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JPI Daily News Digest for 11/9/12

NH: Audits criticize state prison system for unequal treatment of women inmates  (The Telegraph)
Two performance audits criticized administration of the state prison system for unequal services for male and female inmates and overly liberal use of overtime pay.

National: Crime Pays—for Phone Companies (Blooomberg Businessweek)
Calling home costs just pennies a minute for most Americans. Not so for the 1.4 million locked up in state prisons. They pay as much as $17 for a 15-minute call. Fed up, more than 200 inmates and relatives wrote to U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski this past summer pleading for his help. “Hello, does anybody hear me out there?” asked David Wrobleski, who’s serving a life sentence in Michigan. “Over the years, I have lost most of my contact with my family and friends due to the increased cost of a telephone call from the prison setting. I come from a very poor family.”

LA: Group pushes for price decrease on inmate calls  (The Advocate)
A coalition of clergy and prisoner support groups voted Tuesday to support efforts by two utility regulators to reduce the cost of telephone calls between prisoners and their families. “States across the country have been dealing with this issue for decades,” said Linda G. Fjeldsjo, coordinator of prison ministry at Catholic Charities.

CA: Prop 35 Passes: California Voters Approve Harsher Sentencing For Human Traffickers (Huffington Post)
California voters sent a strong message to human traffickers Tuesday when they elected to impose harsher sentences on those convicted of the crime.
In a landslide victory, 81.1 percent of voters approved of Prop 35, which would increase fines and prison sentences as well as require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders and disclose internet activities and identities.

CA: California changes policies on prison isolation units (Mercury News)
State corrections officials have announced new policies aimed at dealing with prison gangs and reducing the number of inmates held in isolation cells. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Thursday the new policies will give inmates more incentives to drop their gang activities.

CO: Pot Legalization Changes Everything For Colorado And Washington Cops (Business Insider)
It's about time for police to stop focusing on marijuana and start arresting real criminals, according to marijuana legalization advocates.
More than 45 percent of all drug possession arrests in the U.S. last year were for marijuana, according to the FBI's annual crime report.

CA: California Softens Three-Strikes Law That Allowed Life Sentences For Stealing Socks (HuffingtonPost)
California voters did not abolish the state’s death penalty Tuesday night, but they overwhelmingly passed another ballot initiative that may have an even greater impact on the state’s criminal justice system. With the passage of Proposition 36, state residents voted to ease what is known as the “three-strikes law” — thought to have been the harshest of its kind in the country. The original law required judges to sentence third-time offenders who have committed two violent or serious felonies to 25-year-to-life convictions for any felony, regardless of its severity.

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