Week ending Nov. 29, 2015

FROM OUR WEBSITE (corrections.utah.gov)







“On Nov. 7 the Utah Department of Corrections held what we hope is a growing and ongoing initiative to bring inmates and their families together in new ways to promote healing and hope, communication and caring — especially for those inmates preparing to return to the community.”


Judge: Defendant can’t depose Utah prosecutors by Jennifer Dobner,  The Salt Lake Tribune

“A St. George judge has amended a court order that would have allowed a murder defendant’s lawyers to depose all of Utah’s 29 county attorneys to determine why some seek the death penalty and some don’t.”


Parole board sets 2043 hearing for Johnny Wall by Ben Winslow, Fox13

“The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has scheduled a 2043 parole hearing for a doctor convicted of killing his ex-wife.”


Opinion: Bakery lifts up community, one hire at a time by Mike Brady, The Journal News

“During this season of family and feasts, we must remember that 1 out of every 6 families in the United States lives below the poverty line.”

Opinion: Cut Sentences for Low-Level Drug Crimes by The New York Times

“Now that Congress is within sight of passing the most significant federal sentencing reforms in a generation, it’s worth taking a closer look at where the legislation falls short.”

Fact Sheet: Trends in U.S. Corrections by The Sentencing Project

Next focus for Alabama prison reform: Mental health by Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser

“The group, whose recommendations on parole and probation passed the Legislature last spring, has turned to mental health issues in prisons and jails, which contributes to overcrowding.”

With low recidivism, mental health court shows progress by Chris Winters, The Herald

“The city’s initiative to divert people with mental health issues who are facing misdemeanors into a special court is starting to show good results.”

NCJPD Implements New Approach to Reduce Juvenile Offender Recidivism by Linda Kor, Arizona Journal

“The juvenile justice system has seen significant changes over the years with a greater expansion on the concept of a therapeutic approach rather than a punitive one when dealing with young offenders. The Navajo County Juvenile Probation Department has taken that mission to heart as it strives to make certain that victims are made whole and that the juveniles in their care are given tools that will direct them to a better path.”

Treating Prisoners With Hepatitis C May Be Worth The Hefty Price by Alison Kodjak, NPR

“Doctors, patients and insurers have been struggling with how to determine who should be treated for hepatitis C now that effective but wildly expensive drugs can all but cure the disease. Treating prison inmates is a good investment that would save money in the long run, a study finds.”

Focus on community programs leads to drop in juvenile lockups by Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch

“Huge reductions in juvenile-incarceration rates are nothing new for Ohio, where the number of young felony offenders sent to prison has plummeted over the past two decades. A new national study by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention shows the state is a national leader in diverting juveniles to lower-cost community programs instead of prison.”

Ohio diverts juveniles to counseling programs instead of prison by WTAP TV

“Nearly 500 juveniles are behind bars in Ohio prisons which is a significant drop from over 2,000 locked-up in 1997, but the crimes aren’t decreasing, it’s more incentives. Ohio offers incentives to counties to keep kids out of prison that includes money that local courts can use to send juvenile offenders to counseling programs. Instead of being locked up, they’re heading to a rehab center, getting professional help in a structured environment and in return local courts save money.”

Rare White House Accord with Koch Brothers on Sentencing Frays by Matt Apuzzo and Eric Lipton, The New York Times

“For more than a year, a rare coalition of liberal groups and libertarian-minded conservatives has joined the Obama administration in pushing for the most significant liberalization of America’s criminal justice laws since the beginning of the drug war. That effort has had perhaps no ally more important than Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by a pair of brothers who are well-known conservative billionaires.”

Review of “Good Time” Prison Sentences Finds 1,242 with Errors by WOWT News (Nebraska)

“A review of Nebraska prison sentences has found that nearly one in four inmates received sentences that were too short or too long because of errors in how “good time” credit was applied.”

Criminal Justice Reform Is Gaining steam, What Role Has Philanthropy Played? by Kiersten Marek, Inside Philanthropy

“Criminal justice reform is one area of philanthropy that’s been rapidly gaining steam. A number of top foundations want to see what can be done to bring down incarceration rates, and are putting up capital in a variety of ways to work on the problem.”

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