Tag Archives: legislation

Oklahoma Department of Corrections wants private prison companies to share information, official says

From the article: “The actions of a private prison company that took months to turn over investigative materials to local agencies after a violent prison riot last year in Sayre could lead to a change in Oklahoma law…The change would force private prison companies housing out-of-state inmates in Oklahoma to provide information concerning “a riot, escape or other serious emergency and facility operations upon request of Oklahoma DOC,” agency records show.”

Read more here.

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UK: Prison mobiles Bill clears Commons

From the article: “Conservative MP Stuart Andrew told MPs the planned new law would allow jail chiefs to destroy or sell phones and give profits to victims’ groups, revealing 40,000 mobile phones were being stored by the Prison Service, costing “some £20,000 a year”.

Read more here.

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TX: State caught in middle in medical parole debate

From the article: “Over the past year, Texas taxpayers have spent $6,000 a day on medical treatments for one prisoner who has run up a whopping $2 million bill…This prisoner has also become the poster person for advocates and legislators such as state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who are pushing for more prisoners to receive medical paroles. It’s a fiercely emotional issue pitting victims against criminals, with the state caught in the middle, balancing fiscal responsibility with justice and fairness.”

This article highlights the choices that the state must make in determining whether to release inmates with medical conditions that not only impose a high cost for taxpayers, but also likely impede the future commission of crime.  Read more here.

In Ohio, legislators attempted to somewhat deal with this issue by passing Ohio Revised Code Section 2967.05, “Release as if on parole of dying prisoner.”  The law was intended to allow the prison system to parole inmates who have been determined to be in imminent threat of death (generally within six months).  However, there were so many exclusions added on to the legislation that essentially no one could actually be released.

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Oregon prison puzzle: Cut costs but keep public safe

From the article: “State forecasters say a growing population and tougher sentencing measures will add 2,300 people to Oregon’s inmate count in the next decade. Changing that, the data suggest, will require backing off on sentences, sparing more people from prison, and spending more to keep offenders from committing new crimes.”  Read more here.

Well, Oregonians, sounds like you’re gearing up to follow CA and OH’s lead to pass legislation to keep nonviolent felons out of prison, just be prepared for the judicial backlash.

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CA: State’s prison overhaul changes sentencing structures but leaves judges with little discretion

This is very similar to the situation in Ohio.  The prisons are overcrowded, after years of dickering the legislature passes legislation to keep lower level offenders out of prison, and then there is backlash due to the infringement on judicial discretion.  Read more on CA here.

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Pa. measure aims to reduce inmate costs

From the article: “Gov. Corbett signed into law Thursday sweeping prison reform legislation aimed at reducing recidivism and lowering the skyrocketing cost of housing the state’s inmates…Under the law, counties have the option to house prisoners who normally would go to state prisons. Counties such as Philadelphia with overcrowded jails could opt out, but upstate counties such as Columbia, with empty beds, might take on prisoners from other counties, Corbett said.”

Read more here.

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NZ: Prison strip search changes unlikely to proceed

According to this article, the New Zealand parliament is considering – but is likely to reject – modifications to the strip search policy that would have allowed strip searches to be conducted without the approval of a manager.

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MDOC Commissioner Epps’ budget presentation by the numbers

Some stats from the budget request:

  • Mississippi leads the nation in locking people up at a rate of 686 inmates per 100,000 residents, based on 2010 figures. The national average is 439.
  • Mississippi is leader in average prison sentences, at 6.05 years compared to a national average of 5.42 years.
  • The state system has more than 22,000 people in custody and 39,000 under supervision.
  • 78 percent of the inmates use alcohol or drugs and many committed crimes while under the influence or to feed a habit.

Read more here.

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‘Mass release’ of state prisoners not a given if amendment fails

From the article: “When Alabama voters go the polls Sept. 18, they’ll face a choice — shift $437 million from a state trust fund to patch the state budget, or brace for a “mass release” of state prison inmates.”

The wording apparently reads that the amendment is “to provide adequate funding for the State General Fund budget, to prevent the mass release of prisoners from Alabama prisons, and to protect critical health services to Alabama children, elderly and mothers.”

Well, Alabama voters, you have two choices: (1) pass this amendment or (2) prepare for total chaos and martial law, lock your doors and hide your children, as the prisoners run amok across the land.

No pressure.  Take your time.

Read the article here.

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