THURSDAY | APRIL 24, 2014

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U.S. Widens Clemency Rules to Cut Prison Population

U.S. Widens Clemency Rules to Cut Prison Population

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday. The initiative is part of a broader Obama administration effort to trim the nation’s prison population, ease [...]
NYC Official: Homeless Veteran Shouldn’t Have Been in JailNEW YORK (AP) — A malfunctioning damper diverted heat to the top level of a two-tier observation unit where a city official told The Associated Press a mentally ill, homeless veteran inmate “basically baked to death” in a cell that was at least 100 degrees last month, the head of New York City’s jails system [...]
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Why Did a Homeless Veteran Die in a New York City Jail?NEW YORK (AP) — Investigators are probing how a mentally ill, homeless New York City veteran died last month in a jail cell that city officials told The Associated Press had overheated to at least 100 degrees, apparently because of malfunctioning equipment. Acting Department of Correction Commissioner Mark Cranston said in a statement Wednesday that [...]
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Holder: Shorter Prison Terms for Certain Drug OffendersWASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday endorsed a proposal that would result in shorter prison sentences for many nonviolent drug traffickers, saying the change would rein in runaway federal prison costs and create a fairer criminal justice system. Holder’s backing for a U.S. Sentencing Commission proposal to lower the guideline penalties is [...]
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FBI Opens Investigation of Prison Company in IdahoBOISE, Idaho (AP) — The FBI has launched an investigation of the Corrections Corporation of America over the company’s running of an Idaho prison with a reputation so violent that inmates dubbed it “Gladiator School.”  The Nashville, Tenn.-based CCA has operated Idaho’s largest prison for more than a decade, but last year, CCA officials acknowledged [...]
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Movement Building and Challenging Mass IncarcerationI recently received a spoken word piece called “The New Jim Crows” from an unlikely source – a public defender in North Carolina named Danny Spiegel. The title pays tribute to Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book: “The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” Spiegel’s poem is an outpouring of the heartache and frustrations [...]
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U.S. Attorney General: Let Ex-Inmates Vote Once AgainWASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder called on a group of states Tuesday to restore voting rights to ex-felons, part of a push to fix what he sees as flaws in the criminal justice system that have a disparate impact on racial minorities. “It is time to fundamentally rethink laws that permanently disenfranchise people [...]
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Wash. State Gov. Halts Death Penalty: ‘Too Many Doubts’OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday he was suspending the use of the death penalty in Washington state, announcing a move that he hopes will enable officials to “join a growing national conversation about capital punishment.” The Democrat said he came to the decision after months of review, meetings with family members [...]
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New App Helps Illinois Youth Clear Their Records  In many states, juveniles can get their arrest records – which can stem from a minor offense but still be a barrier to a job and education – expunged if they meet certain requirements. Yet few actually go through the process­­. A new app aims to help Illinois youth clear their records. The app, [...]
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U.S. Govt.: Most School Discipline Shouldn’t Lead to CourtWASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration last week pressed the nation’s schools to abandon what it described as overly zealous discipline policies that send students to court instead of the principal’s office. Even before the announcement, school districts around the country have been taking action to adjust the policies that disproportionately affect minority students. Attorney [...]
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