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Bail reform group's study gets reactions from New Jersey corrections officials
South Jersey Times
A report from the Drug Policy Alliance analyzing the population of New Jersey’s jails states that about 40 percent of inmates in county jails remain incarcerated simply because they cannot afford to post bail. Corrections officials in Gloucester and Cumberland counties had differing reactions to the study. The report concludes that the current bail system keeps an inordinate number of low-risk offenders incarcerated at taxpayer expense. The Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for drug law reform, plans to push for legislation that would give inmates alternative options for getting released as they await trial and institute a risk assessment system for non-violent offenders.
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Tests found major flaws in parolee GPS monitoring devices
Los Angeles Times
A little more than a year ago, California quietly began conducting tests on the GPS monitoring devices that track the movements of thousands of sex offenders. The results were alarming. One company's devices were deemed so unreliable that California ordered a complete switch to another firm's, citing "imminent danger" to the public. A lawsuit ensued.
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House Judiciary passes amended version of Tomblin's prison reform bill in West Virginia
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Proposed legislation from West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin which addresses the state's problem with prison overcrowding might have passed the Senate 33-0 over two weeks ago but things are slower, across the rotunda, in the House. Senate Bill 371 would institute one year of mandatory post-release supervision for violent offenders and would no longer revoke probation or parole for minor or technical violations.
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Fiscal constraints spur new corrections policies
Vera Institute of Justice
Julie James, Ram Subramanian, and Lauren-Brooke Eisen of Vera's Center on Sentencing and Corrections recently published an article in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology that examines the challenges state corrections agencies have faced during the current budget crisis and the solutions that many states have adopted to trim correctional budgets without endangering public safety. In examining how the fiscal crisis has affected U.S. sentencing and corrections trends, the article discusses how states have accelerated efforts at large-scale reforms with the aim of overhauling expensive, ineffective sanctioning policies and incorporating data-driven policies and programs.
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NRE: Dramatic increase seen in law enforcement-led exonerations
The Crime Report
The number of cases in which police and prosecutors helped exonerate innocent defendants dramatically increased in 2012, according to a report released by the National Registry of Exonerations. Law enforcement authorities initiated or cooperated in more than half of the known exonerations last year: 34 out of 63 cases. It was the first time law enforcement contributed to the majority of exonerations in a year, according to the NRE.
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Webinar:' Work Release Centers, Day Reporting Centers, and Halfway Houses: What Impact Do They Have on Public Safety?'
The Council of State Governments
This webinar, from 2-3:30 p.m. EST April 10, will provide a general overview of work release centers, day reporting centers and halfway houses. The presenter will discuss the specific target groups for which these programs are designed and how various jurisdictions identify and assign offenders to these programs. The presenter also will discuss how these options might be used in combination with other promising practices, specifically looking at the Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement model, which incorporates "swift and certain" responses to probation violations and other anti-social behavior at reasonable costs.
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With Friday closures, curtailed service, sequestration hits courts
United States Courts
As judiciary leaders cautioned House appropriators about sequestration's long-term effects, threatened courthouse closures and employee furloughs are becoming a reality.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Pretrial release bill blindsides bondsmen in West Virginia (The Charleston Gazette)
GPS monitoring suspended by Orange County, Fla., chief judge (Orlando Sentinel)
$20 million in grant funds available to help adult inmates in work-release programs (United States Department of Labor)
Agencies release 'Supervision and Treatment of Sex Offenders' program (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency)

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PBUS News Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Elizabeth Zavala, Senior Editor, Law Enforcement/Public Safety, 469.420.2676   
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