INSIDE:  Texas prison health care costs skyrocket; Maryland grants parole to some juvenile lifers; Alabama parole board only grants 8% of paroles under new leadership
Trending criminal justice news from across the 50 states, presented by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center
 Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 Edited by Allen Houston

1. Commission Meets To Make Improvements To Maine's Criminal Justice System

MAINE: The Justice Reinvestment Initiative's mission is to lower prison spending and population, find solutions for prisoners with mental health and substance abuse disorders, and reduce recidivism.

Nov. 25, 2019 WABI-TV

2. Guards Say They're Scapegoats For A Broken System

NEW YORK: But lawyers for the guards, who have been criminally charged, suggested in court on Monday that their clients were being made into scapegoats for larger problems in the federal prison system that contributed to Mr. Epstein’s death.
Nov. 25, 2019 | New York Times

3. Prison Health Care Costs Are Higher Than Ever in Texas. Many Point To An Aging Prison Population.

TEXAS: The state spent over $750 million on prison health care during the 2019 fiscal year, a 53% increase from seven years earlier, when that cost was less than $500 million.
Nov. 20, 2019 | Texas Tribune

4. Seattle Council Wants To Expand Program That Keeps Low-Level Offenders Out Of Jail, Getting Help They Need

WASHINGTON: Mayor Jenny Durkan’s proposed 2020 budget includes only a modest increase, but the City Council intends to double LEAD’s budget next year, while restricting other repeat-offender strategies pitched by Durkan.

Nov. 25, 2019 | Seattle Times

5. Larry Hogan Grants Parole To Juvenile Lifers, The First Time A Maryland Governor Has Done So In Decades 

MARYLAND: For the first time in 24 years, individuals sentenced to life in a correctional facility for crimes they committed before turning 18 are being paroled by a Maryland governor.

Nov. 23, 2019 | Capital Gazette

6. Less Than 8% Of All Paroles Were Granted In November

ALABAMA:  Under new leadership, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles approved parole in November for just less than 8% of inmates who came before it.

Nov. 24, 2019 | Alabama Daily News

7. Gavin Newsom Wants To Close A California State Prison. It Won't Be Easy
CALIFORNIA: Gov. Gavin Newsom is talking about an idea that has hung around California for more than 150 years: closing a state prison.

Nov. 24, 2019 | Sacramento Bee

8. Pa. Senate Unanimously Passes Proposal To Help Ex-Offenders Get Professional Licenses 
PENNSYLVANIA: The legislation would stop licensing boards from withholding certifications for convictions that are not directly related to a specific line of work.

Nov. 24, 2019 | WITF

9. NC APP Will Help With Reintegration, Reduce Recidivism

NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is hoping a new app, called Pokket, will put a dent in the rate of recidivism by integrating it into the prison system’s new re-entry program for inmates. .

Nov. 26, 2019 | News & Observer

10. Opinion: Whitmer, Let's Build On Success For Youth Justice

MICHIGAN: It’s no small feat that this “Raise the Age” legislation — some five years in the making — became law, and it is a great example of what bipartisan collaboration looks like.

Nov. 26, 2019 | The Detroit News

11. They Send People To Prison Every Day, And Now They Are Pledging To Visit Those Prisons

United States: Prosecutors send people to jail and prison every day, but many have never set foot inside a correctional center. A new initiative signed by roughly 40 of the nation’s most progressive district attorneys aims to rectify that.

Nov. 25, 2019 | Washington Post



8. Edwins, A Restaurant Serving Up Second Chances For Ex-Offenders: Cleveland Champions

OHIO: “How do you change the face of re-entry?” Chrostowski says, stirring Pommeau de Normandie into the apple sauce. “How do you change the views of men and women coming out of prison so that they gain confidence? You have to show them the impossible.”
Nov. 26, 2019 | Cleveland Plain Dealer 
State of Justice is a twice-weekly roundup of the latest in criminal justice reporting from the states, curated by the team at the CSG Justice Center.

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