JPI Daily News Digest 7/27/12
ND: Supreme Court commission releases study on racial, ethnic bias in courts (Bismarck Tribune)
The North Dakota Commission to Study Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts has completed its study looking into fairness in the state’s justice system.
CA: Crowd-Funding Justice for Exonerated Ex-Prisoners (Press Release)
A crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo seeks to help exonerated ex-prisoners - some of whom spent decades behind bars for crimes they did not commit - get training and support as public speakers. This training will serve the dual role of providing employment to innocent people whose lives have been devastated by wrongful conviction, and help spread the message to key audiences about the risks in the criminal justice system that lead to wrongful imprisonment.
MA: Inmate phone charges obstruct prisoners’ rehabilitation (Boston Online)
The phone companies that provide service at state prisons and county jails are overcharging inmates and their families, who may end up spending more than $100 per week on phone calls alone, recent news reports indicate.
IL: New laws ban sending debtors to prison for debts, protect consumers from high costs of refund anticipation loans (Rock River Times)
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) commended Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s July 25 enactment of two consumer protection measures she wrote and negotiated: The Debtors’ Rights Act of 2012, which will prevent poor people from being jailed over unpaid debts, and an amendment to the Tax Refund Anticipation Loan Reform Act, a measure that will better protect consumers from the exceedingly high costs of refund anticipation loans and refund anticipation checks.
The Missing Moral Language of American Criminal Justice (Urbanite Magazine)
“The rule of law has vanished in America’s criminal justice system.” That is how Harvard University Press begins its description of last year’s The Collapse of American Criminal Justice--Harvard professor William Stuntz’s magisterial, synoptic look at our country’s system of punishment. They continue: “Prosecutors now decide whom to punish and how severely. Almost no one accused of a crime will ever face a jury. Inconsistent policing, rampant plea bargaining, overcrowded courtrooms, and ever more draconian sentencing have produced a gigantic prison population, with black citizens the primary defendants and victims of crime.
MD: Youth jail to be built in Waldorf despite strong opposition from residents (Washington Post)
Despite fierce opposition from some northern Waldorf residents, a juvenile jail will be built in the area after the state buys the land, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services announced this month.
Posted in Criminal Justice News