Prison Legal News

Prison Legal News (140)

Ankle-Monitoring Braceletes

Ankle bracelets, which test alcohol exuded from a person's skin, would give Seattle courts a cost-effective way to monitor the behavior of those convicted of drunken driving or awaiting trial on DUI charges.

COURTNEY BLETHEN RIFFKIN / SEATTLE TIMES

Seattle Times staff reporter

Alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelets, the unflattering fashion accessory worn by troubled actress Lindsay Lohan and a growing number of DUI offenders in Washington state, are coming to Seattle.

Seattle Municipal Court plans to begin using the bracelets to keep tabs on drunken-driving defendants. The bracelets, which test alcohol exuded from a person's skin, are viewed as a cost-effective way to monitor the behavior of those convicted of drunken driving or awaiting trial on DUI charges.

Proponents, including a growing number of state judges, say they're cheaper than making offenders sit in jail.

"We were looking for ways to not put people in jail because of the continuing high cost of doing so," said Judge Brett Buckley of Thurston County District Court, which uses the bracelets. "Our jails are overcrowded. I'm sure Seattle's and King County's are the same."

Tier of Prison Cells
Posted: 10:46 AM May 5, 2011
From civil citations for juveniles instead of lock-up to loosened restrictions allowing former inmates to find work, bills aimed at decreasing Florida’s prison population are sailing toward passage.
Reporter: Margie Menzel, The News Service of Florid

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, May 4, 2011.....After more than a decade during which the Republican mantra was to get tougher on criminals, measures aimed at more gently helping some criminals and ex-offenders break a cycle of incarceration and recidivism – while saving the state money – are quietly becoming law this year.

From civil citations for juveniles instead of lock-up to loosened restrictions allowing former inmates to find work, bills aimed at decreasing Florida’s prison population are sailing toward passage.

by Alicia E. Barrón
Video report by Tyler Baldwin
Posted on February 8, 2011 at 6:08 PM
Updated Wednesday, Feb 9 at 8:35 AM

 

PHOENIX, Arizona – If certain lawmakers get their way, there will be a fee for anyone going to visit someone in prison.

The latest budget proposal that is part of Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget plan imposes a fee for visiting loved ones behind bars.

A family would be charged $25 for every person over the age of 8 to help pay for their background check.

Melissa, an inmate’s wife, says she drives two and a half hours to visit her husband and father of her two kids. He is in the middle of a four-year sentence for a drug charge.


    Ohio Governor John Kasich could sell or lease six prisons and the state turnpike under the $55.6 billion, two-year budget that passed the Republican-led House of Representatives 59-40 yesterday.

    The plan, which goes to the Republican-run Senate, erases a deficit of almost $8 billion without raising taxes while eliminating an estate levy and maintaining “as much as possible” funding for education and other services, Republicans said. It passed without any support from Democrats.

    The Oklahoma House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported a measure that would expand both the use of community sentencing programs and electronic monitoring of nonviolent inmates. It also would limit the governor’s role in the parole process for nonviolent offenders.

    BY MICHAEL MCNUTT    
    Published: May 6, 2011

    A bill intended to relieve prison overcrowding and reduce the strain it places on the state budget is on the way to the governor.

    The House of Representatives on Thursday approved House Bill 2131, which among other things would expand both the use of community sentencing programs and the electronic monitoring of low-risk, nonviolent inmates.

    It’s the first significant piece of legislation favoring alternative sentences for nonviolent offenders. Legislators over the years have passed “tough on crime” measures that have increased penalties and prison sentences, a key reason why Oklahoma’s incarceration rate routinely ranks in the top five nationally.

    Ohio prison imate grabbing his cell bars

    Thursday, May 5, 2011  03:08 AM 
    By Alan Johnson
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH 

    There's work still to be done, but Ohio appears poised to enact a major criminal sentencing overhaul - with uncharacteristic bipartisan support.

    House Bill 96, passed 95-2 yesterday by the Ohio House, is estimated to save the state nearly $78 million annually on prison costs, in part by diverting non-violent offenders to community programs and giving inmates credit off their sentences for participating in treatment and training.

    Friday, 06 May 2011 03:24

    The GOP's Shady Plan to Privatize Prisons

    Written by

    Prison inmate in orange with hands crossed through prison bars

    April 28, 2011 |

    Last August, two prisoners escaped from an Arizona penitentiary and fled to New Mexico, where they ambushed a couple, shot them to death, and lit their bodies on fire inside a trailer.

    These fugitives didn't escape from just any facility: They were housed in a privately run prison managed by the Utah-based Management Training Corporation. After the incident, a review by the Arizona Department of Corrections concluded that the prison had poorly trained staff and deficient equipment—including a faulty security system that emitted so many false alarms, the prison staff simply ignored it.

     

    More than half of all Alaska prisoners released in 2004 returned to prison within three years, according to a national study released Wednesday by the Pew Center on the States.

    At a recidivism rate of 50.4 percent, Alaska joined five other states -- Minnesota, California, Missouri, Illinois and Vermont -- where convicts are most likely to re-offend. The study tracked prisoners until 2007 and included more than 5,800 ex-cons in Alaska who were caught committing new crimes or breaking the conditions of their release before heading back behind bars.

    Tuesday, Apr 5 2011, 4:52 pm
    By Susan Meeker/Tri-County Newspapers

    Texas Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will eventually shift the responsibility of some state prisoners to the counties.

    Assembly Bill 109 was written to help cut the state's $27 billion deficit, reduce prison overcrowding and keep low-level offenders closer to home and rehabilitation services.

    But county officials say it could become a law enforcement disaster for rural counties strapped for money.

    Thursday, 05 May 2011 14:29

    Pay fine or do time

    Written by
    Inmate looking through prison bars made of money
    Tom Jackson  
    10:07 AM Apr 10 2011

    Sandusky, Ohio

    Tarah Guy has a simple explanation for why she didn't pay her fines and court costs when she was convicted of a minor alcohol charge.

    "Whatever money I was getting was for me and my daughter," said Guy, 21, a Huron resident who has a 3-year-old child. "I didn't have money at all to give to the courts."

    If a local resident owes $500 to a big box store, the best the store can do is to turn the person over to a collection agency. The person might have to endure some ugly phone calls and his or her credit rating might suffer. But if the person owes $500 to a court, he or she faces jail time.