A key bill to alleviate recidivism and modernize the state’s overburdened probation system was discussed recently at the House Committee on Judiciary.
Prosecutors in Arkansas offered little support Tuesday for efforts to expand parole and probation programs and other alternatives to prison, calling a recent report on overcrowding overblown.
In a collaborative effort, the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board in Local Development Area 12 has partnered with the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office to establish a specialized Tennessee Career Center on the campus of the Dyer County Correction Works Center. Opened in 2015, the center is designed to house up to 35 male inmates, while also providing counseling on relapse prevention, drug and alcohol education, and socialization.
Rating a defendant’s risk of future crime is often done in conjunction with an evaluation of a defendant’s rehabilitation needs. The Justice Department’s National Institute of Corrections now encourages the use of such combined assessments at every stage of the criminal justice process. And a landmark sentencing reform bill currently pending in Congress would mandate the use of such assessments in federal prisons.
The Supreme Court has said emphatically that it is morally and constitutionally wrong to equate offenses committed by adolescents with those carried out by adults. And research shows that prosecuting adolescents as adults needlessly destroys their lives and turns many of them into career criminals. Yet these lessons have not penetrated some states.
The Arkansas House and Senate Judiciary committees both approved bills that would allow state officials to share some data on youth offenders. Senate Bill 8 and its parallel legislation, House Bill 1013, would permit the Department of Human Services’ Youth Services Division to release juvenile records to any person or group for the purpose of research.
“Data” was the word of the day at the Stepping Up Summit, held April 17 to 19 in Washington, D.C. Teams from 50 U.S. counties gathered at the summit, the latest event held by the Stepping Up Initiative, which seeks to reduce the numbers of people with mental illness in America’s county jails. The initiative is sponsored by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem wants to shift money from incarceration to treatment to better address mental health and addiction problems and curb North Dakota’s growing inmate population.
Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation Thursday aimed at reducing the state prison population by more than 1,000 inmates while plowing millions of dollars into crime prevention.
A new program at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women is helping inmates land higher paying jobs following their release. Fifteen non-violent offenders were chosen to participate in a first-of-its-kind program in the nation. The women spent seven weeks learning different positions in the transportation, distribution and logistics field. The field has grown nationally by 20 percent, but the field is under-represented by women.