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JPI Daily News Digest 11/6/2012

DC: D.C. jail helps inmates vote, a rarity nationwide (USA Today)
The voters at this southeast Washington polling place were all dressed alike: orange jumpsuit, white shoes. And when they finished voting, they went back to their cell block, not back to work.  Still, voting inside the D.C. jail looked a lot like voting at precincts around the country.

NY & MA: New York City and Massachusetts to Launch the First Social Impact Bond Programs in the United States (CAP)
When the 2012 election finally ends, attention in Washington, D.C., will at last shift to other important subjects, including the impending “fiscal cliff” and the priorities of the “lame duck” Congress. But the refocus on policy also presents an opportunity to think seriously about how to direct government funds toward smart initiatives that deliver real-world results. One way to do that is by funding “what works” initiatives such as social impact bonds. This new type of bond is an innovative financing tool for social programs in which government agencies contract external organizations to achieve measurable, positive social outcomes on key issues, such as homelessness or juvenile delinquency. Payment by the government is made only after the results have been achieved, and the government doesn’t spend a dime on programs that don’t deliver results.

AZ: Jail program reduces recidivism (AZ Daily Sun)
People sentenced to the Coconino County Detention Facility as part of the Repeat Offender Prosecution Enhancement program can qualify for treatment while in custody.The jail has a treatment program for the inmates. Of the inmates who complete the 90-day program, about 35 percent are rearrested after release from jail.

CA: California Spending Big On Healthcare While Shipping Inmates To Outside Hospitals (CBS Local)
Healthcare for prisoners in California used to be so bad that a judge ruled it was unconstitutional and put a federal receiver in charge of fixing it. That was 7 years ago. There’s been a lot of improvement since, most recently, a brand new prison medical facility was constructed in Stockton. It’s billed as a money saver, but some question whether lack of care has turned into Cadillac care.

CA: Measure to reform "three strikes law" on California ballot (All Voices)
In a sign that perhaps some Americans are beginning to think that they imprison too many people, California has a proposition on their ballot that seeks to reform their three strikes law. The U.S is number one in the world for incarcerating people. It costs the U.S. over $80 billion a year to keep two million or so Americans in jail.

Rwanda: Rwanda: Education in Prisons Is a Necessity (All Africa)
Last week Prisons authorities revealed that they have asked the Education Ministry to consider approving their curriculum to pave way for national examination centres in prisons. However this request is yet to be granted according to Mary Gahonzire, the deputy commissioner for the Rwanda Correctional Centre. Documented research shows that education in prison is a sure way of reducing crime and equipping inmates with lifelong skills. Studies on prison education reveal that inmates who took classes while in prison, either vocational training or classes at high school or college level, are less likely to go back to prison within the first three years of release.

Jamaica: Op-Ed: Plea Bargaining in Jamaica (Caribbean Journal)
Blood, sweat, and tears undoubtedly contributed to the enactment of Jamaica’s Plea Negotiations and Agreements Act in 2010. Though this appears to have been a necessary step toward resolving Jamaica’s clogged court system, debate rages about whether or not the legislation is ineffective.

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