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JPI Daily News Digest 2/15/2013

National: New National Standards For Legal Defense Could Help Juveniles (JJIE)
It happens too often in court systems around the country. A teenager is charged with a crime. His family can’t afford a lawyer, but the court won’t assign him one until he can prove a lack of funds. He meets his lawyer for the first time a few minutes before he’s due to appear in court. The lawyer’s waving a file and using words the teenager doesn’t understand. There’s not much time to discuss the circumstances around the charges, the teen’s options in court and their various consequences.

National: The Prison Problem  (Harvard Magazine)
When Jerry enters the pizza place next to Boston’s Government Center, he shakes Bruce Western’s hand heartily. Jerry, who has served 25 years for armed robbery and aggravated rape, was released two months ago. Western is studying what happens to prisoners after their release and has come to interview Jerry about his experience.

IL: Guided by Governor's Vision, Illinois Reforms Criminal Justice System (Market Watch)
Today the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) and Microsoft Corp. announced the successful implementation of the Offender-360 project, a cloud-based criminal justice information system built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The solution directly supports legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn that aims to improve Illinois public safety and criminal justice for the future.

NH: House Hearing on Banning Private Prisons in NH (NH Prison Watch)
the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard testimony on HB 443, which calls for an out and out ban of prison privatization in NH.  Scores of supporters crowded the small room, as Bill Sponsor Rep. Timothy Robertson, a Keene Democrat presented his case “There is no evidence they (private prisons) can save you money,” Robertson said. “The incentive for these for-profit companies is to get more out of it by keeping inmates in longer and treating them worse.”

NC: NC bill could mean prison time for topless women (Charlotte Observer)
A bill that could send women to prison for going topless in public appears set for approval by the North Carolina legislature. Triggered by two topless rallies held in Asheville, the Republican-backed bill headed to a floor vote in the House and would amend the state's indecent exposure law to expand the legal definition of "private parts" to explicitly include "the nipple, or any portion of the areola, or the female breast."

PA: Alternative juvenile offenders program is worth considering (Daily Local)
Later this month, the Easttown Board of Supervisors will have the opportunity to approve an alternative system for dealing with first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders in the township, one of the Upper Main Line communities that struggles with mostly minor crimes from teenagers. The program was brought to the supervisors’ attention through the work of Easttown Police Sgt. David Felker, who endorses it wholeheartedly.

FL: Thousands of student arrests alarm Florida justice leaders (Orlando Sentinel)
Thousands of Florida students are arrested in school each year and taken to jail for behavior that once warranted a trip to the principal's office — a trend that troubles juvenile-justice and civil-rights leaders who say children are being traumatized for noncriminal acts. Though the number of school arrests has dropped significantly since the state eased its "zero tolerance" policies a few years ago, there are still far too many kids handcuffed and hauled away in front of their classmates, said Wansley Walters, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

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