|Over a quarter of Americans on probation are in Texas|
Just hours ago the Nacogdoches County courthouse was busy with inmates making pleas before any indictment.
The "Jail Call" helped clear-out cells, but it adds to the case load of probation officers.
Half the jail was called to the courthouse. In all, about twenty inmates made the trip. Many pleaded guilty to their crimes, allowing them to get out of jail on probation.
"We have a wide range of sanctions that we use. Of course, with jail being the last one," said Probation Officer Ty McCarty.
In the initial meeting, probation officers tell new probationers the importance of not messing up. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against them.
"It's a little bit pessimistic I think for all of us when anyone goes on probation just because there is a pretty good likelihood that they're not going to successfully complete the probation," said Nacogdoches County District Attorney Nicole Lostracco.
Mississippi corrections officials have saved about $5 million in seven years by releasing 89 terminally ill inmates to their homes or other care facilities.
They are just a fraction of the 21,432 prisoners in the state's corrections system and also represent a small number of those released early for various reasons.
But they are among the most expensive to keep behind bars, so their release often yields the biggest savings.
Of those freed on medical release, some have suffered from cancer, lung disease, heart failure, liver disease and AIDS among other terminal illnesses.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state's prisons chief is trying to limit violence linked to gangs and isolate their leaders by putting troublemakers in new units where they could be restricted to their cells nearly around the clock.
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported Sunday that Ohio's 50,000 inmates have been warned that they could face stiffer punishments if they fight with staff or one another.
"I have directed ... every institution to begin enforcing higher penalties against inmates who are combative with staff and refuse an order to stop fighting (or) assaulting," Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Gary Mohr wrote to inmates in an Aug. 12 memo.
"I cannot and will not tolerate this behavior."
More than 30 firms said to be keen to bid for new contracts as Ken Clarke seeks to improve confidence in alternatives to prison.
Ministers are preparing for a massive expansion in offenders electronic tagging , with private security companies being invited to bid for more than £1bn worth of contracts next month.
The use of electronic tagging has grown rapidly since it was first used in 1999 by courts in England and Wales to enforce curfews. Now more than 20,000 offenders are monitored by private security firms on any given day.The current eight-year contracts, which are held by G4S and Serco electronic monitoring services, are due to end shortly.
BY JOSH SHAFFER - Staff Writer
RALEIGH -- John Henry Fleming was nearing 70 when he arrived at Central Prison, a house-builder and former church deacon who strangled his girlfriend's father.
Fleming had never learned to read or write. He'd never made it past the fourth grade. He spent his final 14 years in the state's most notorious cell block, the oldest man on death row.
But on Sunday, Fleming beat the executioner's needle, dying of natural causes at 83.In one way, Fleming's aging body accomplished what North Carolina could not. The state hasn't put a prisoner to death since 2006, and execution remains in limbo here, stalled by legal challenges.
Maryland - When Capt. Mike King started his career, he met a man who had never tasted a Big Mac, visited a 7-Eleven or dated a woman.That is because King works in the prison system, and the man was an inmate incarcerated before he was even old enough to go to his prom.
His life was one of the examples King and his fellow corrections officers used Friday in an attempt to keep a group of Annapolis children safe. King is part of CHOICES - Children Having Obstacles Involving Choices Eventually Succeed. Members of the group travel the region and show young people how to avoid a life of crime.
"The people who work in these facilities tell you when to go to bed, when to get out of bed, when to start eating, and when to stop," said King, facility administrator of the Poplar Hill Pre-Release Unit in Quantico, Maryland. "We had a guy who was almost beat to death because he snored too loud."
King, along with Capt. Kevin King and Capt. Walter Holmes, gave a presentation to nearly 50 children at the Bay Ridge Gardens Apartments. Group members travel around Maryland, Delaware and Virginia talking to about 5,000 children each year. Last year, this effort won them the Governor's Crime Prevention Award in Maryland.
Holmes displayed images of the Eastern Correctional Institution, a Somerset County facility where he is the housing supervisor. It is the Division of Correction's largest state prison, with 3,200 inmates living on 100 acres. Administratively, Poplar Hill is part of ECI, but is a separate facility.
|Brian Feulner/The Oregonian Jessey H. Allen works with fitness cables in the yard at the minimum security unit of Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras. Oregon prisons will hit capacity in the next two years, triggering the opening of two mothballed prisons in 2013 that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars.|
Oregon's most modern prison sits empty, unused since it was finished three years ago.
Though the state borrowed $120 million to build the medium-security unit at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, it hasn't had the money to guard, feed and otherwise care for inmates the prison was supposed to hold.
It still doesn't.
Oregon taxpayers over the next two years will put more money than ever into the state prison system, but it won't be enough. And the need will only grow as the state braces to add nearly 1,500 prisoners over the next four years.
The state Corrections Department is losing 223 positions. Programs to keep inmates from returning to prison are being weakened. Staff training on topics ranging from gang identification to mental health treatment is being reduced once again. The minimum-security prison next to the Oregon State Penitentiary, closed last fall to save money, will remain dark.
July 7, 2011
Planning is under way for a new prison in Montgomery County.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton says the majority of state prisoners come from Philadelphia and surrounding counties, so the agency wants to house them close to family and friends. Montgomery County was a logical location.
"It allows for family members to visit their incarcerated individual and help them maintain their support mechanisms because 90 percent of our inmates are one day going to go home," McNaughton said. "And family support is one of the things that's important to help them re-enter society."
Within the next couple of weeks the Arizona Department of Corrections will be recommending the company or companies that will be awarded a contract with the State of Arizona. That private detention corporation(s) will be charged with building a couple of new facilities to house inmates.
Although we’ve seen a decline in crime and a decline in a need for new facilities, the private prison industry continues to expand their operations in Arizona by and through relationships like the one they maintain with Chuck Coughlin who owns and runs High Ground Public Affairs and who in turn lobbies for Corrections Corporation of America. Coughlin, amazingly enough, is Governor Jan Brewer’s top political adviser. Although much of this may be a refresher course for many of you, it’s crucial to set the foundation for those who may not be aware of these very highly publicized facts.
Saturday, July 2, 2011 03:07 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Ohio taxpayers now know who wants to buy five state prisons, but they won't find out what kind of a deal they're getting until it's done.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction received bid proposals yesterday from three private prison operators, including one where Gary C. Mohr, the state prisons director, previously worked, and another that now runs two state-owned prisons. They are the three largest private prison operators in the U.S.
They are interested in buying and operating one or more of five prisons put up for sale in the new state budget. The two-year, $55.8 billion budget took effect yesterday.
A new report from the reformist Justice Policy Institute concludes that private prison companies have not only benefited from increased incarceration, they have also helped fuel it.
According to Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies, private prisons have increased their "market share" of the overall prison population. While the number of inmates over the past decade has risen 16 percent, the number in private federal facilities has risen 120 percent and the number in state facilities has risen 33 percent. Meanwhile, the two largest private prison operators, Correction Corporations of America and GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut), raked in a combined $2.9 billion in revenue in 2010.
This month, and possibly as early as next week, the Arizona Department of Corrections is expected to recommend what company or companies should be awarded a contract to provide 5,000 new minimum- and medium-security prison beds.
That contract, put out to bid last January, is moving forward even though, after years of steady growth, Arizona's state-prison population has leveled off for the past year and a half - and even though all five bidders have checkered records of managing other private prisons.
Plans to add 5,000 new prison beds first surfaced last year as part of an unprecedented and massive bill legislators passed to privatize the entire state prison system. That ambitious privatization plan fizzled when no corporations showed any interest in a wholesale takeover. The proposal for 5,000 new private-prison beds survived, however.
July 5, 2011 - 1:39pm
By Jory Heckman
Federal News Radio
The Department of Defense, by law, is required to buy American-made goods. What has drawn recent controversy, however, is DOD's contracting agreement with federal prisons to produce military uniforms, camouflage, training gear and combat footwear.
Reps. Larry Kissell (D-NC) and Walter Jones (R-NC) say they want to put an end to this line of production with their proposed bill, the DOD Textile and Apparel Procurement Fairness Act. If passed, the legislation would help promote businesses with law abiding employees by terminating what they call an unfair contracting advantage the Federal Prison Industries has with the Department of Defense.
“We’re creating a platform for growth, for job creation, for resurgence of a state,” Kasich told reporters today during a briefing after releasing his budget proposal for the nation’s seventh-largest state. Ohio lost 610,000 jobs during the past decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.U.S. state budget deficits that may reach $125 billion in the next fiscal year are forcing governors to turn to banks and builders to help lease or sell assets ranging from turnpikes and lotteries to liquor stores while seeking investors in bridges, roads and other public facilities.Kasich, 58, a Republican who took office in January, had promised not to raise taxes to address a projected $8 billion shortfall from current revenue levels. His plan includes “significant reductions” for most agencies while increasing general-revenue spending by 1 percent in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and by 6 percent in the second year, said Tim Keen, the budget director.