Current Events

Current Events (135)

Ohio Governor John Kasich talking to reporters
Ohio Governor John Kasich.  Photographer: David Maxwell/Bloomberg
Ohio Governor John Kasich proposed a $55.5 billion biennial spending plan that calls for selling five prisons and issuing bonds for economic development backed by liquor-distribution profits in what he called “the jobs budget.”

“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.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:56

Man Turns to Crime for Prison Health Care

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June 20, 2011, 6:55 pm


As if conjured up by a presidential speechwriter to star in an anecdote about America’s dysfunctional health insurance system, James Verone, an unemployed 59-year-old with a bad back, a sore foot and an undiagnosed growth on his chest, limped into a bank in Gastonia, North Carolina, this month and handed the teller a note, explaining that this was an unarmed robbery, but she’d better turn over $1 and call the cops. That, he figured, would be enough to get himself arrested and sent to prison for a few years, where he could take advantage of the free medical care.

Thursday, 16 June 2011 16:48

Federal prison costs don’t have to be so high

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Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 4:00 pm | Updated: 10:26 am, Wed Jun 15, 2011.

Here is a way to cut the federal budget deficit: early release options — that have to be earned — for thousands of nonviolent federal prisoners held behind bars at great expense.

Early release is an effective and safe way to save a bundle without putting public safety at risk.

The nuts and bolts of an early-release strategy can be found in a recent Families Against Mandatory Minimums report. The FAMM strategy stresses ways to get more inmates out of prison and ways to keep them out.


RAYMONDVILLE, Texas — The first step has been taken to convert the “tent city” that now houses illegal immigrants for use as a federal prison.

The domed structures will be used to hold low-security, short-term, adult male criminal illegal inmigrants, Management and Training Corp. said in a statement.

The facility, which is near the Willacy County jail, in Texas will be transferred from control of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 15:24

Va. program used to warn kids away from crime

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Virginia comowealth attorney giving lecture to school kids
Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Underwood speaks to Paula Williams' eighth-grade class at Azalea Gardens Middle School in Norfolk on Monday, June 6, 2011. "It's so easy to make a bad decision," Underwood told them. (Bill Tiernan | The Virginian-Pilot)

By Sarah Hutchins

Norfolk, Virginia - On a rainy night in 2006, Jade Young and a friend stood watch at a bedroom window as two other friends terrorized and robbed a 90-year-old man.

They tied him up with phone cords and stole his money, liquor, prescription medications and guns. It was only after he broke free and hobbled across the street with his walker that police were notified.

Young, 17 at the time, served 14 months in a juvenile detention center for robbery and statutory burglary. She was treated as an adult and has an adult felony record. The three others involved went to prison.

Young's story was a wake-up call for Norffolk Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Underwood, who prosecuted the case. Underwood said Young, who e-mailed him in 2008, didn't understand how different her life could be after committing a crime.

"You may have put me behind bars," she wrote to Underwood, "but you made me realize that I need more from life than crime." Her words, Underwood said, "made all the difference in the world."

"She's the reason we come to schools now," Underwood told a class of eighth-graders at Azalea Gardens Middle School on Monday.

| Fri Jun. 3, 2011 6:12 PM PDT


Less than a month after retiring from his post as Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Harley G. Lappin has been hired to a top positon at the nation's largest private, for-profit prison contractor, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). In a move that has gone virtually unnoticed by the press except on the business pages, Lappin, who had run the BOP since 2003, has been named CCA's Executive VP and Chief Corrections Officer. According to a company press release, his responsibilities will include "the oversight of facility operations, health services, inmate rehabilitation programs, [and] purchasing."

U.S. Bureau of Prisons and companies claim practice 'helps' prisoners

By Steve Johnson
June 03, 2011

 Female inmates answering phones in a prison system call center
News reports indicate that some materials used by the U.S. military during its May bombing campaign against Libya were made with the labor of prisoners in the United States. The parts were made in federal prison workshops run by the U.S. Bureau of Prison’s UNICOR division.

According to the government’s own website about UNICOR and Federal Prison Industries: “ Its mission is to employ and provide job skills training to the greatest practicable number of inmates confined within the Federal Bureau of Prisons; contribute to the safety and security of our Nation’s Federal correctional facilities by keeping inmates constructively occupied; produce market-priced quality goods and services for sale to the Federal Government; operate in a self-sustaining manner; and minimize FPI’s impact on private business and labor.”


Updated 11:08 a.m., Thursday, May 26, 2011

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia is installing 400 additional bunks in regional jails to ease overcrowding that has forced some inmates to sleep on mattresses on cell floors.

The overcrowding is due to an overflow of inmates awaiting transfer to prisons, which don't have space for them.

The additional 400 bunks are the maximum number that can be installed in the regional jails, said Joe DeLong, deputy secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

"We don't have any room to put in any more bunks. At some point, we can't even put in enough bunks to accommodate all of them," DeLong told The Register-Herald.

A staggering number of illegal immigrants are housed in California's prisons and jails, and it's taxpayers who foot the huge bill. Eyewitness News investigated the numbers and asked lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington what can be done.

Story Created: May 25, 2011 at 6:47 PM PDT
Story Updated: May 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM PDT

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A staggering number of illegal immigrants are housed in California's prisons and jails, and it's taxpayers who foot the huge bill.

Eyewitness News investigated the numbers and asked lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington what can be done.

Sunday, 29 May 2011 16:39

PA Prisoners Returned From Michigan Jails

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Friday, May 27, 2011

HARRISBURG -- More than 1,000 inmates sent to Michigan prisons once again are housed in Pennsylvania, state corrections officials announced today.

Pennsylvania transferred the prisoners in February 2010 to alleviate crowding due to a moratorium on new paroles. Another 1,000 prisoners were sent to Virginia.