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JPI Daily News Digest 2/13/2013

OH: FCC considers limiting costs of long-distance calls for families of prisoners in Ohio (Cleveland Online)
The price of long-distance calls for the families of inmates inside Ohio prisons could be coming down this year. The Federal Communications Commission has been looking into the calls' cost in part to make it easier for prisoners and their families to keep in contact and continue to forge family bonds -- bonds experts say are needed to help inmates re-enter society when they are released.

PA: Veterans treatment court entering second year (York Daily Record)
Their military backgrounds were obvious as they strode one by one from the gallery to stand at parade rest in front of the judge.The conversations, though, were casual, the judge asking them how they had done since he last saw them.Remaining in the gallery were their "battle buddies," mostly older veterans, many who served in Vietnam and southeast Asia in the 1960s and early '70s.

TX: Huffman gets governor’s support for bill on specialty courts (Your Houston News)
State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, has filed Senate Bill 462 to address the need for accountability in the operation and performance of the state’s growing number of specialty courts. In the last 10 years, specialty courts in Texas have increased from nine to around 140. Huffman’s legislation requires them to register with the Criminal Justice Division (CJD) of the governor's office and follow best practices to ensure that the programs are effectively accomplishing their intended purpose.

National: For-profit prisons detrimental to criminal justice system  (The Lamron)
The growth of for-profit prisons and a broken criminal justice system have worked together to give the United States the highest rate of incarceration in the world. The U.S. contains 5 percent of the world’s population, yet a full 25 percent of its prisoners. Incarceration is extremely costly, not just monetarily, but on society at large.

National: Drug Policy Alliance: Say It, Mr. President (Drug Policy Alliance)
I firmly believe that at some point during his second administration President Obama is going to address the issue of mass incarceration in America. What I fear is that he is going to wait so long, and ultimately do so with such caution, as to minimize his potential impact. I'll be listening to his State of the Union tonight, hoping against hope that he says something, and says something bold. He's made clear he has other priorities -- the economy, immigration, climate change and now gun violence -- but what a difference it would make for him to speak to this issue when he addresses the nation.

FL: Florida’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Largest in the Nation (ColorLines)
It used to be that getting in a schoolyard fight meant a trip to the principal’s office—detention, maybe. But in Florida, more than any other state, that schoolyard fight can lead to the student’s arrest and even felony charges. Last year 12,000 students were arrested 13,870 times in Florida public schools, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The arrests are meted out unevenly. Black students are just 21 percent of Florida youth, but make up 46 percent of all school-related referrals to law enforcement, according to the Sun Sentinel.

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