Week ending Oct. 11, 2015

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

2015 Utah Ops Conference: DIO Director Jerry Pope on “SUCCESS Behind Bars, Thinking Outside the Box

2015 Utah Ops Conference: UCI Director Alan James on “How SUCCESS on the Inside Translates to Success on the Outside”

An Inmate’s Perspective: From Pride to Compassion by Erin Dixon, Draper Journal

“Timothy R. Hansen has resided in the prison for 16 years. Before he entered the prison he said that, “I only knew how to take. I didn’t know how to give love.” The simple act of creating something for someone else changed that perspective into one that will not allow him to send out a crocheted blanket with a single flaw. ”

JUSTICE REINVESTMENT INITIATIVE

Prison Reform Takes Effect in Utah by Morgan Pratt, Utah Public Radio

“The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, effective on Oct. 1 across Utah, allows state inmates to complete programs that will reduce their sentence time by up to four months. ”

STORIES OF INTEREST

Montana judge rules lethal injection drug violates state law by Reuters in The Guardian

“A Montana judge ruled on Tuesday that one of the drugs planned for use in a lethal injection mix violates state law, putting a hold on executions in the state, which has two inmates on death row.”

Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to New York prison inmates by Lauren Gambino, The Guardian

“Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York prison inmates.”

Inmates help other prisoners face death in hospice program by Andrew Welsh-Huggins, The Associated Press

“As late-morning sun streams through narrow prison windows, convicted killer Scott Abram stands beside a fellow inmate, speaks quietly to him and starts singing “Amazing Grace.” The prisoner appears to smile, but it’s difficult to gauge his response. He is dying.”

National Week of Action For School-To-Prison Pipeline by Diego Mendiola, Utah Public Radio

“Last week was national week of action against school pushout, a practice where schools take an active role in discouraging a student’s education through detention, suspension and expulsion; instead of peer, institutional and parental support.”

Ryan says ‘felon’ label hurts convicts chances of finding work by Dan Moran, Chicago Tribune

“Drawing from his personal experience as a federal inmate, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan on Friday bemoaned society’s use of the word “felon” to describe people convicted of felony crimes, saying the practice hinders people from finding work after prison.”

Catholic support for prison sentencing reform bill by Vinnie Rotondaro, National Catholic Reporter

Two prominent Catholics have endorsed an important new bipartisan criminal justice reform bill. Sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin, among others, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 would reduce sentences for some current federal prisoners while creating shorter sentences for future prisoners.”

Ex-inmates’ community re-entry aided by Fairfield County group by Mary Beth Lane, The Columbus Dispatch

” Inmates released from jail or prison in Fairfield County now have one-stop shopping if they need help with food and clothing, or resume-writing and job-hunting.”

Inmates raise puppies in jail, almost never end up behind bars by Courtney Friedman, KSAT

“Five puppies from the Guide Dogs of Texas have now been inducted and handed off to their raisers. One will be raised by KSAT and two of the other four will be raised by Texas inmates.”

Digital literacy will reduce recidivism in the long term by Hillary Schaub and Darrell M. West, Brookings Institute

“Offenders typically return to prison due to a variety of factors: most often, a lack of education, stable employment and housing, addiction, and other mental health issues. These factors often stack the odds against offenders once they have been released, making it far too easy to ultimately return to prison.”

Reauthorizing the Second Chance Act is Essential to More Successful Prisoner Re-Entry by Sen. Rob Portman and Rep. Danny K. Davis, Roll Call

“About 95 percent of the people in our prisons will eventually return to society. It is in all of our interests to give these individuals a second chance. That may mean helping someone break a drug habit, acquire needed skills or deal with a mental health issue to hold a job, support a family and pay taxes.”

OPINION: Vivitrol could help pave a path out of recidivism by Frederick News-Post

“Last week, an inmate at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center received an injection of Vivitrol he hopes will get him back on the path of recovery from heroin addiction.”

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