Extreme heat waves across the country have claimed hundreds of lives over the past few years, including at least 52 heat-related deaths between June 30 and July 6 alone. And prison inmates are especially at risk for succumbing to heat-related health issues, according to a federal court that has ruled in favor of an advocacy group that alleges Texas prison officials are violating prisoners’ constitutional rights with poor conditions during high-temperatures days.

Published in Current Events
Nacogdoches Counth Jail Inmates
Nacogdoches County Probation-Office
Nacogdoches county probation-officer
Over a quarter of Americans on probation are in Texas
Posted: Oct 04, 2011 6:53 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2011 7:05 PM EDT

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.

Published in Current Events



At this point, it seems cell phones are pretty much ubiquitous in prisons across the country. Instead of relying on monitored land lines (which are typically either pay phones or make only collect calls), inmates use illegal cell phones to maintain contact with family and friends and some conduct illicit business via the smuggled devices.

Apparently, phones are so widespread, an NPR story reported, that a mother actually called up a Texas prison warden, complaining that her incarcerated son was getting poor reception from his (smuggled) phone.

Reports are flooding in from around the country on how these devices are making their way through the pores of prison walls–and some of these smuggling techniques straddle the fine line between genius and absurd:

Published in Inmate Telephone News