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JPI Daily News Digest 1/8/2013

National: Have We Lost the War on Drugs?  (Wall Street Journal)
President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs" in 1971. The expectation then was that drug trafficking in the United States could be greatly reduced in a short time through federal policing—and yet the war on drugs continues to this day. The cost has been large in terms of lives, money and the well-being of many Americans, especially the poor and less educated. By most accounts, the gains from the war have been modest at best.

FL: School arrests down; minorites, disabled most arrested (St. Augustine Record)
A new study by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice shows delinquency on school grounds has dropped by roughly half in the last eight years. But minority students and those with disabilities continue to get arrested at more than double the rate of other kids.

CA: California challenges feds' inmate population cap (Huffinton post)
Gov. Jerry Brown is challenging a federal court order that California further reduce its inmate population to improve prison conditions, reigniting a legal battle that already once reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Complying with the court's June deadline for lowering the prison population would endanger public safety, Brown contends in court filings seeking to overturn the deadline and the court's population cap.

NJ: Essex County Launches Program To Keep Mental Health Patients Out Of Jail (CBS)
The Essex County, N.J., Prosecutor’s office has set up a new initiative to steer nonviolent offenders with mental health problems toward treatment programs rather than prison time.

GA: Teen Receives 12 Years in Prison for Robbing Students (Douiglasville)
A Douglasville teen will serve 12 years in prison after robbing and holding multiple students at gun point outside New Manchester High School in 2011, according to Douglas County District Attorney David McDade.

PA: Pennsylvania unyielding in forgiving past crimes (SF Gate)
In five years, Melissa T. Benvegno of Allentown sees herself as a juvenile probation officer or even a federal border patrol agent. Not long ago, those dreams would have been next to impossible for her, given two shoplifting convictions she had in her teens and 20s that would come up every time she applied for a job.

MI: Michigan Law Makes it Easier for Juvenile Offenders to Expunge Criminal Records (JJIE)
In December 2012, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that allows individuals to increase the number of juvenile crimes that are annually erased from their records.

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