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JPI Daily News Digest 11/14/2012

CA: New California prison program helps foreign-born inmates get diploma (KSWT News)
 A new program will allow foreign-born national inmates to obtain a high school education while still in prison. It took a visit from The Consulate to Calipatria State Prison earlier this year to get the idea out there.

National: Drug War Poll Shows Americans Believe U.S. Is Losing  (Huffington Post)
Americans believe overwhelmingly that the U.S. is losing the war on drugs and are unenthusiastic about spending more money to win it, according to a Rasmussen poll released Tuesday.

CT: Rethinking Prison Terms For Juveniles (The Courant)
Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and new developments in psychology and brain science are prompting Connecticut to reconsider prison sentences for juveniles. The courts allow for a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders, but juveniles in Connecticut can still receive mandatory sentences of life without parole in adult court.

MO: Ruling Could Free 84 Juveniles Serving Life Without Parole (KOMU, NBC)
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned mandatory life without parole sentences for juvenile homicide offenders eventually could yield the freedom of 84 Missouri inmates currently serving those sentences for crimes they committed before the age of 18.

CA: Prison Rehab Programs on the Rise (KALW Public Radio)
California, last week’s vote was in many ways a referendum on our criminal justice system. Voters rejected Proposition 34, and so the state’s death penalty will remain in place. But Californians also amended the so-called three strikes law, so that nonviolent offenders are less likely to spend their whole lives in prison. That second vote suggests that voters may be starting to think more about rehabilitation than punishment.  

KT: Costs less at halfway houses (Courier Journal)
No guards watch over them. No alarms will sound if they walk out the doors. No uniforms are required. The 70 men in the halfway house at Dismas Charities St. Ann have come to the facility off Algonquin Parkway to learn personal responsibility and deal with their addictions. They are prisoners sent there by the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Some will complete the program and be released on parole, while others may go to other facilities to complete their sentences or await parole.

PA: Philly Court Helps Sex Workers Heal  (The Fix)
Philadelphia's Project Dawn Court is no traditional court of law. Part justice, part therapy, it's aimed at helping women with repeat prostitution offenses to exit the criminal justice system. As well as regular court hearings, it provides supervised treatment services to target the addiction and mental health issues that drove the women to sex work in the first place.

National: Vagrancy Laws, Poll Taxes, Financialization and the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Mississippi  (Truth Out)
Jim Crow continues to stalk Mississippi with an assortment of old black codes and a newer, corporate-inspired school-to-prison pipeline that so blatantly exploits the state's African-American youth, the federal government has been compelled to intervene.

MI: Juvenile lifers: Michigan lawmakers quietly propose new sentencing hearings, possibility of parole (MLive)
A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has quietly introduced a series of bills that would redefine the way juvenile murder convicts are sentenced in Michigan and provide current inmates with a chance at parole.

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