Monthly Archives: August 2012

VIDEO: The Increasing Use of Private, For-Profit Prisons

Video from the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange of an interview with Alex Friedmann, Associate Director of Prison Legal News, on the rise of the privatized prison industry.

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Kentucky inmate on the run after overpowering jailer

A more successful escape than our confused friend from New Mexico.  This inmate complained of chest pains and was being transported to a medical facility.  Despite being reportedly handcuffed and shackled, he somehow managed to “jump” the deputy with a sharp object, took his shoes, put the deputy in the back of the van, drove some distance down the road, and then released the deputy.

Read the article here.

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Freed inmate back behind bars after allegedly stealing jail pants

This article, also about Los Angeles County (see below post), also makes me wonder about their practices.  I understand why law enforcement, when seeing someone running around with jail-issued clothing on, would be concerned about a possible escape and would want to detain him until they could verify that he had not in fact escaped from a facility.  But why would you book him for stolen pants and why would you set bail at $20,000?  Trust me, the pants are not worth that much.  If I were a Los Angeles taxpayer, I would not want to pay one dime to house that man.

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L.A. County computer screening could reduce inmate population

From the article: “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is turning to a new computer software intended to help officials determine which inmates seem least likely to commit new crimes in an effort to reduce the jail population.  Dubbed COMPAS—an acronym for Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions —the screening program uses proprietary software developed by Northpointe Inc., a Colorado-based criminal justice and research consultant. The sheriff’s department has signed an initial $75,000 contract to use the program.”

I am not sure I understand this article.  Is this not just a standard risk assessment system, in computerized form?  Did they not utilize risk assessment prior to this software?

Read the article here.

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NY prison shock camps claim lower recidivism

From the article: “New York corrections officials say they have graduated 45,000 inmates from military-style boot camp over the past 25 years and data shows that most don’t commit new crimes.

Established around the country in the 1980s as an alternative to regular prison, the so-called “shock camps” got mixed reviews and several states dropped them. New York kept three camps going with a model they say is effective and cutting down the rate of repeat offenses and saving money.”

Read more here.

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More paroles help shrink Iowa prison population

From the article: “A 5 percent decline in the state’s prison population between 2011 and 2012 — the largest drop within a year — is the result of a 40 percent increase in paroles, according to prison officials.”

Read more here.

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State auditor finds financial discrepancies in inmate accounts at N.J. juvenile facilities

“State authorities are investigating what happened to more than $16,000 withdrawn from a bank account belonging to juvenile inmates in Ocean County, as well as the possibility that 11 cash advances were authorized with forged signatures, the state Auditor’s Office said in a report issued today.”

Read more here.

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Inmate Uses Popsicle Sticks In Escape Attempt From New Mexico Jail

He reportedly escaped from his cell…and then climbed back inside.  I hate to tell him this, but he needs to rethink his escape strategy.

Read the Huffington Post article here.

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Washington Department of Corrections to pay families of murder victims $3M

From the article: “The state has agreed to pay a $3 million settlement to the families of the victims in the 2010 Lewis County triple-homicide committed by an ex-convict who was supposed to be under strict supervision by the Department of Corrections.”

Read more here.

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NH police investigate breach of prison computers

From the article: “New Hampshire state police are investigating how convicts at the state prison in Concord hacked into a sensitive Department of Corrections system and whether internal files had been corrupted.

The security breach was discovered last week by a corrections staff member working in the prison industries shops, corrections spokesman Jeffrey Lyons said. About two dozen inmates have access to a cluster of computers on a closed network.”

I am very much a proponent of inmate education, particularly computer education that they may not have received prior to incarceration and that is a necessary part of today’s workforce…at the same time, who didn’t see this coming?

Read the article here.

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