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JPI Daily News Digest 1/22/2013

National: White supremacy and mass incarceration  (Aljazeera)
In a 2011 opinion piece in the Washington Post, Newt Gingrich said, “There is an urgent need to address the astronomical growth in the prison population, with its huge costs in dollars and lost human potential…The criminal justice system is broken, and conservatives must lead the way in fixing it.” An advocacy group called Right on Crime is spearheading Republican efforts to “demand more cost effective approaches that enhance public safety.”

National: Safety at school: Will more trained, armed officers help? (FOX 43)
Among the proposals to improve safety in schools President Barack Obama unveiled this week, was a plan to put $150 million toward hiring as many as 1,000 additional school resource officers, psychologists and counselors in local school districts.

NJ: Initiative Seeks To Redirect Minor Juvenile Offenders [AUDIO] (Radio, NJ 101.5)
In Hunterdon County, a new initiative targets first-time minor juvenile offenders for a special program to redirect their thinking and behavior.“LEAP” stands for the ‘Law Enforcement Adolescent Program.’ Its objective is to reduce the overall number of juveniles entering the court system by providing support and assistance for the kids and their families when they get into minor trouble early on.

CA: California Sheds Prisoners but Grapples With Courts (NY Times)
The gymnasium in the state prison here is hardly glamorous, just some concrete walls and a couple of basketball hoops. But a year ago, those hoops were nothing more than ornaments. The gymnasium at the California Institution for Men was neither alive with the sound of thumping basketballs, nor used for workouts.

National: My View: Treating kids as kids in justice system (Gloucester Times)
Parents of teenagers spend a lot of time working with their kids on making good decisions, because they know that a single bad decision can be life-altering.Our state is one of a handful that automatically tries and sentences 17-year-olds as adults, no matter how minor the charges against them.

MS: Drug offenders get new chance at addiction free life (Picayune Item)
On Friday, 24 people graduated from the 15th Judicial District Drug Court, a program that allows people facing a drug conviction to get their lives back in order. Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell has been instrumental in implementing the Drug Court program in his district, which covers the counties of Lamar, Pearl River, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence and Marion. The program helps drug offenders work towards bettering themselves and their future.

National: FCC Eyes Prison Pay-Phone Rules to Protect Inmates (Atlanta Black Star)
A set of rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission could lower pay-phone rates for prisoners who are subject to extreme fees while trying to keep in touch with family. Changes in the policy have been on the FCC docket for years, but last month the agency made the proposed changes official. Inmates can be charged more than a dollar a minute — high charges for their families should they remain in consistent contact. The FCC would install rate caps and remove per-call charges.


UK: Credit unions support efforts to reduce re-offending  (Liverpool John Moores University)
Research carried out by the Research Unit for Financial Inclusion at LJMU and Unlock (the National Association of Reformed Offenders), has highlighted 13 credit unions working in partnership with 21 local prisons to reduce re-offending. LJMU and UNLOCK launched their new research report - Unlocking Credit Unions -  which explores partnership working between credit unions and prison and probation services, at the House of Commons on Wednesday 16 January 2013 at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions meeting chaired by Damian Hinds MP.

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