PBUS News Update
Jan. 3, 2013

Broward County sheriff-elect considers bail bondsman to head pretrial release program
Outgoing Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti has touted his pretrial release program as one of his top achievements in office — and a lot of people in the justice system agree with him. "That program is important to working poor people but it’s also incredibly important to the citizens of Broward County," said Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, who has often disagreed with Lamberti. Finkelstein and others are worried that Sheriff Elect Scott Israel, who takes office next week, is going to decimate the program.More

The 10 most significant criminal justice stories of 2012
The Crime Report
Even in a year marked by heart-wrenching tragedy, The Crime Report believes it's important not to lose sight of developments in criminal justice that promise to improve the lives of millions of Americans — and even make everyone safer — as we enter 2013. For its second annual "Top 10" list, The Crime Report asked readers, contributors and columnists to join in nominating the stories and issues they believe have had the most significant impact during 2012 — and will bear watching over the next year.More

The Crime Report names Criminal Justice Person of the Year
The Crime Report
A New York University law professor who persuaded the Supreme Court to extend its ban on mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles to young people convicted of murder — and thereby dramatically transformed the landscape of juvenile justice — is The Crime Report's choice for Criminal Justice Person of the Year in 2012. Bryan Stevenson, 53, founder and executive director of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Initiative, has devoted his legal career to securing fair treatment for some of the most unsympathetic offenders in the U.S. criminal justice system.More

NIJ soon to begin releasing 2013 solicitations for research, development, evaluation
National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice will begin releasing their 2013 solicitations for research, development and evaluation soon. Visit its forthcoming funding page to see title and descriptions of forthcoming solicitations. More titles will be added in the future.More

NIC's Frontline Learning Center extends e-learning to correctional line staff
National Jail Exchange
In this article, NIC Management and Program Analyst Scott Weygandt describes NIC's Frontline Learning Center, which was launched in 2012. Frontline is a free, online learning resource for front-line/first-line staff, such as correctional officers, detention officers, probation and parole officers, re-entry specialists and correctional health professionals.More

Investigation: Federal prisoners use snitching for personal gain
USA Today
At least 48,895 federal convicts — 1 of every 8 — had their prison sentences reduced in exchange for helping government investigators, a USA TODAY examination of hundreds of thousands of court cases has found. The deals can chop a decade or more off of their sentences.More

Chesapeake prison opens wing for military veterans
The Virginian-Pilot
The white tile floors, cinder-block walls and rows of steel bunks remind Raymond Riddick of the barracks he stayed in during boot camp in the mid-1980s. "Only, the beds weren't bolted to the floor," the former sailor said while giving a tour of his dormitory at Indian Creek Correctional Center in southern Chesapeake, Va. Riddick, who's locked up following a string of car thefts, is one of about 60 former service members serving out criminal sentences in a new veterans dorm at the medium-security prison.More

Group helps women re-enter society from jail
Philadelphia Inquirer
As her mother and her daughter trimmed the tree, Leah Sabatino realized how far she's come. "I didn't think I'd be sitting at home watching my family decorate for Christmas, after what I went through," says Sabatino, 31, a recovering heroin addict from Philadelphia's Frankford section. Last spring, Sabatino was doing time, again, after violating probation for a 2011 drug conviction in Pennsauken. Losing her sobriety and returning to the Camden County Jail meant "horrible disappointment in myself," but it did reconnect her with Second Chance, Cheryl Marlowe's counseling and mentorship program.More

Webinar discusses role of transitional employment for former inmates
Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships via Vimeo
The Department of Justice's Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships invites you to participate in a webinar on the role of transitional employment programs for formerly incarcerated individuals. Webinar participants will learn more about the importance of transitional employment programs and how these programs impact the returning offender, their families, and the community.More

Second Chance Act giving ex-offenders hope in Chicago
Medill News Service via Austin Weekly News
The revolving door of ex-offenders going in and out of prison remains a major problem in Chicago. U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, who represents more ex-offenders than any other member of the Illinois Congressional delegation, authored legislation that aims to help those former inmates transition back into society. His Second Chance Act passed in Congress in 2008. The law already has channeled hundreds of millions of federal dollars to programs nationwide. President George W. Bush signed the bipartisan bill, and advocates emphasize apparent early successes. But some local observers offer a nuanced picture of the act's impact. While the legislation has promise, its long-term effects will be limited without more funding from Congress.More

Report: Head of pardons office withheld facts from White House in key case
The Department of Justice's pardons office has come under increased scrutiny in the past year since ProPublica and The Washington Post began reporting on race disparity in the selection of pardon recipients and the handling of the Clarence Aaron case. ProPublica's study showed that white applicants have been nearly four times as likely as minorities to be pardoned. Aaron is African-American. More

Send important dates for PBUS News Update
Professional Bail Agents of the United States
For any state bail association that would like timely and important dates included in the PBUS News Update, please send the information to Elizabeth Zavala, content editor, at ezavala@multibriefs.com.More