guarding the Prison Guards: New York State’s Troubled Disciplinary System by Tom Robbins, The New York Times

“A few days after Ramon Fabian arrived at the Ulster Correctional Facility on the southern edge of the Catskill Mountains last year, a guard conducting the morning head count yelled at him to shut up.”

Feds say inmates ran crime rings from inside George prisons by Bill Rankin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Federal authorities have obtained indictments that allege two groups of inmates used cell phones inside state prisons to run a drug ring across the metro area and perpetrate fraud schemes against individuals outside the prison walls. Of the 12 people indicted, two are former Department of Corrections employees, four are current inmates and three are inmates who were granted parole in 2014. The alleged crime rings were run out of Phillips State Prison in Gwinnett County and Valdosta State Prison.”

Restorative Justice celebrates 10 years in midcoast Maine by Abigail Curtis, Bangor Daily News

“A decade ago, when Jeff Trafton was the new police chief for the city of Belfast, he was pretty dubious about a plan some people in town proposed to provide a different kind of justice to wrongdoers.”

Iowa officials: Too many ex-offenders return to prison by Kathy A. Bolten, The Des Moines Register

“Deb Theeler spent 52 months in prison in the early 2000s — only to find out when she was paroled that re-entering society was almost as hard as doing time.”

Michigan looks to address its $2B prison problem with help from full political spectrum by Emily Lawler, MLive.com

“Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder this weekend said prison reform is one of his top priorities to address before the end of the year, breathing new momentum into an ongoing bipartisan effort to address the state’s $2 billion, 43,000-person prison system.”

Inmate challenges use of risk-assessment tool in sentencing by The Associated Press in The Star-Tribune (Wisconsin)

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court could decide whether judges are violating the rights of criminal defendants by using a sentencing software program that assesses their potential risk to reoffend.”

The Politics of Mass Incarceration: Latest Stats Show Nano-Scale Reform Remains the Dominant Trend by James Kilgore, Counterpunch

“Last week the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) published their annual census of the nation’s prison population. After over three decades of uninterrupted yearly increases, 2014 was the fourth year in the last five in which the total number of people in Federal and state prisons fell.”

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