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Pretrial release pilots failing to stem county jail spending
The Charleston Gazette
Since the start of West Virginia's pretrial release program, regional jail spending has gone up in three of the five pilot counties. Since 2011, spending has increased in all counties but one, according to research conducted by The Charleston Gazette and produced in conjunction with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
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Don't miss the PBUS Winter Conference, which starts Sunday
More than 200 will be attending this year's PBUS Winter Conference that starts Sunday at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Attendees will see old friends, meet new ones, hear exceptional speakers, congratulate award winners and attend fabulous functions. For Women Only has two speakers: Theresa Fette, president and CEO of the Provident Trust Group who will talk about women as entrepreneurs, and Apollonia Kotero who starred in the movie "Purple Rain" with Prince. Of course, there will be an amazing raffle as well. This is a don't-miss conference.
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The prison problem: Harvard educator studies incarceration
Harvard Magazine
Bruce Western, director of the Kennedy School of Government's Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University, recently met with a man named Jerry, who recently was released from prison after serving 25 years for armed robbery and aggravated rape. Western has come to believe that as offenders' crimes carry a cost to society, so does the shortage of social supports. More than 2.2 million Americans are incarcerated. This population is dynamic: hundreds of thousands of people, mostly men, are released from U.S. prisons each year to try to make a go of it in a world where they have failed before — with the added disadvantage of a prison record. More than two-thirds will be rearrested within three years; half will go back in prison.
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Virginia governor announces milestone in prisoner re-entry support program
Augusta Free Press
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced a milestone in a partnership between the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Virginia Department of Corrections that supports his initiative of successful prisoner re-entry. DMV's outreach program called DMV Connect, launched in March 2012 at Deep Meadow Correctional Center in Powhatan, recently completed expansion into 12 correctional facilities around the state and processed 500 identification cards for inmates preparing for release.
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The drug laws that changed how we punish offenders
The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country, five times as many per capita compared with Britain or Spain. It wasn't always like this. Half a century ago, relatively few people were locked up, and those inmates generally served short sentences. But 40 years ago, New York passed strict sentencing guidelines known as the "Rockefeller drug laws" — after their champion, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller — that put even low-level criminals behind bars for decades. Those tough-on-crime policies became the new normal across the country. But a new debate is under way over the effectiveness of tough sentencing laws.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study looks at pretrial release mechanisms in Dallas County, Texas (PBUS via University of Texas at Dallas)
Charred human remains found in burned cabin occupied by former LA officer (ABC News)
Chief judges group calls for changes in how courts determine bail (The Blog of Legal Times)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

New bill tries to bring 'smart justice' to Florida
Tampa Bay Times
A new proposal dubbed "Smart Justice" would change the way Florida deals with non-violent drug offenders. The bill seeks to reduce recidivism by redirecting some non-violent offenders from high-security prison into re-entry and drug treatment programs. "It's time that we change the way we're doing business," said state Sen. Thad Altman, R-Viera, who is co-sponsoring the measure. "We're in the modern days, the 21st century. But in many ways our criminal justice system is still in the Middle Ages."
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Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of PBUS News Update, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of PBUS, your knowledge and experience in the industry can be of great help to your fellow members. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
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PBUS News Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Elizabeth Zavala, Content Editor, 469.420.2676   
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