Weekly ReCAP in Criminal Justice: October 5, 2012

There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts. – Mohandas Gandhi


OYS says it didn’t advise OPA to cease referrals to Teen Court, The Garden Island, Oct. 3, 2012
“Office of Youth Services Executive Director David Hipp, on a letter dated Friday to the Kaua‘i County Council, denies he had advised the county Office of Prosecuting Attorney to stop referring youth to Hale ‘Opio’s Kaua‘i Teen Court program. At no time did I either advise or direct the Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to cease referrals to Teen Court,” Hipp states in the letter.”

States shift focus to aid parolees’ transition home, Detroit Free Press, October 2, 2012
“In Hawaii, probationers are warned that any infraction — testing positive for drugs, failing to meet with a probation officer or re-offending — will result in immediate arrest and jail time. It’s part of an innovative program called HOPE — Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation Enforcement — introduced in 2005. In New Jersey, offenders who commit technical violations, such as positive drug tests or missed meetings, are sent to an assessment center for up to 30 days so officials can determine whether they should be imprisoned. Those are two of the many approaches states are taking as they grapple with how best to supervise offenders, keep the community safe and still keep costs down. National experts say the most effective programs include swift interaction for violations and more focus on high-risk offenders.”

CURE’s Expectations for a Justice System, CAP Blog, October 2, 2012
“Our friends at CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants) sent this and CAP could not agree more. Kat Brady, CAP Coordinator, will get to meet Charlie and Pauline Sullivan, the power couple behind CURE, when she is in Washington D.C. in a few weeks. Kat will be in D.C. at the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Convention. “Because we believe that…

Da Sleazy Kine: More on the bail bond industry, CAP Blog, October 1, 2012
CAP recognizes the significance of understanding the bail industry’s influence in the criminal justice system. Last month, Justice Policy Institute published three bail reports, revealing that several states have banned for-profit bail companies. Hawai‘i was featured in the second report, in which Justice Policy Institute discussed the antics of Duane “Dog” Chapman, aka “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” as “[a]n example of the strength of the for-profit bail industry’s fight against reasonable and cost-effective pretrial reforms.”

A few days ago, Bill Moyer’s show, entitled “The United States of ALEC,” highlighted the bail industry’s sleazy tactics and its membership in ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), which is heavily supported by the Koch brothers. Follow the link for the video of Bill Moyer’s show and an excerpt from the transcript that discusses the bail industry.
Women inmates perform “Prison Monologues” series, HawaiiNewsNow.com, Sept. 14, 2012
“The women are participants in the Prison Writing Project, which began nine years ago as a small creative writing class at WCCC…Using literature, poetry, biography, film and music, the students learn to write about themes in their own lives,” said Prison Writing Project Director Pat Clough. “They learn to address their fears, longings, anger and shame, using their own words to progress through self discovery and healing.”


Prisons for Profit: A Look at Prison Privatization, CrimProf Blog, Oct. 4, 2012
“Prisons for profit are different from public institutions because they must generate revenues for their shareholders. As a result, they have a direct interest in ensuring that Ohio’s prison system stays full to maximize its profitability…This report seeks to explore the many problems that plague prisons for profit, in the areas of fiscal efficiency, safety, contributions to the community, accountability and effect on recidivism. ”

Parole revocations decline thanks to expanded programming, Grits for Breakfast, Oct. 3, 2012
“Parole revocation hearings increased last year “due to a lawsuit ruling that mandated increased preliminary hearings – queries designed to determine whether a parolee violated a law,” reported the Houston Chronicle (“Parole hearings rise but revocations drop, state says,” Oct. 2), but actual parole revocations continued their decade-long decline, “as officials sentenced violators to short-term stays in intermediate facilities or ordered them to attend substance abuse sessions.”

NAACP: Felon Disenfranchisement Is About Race, The Root, Oct. 2, 2012
“The National Advancement for the Advancement of Colored People came to the Florida Capitol on Tuesday to launch a national campaign against policies that withhold voting rights from millions of people who have a felony conviction on their record.”

Texas habeas law needs updating to accomodating changing science, Grits for Breakfast, Oct. 2, 2012
“Too often, cutting-edge scientific theories send people to prison only to turn out to have more holes than Swiss cheese…[A]s Judge Cathy Cochran lamented in her dissent, there is now more than ever in Texas a “fundamental disconnect between the worlds of science and of law,” particularly in post-conviction proceedings where junk science is most frequently challenged.”

Justice Inc.: Should private companies help Alabama cities enforce the law?, The Birminghman News, Oct. 1, 2012
” Private probation companies, tax collectors, private traffic enforcement – they are the first to arrive in a national wave of privatization that delegates government authority over people like you. But with these arrangements come new questions about civil rights and due process.”

Prisoners’ Letters Offer a Window Into Lives Spent Alone in Tiny Cells, The New York Times, Oct. 1. 2012
“The handwritten letters arrived by the dozens, from men who described in flawed but poignant language what it was like to lose their minds. “I feel like I am developing some kind of skitsophrinia behaviors,” one man wrote. “I hear voices echoing as I try to fall asleep.” Another said his mind “rots” with “thoughts that are uncommon or unnatural and you wonder where the hell did that come from?…”

Gov. Brown signs bill giving juveniles 2nd chance, San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 30, 2012
“Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday announced signing a bill that could one day bring the release of some criminals who were sentenced as juveniles to life in prison. There are 309 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18.”

Guest columnists: We need rational approach to incarceration, Amarillo Globe-News, Sept. 29, 2012
“Our 13-year-old Bridges To Life program is a unique 14-week restorative justice program that is conducted in more than 30 Texas prisons, plus juvenile and transitional housing facilities. Its faith-based curriculum emphasizes topics such as responsibility, accountability, confession, forgiveness and restitution. More than 15,000 inmates have completed this program, and their recidivism rate is roughly 40 percent lower than the statewide average.”

Louisiana death-row inmate Damon Thibodeaux exonerated with DNA evidence, Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2012

Ninth Circuit orders hearing on bad plea advice over three-strikes sentencing, Sentencing Law and Policy, Sept. 28, 2012
“The Ninth Circuit today handed down a notable panel opinion in Miles v. Martel, No. 10-15633 (9th Cir. Sept. 28, 2012) (available here), concerning a possible Sixth Amendment violation based on bad plea advice concerning sentencing prospects.”


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