Week ending April 3, 2016

UTAH STATE PRISON

marcheventPrison inmates’ mustaches and memories bring awareness to addiction by Benjamin Zack, Standard-Examiner

“On a rainy spring morning, around 100 inmates gathered in the gym of the Promontory Facility at the Utah State Prison. In addition to their white and green prison uniforms, each man sported a mustache and a homemade blue bracelet.”

 

Inmate charged for biting off piece of man’s ear during fight at Utah State Prison by Mark Green, Fox 13

“An inmate at the Utah State Prison has been charged with mayhem and assault by a prisoner after he allegedly bit off a piece of another inmate’s ear during a fight.”

STORIES OF INTEREST

San Diego job center uses employment to prevent a return behind bars by Nadine Ono,  California Forward

“Stable employment is one factor that can help an individual successfully transition from jail back into the community. Unfortunately, many who are released from jail have few job skills or are in need of resources to find a stable job. A new program in San Diego will provide those resources in an effort to reduce jail recurrence.”

Window for Criminal Justice Reform Closing in Congress by Alan Greenblatt, Governing Magazine

“John Cornyn has been hoping to take a Texas approach to crime nationwide. Currently the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, Cornyn previously served as a judge and state attorney general. Like many people, he’s been impressed with the steps his law-and-order state has taken to address issues such as sentencing and re-entry. “Texas has actually in recent years closed three prison systems, and crime has not spiked,” Cornyn said in a speech on the Senate floor last year.”

Comparing the effectiveness of diversion programs is difficult by Tessa Duvall, Jacksonville.com

“While there are ways to measure the effectiveness of each of the four local diversion programs, direct comparisons are problematic because of differences in record keeping, program criteria and the kids allowed to participate.”

Louisiana’s Expanding Reentry Efforts Promise Cost Savings and Safer Communities by Margaret Mire, The Pelican Post

“Approximately 15,000 state offenders are released from prison each year in Louisiana. Within just five years, nearly half will find themselves back behind bars.”

OPINION: Removing work barriers key to justice reform by Bryant Jackson-Green, The Journal Courier (Illinois)

“It’s no secret Illinois is in terrible financial shape. To be sure, the state’s corrections system is a key contributor. Illinois prisons cost taxpayers $1.4 billion in 2015, up $110 million since 2010.”

New law lets drug offenders regain licenses by Colin A. Young, Sentinel & Enterprise (Massachusetts)

“Shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday, thousands of Massachusetts drug offenders became eligible to have their driver’s licenses reinstated as Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill repealing automatic license suspensions for most drug crimes not related to the operation of a motor vehicle.”

The injustice of Illinois’ scarlet letters by Austin Berg, The Rock River Times

“Tony’s initiation happened when he was 12. Growing up on Chicago’s South Side near 69th and Dante Avenue, gangs such as the Black P. Stone Nation and the Gangster Disciples started recruiting children as early as fifth grade.”

State Opens ‘Reintegration Center’ for DUI Offenders by Daniela Altimari, Hartford Courant

“The state Department of Correction has opened a specialized unit to help prisoners serving time on drunken driving charges return to society.”

Mizzbehavin, New Beeginings, and Beelive: Bees in Prison by Nancy Hill, Beeculture.com

“Crystal’s voice softens as she takes you back to the cold, rainy April night she and nine other women incarcerated at Oregon’s Coffee Creek Correctional Facility met the honey bees. “We didn’t know what to expect,” she says, her waist-length braid just visible when she tips her head to the side. Her deep brown eyes seem to be looking beyond the small table she sits at in the cramped office space at Coffee Creek’s minimum security facility.”

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