PBUS News Update
Jun. 28, 2012

Prison reform measure sent to Pennsylvania governor
The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously approved House amendments to Senator Bill 100, The Criminal Justice Reform Act, sending the bill to the governor's desk. The measure seeks to further reduce Pennsylvania's inmate population, which has dramatically increased due to decades of mass incarceration of non-violent offenders and has led to a high rate of recidivism.More

Bond enforcement agents discover meth lab
Bond enforcement officers tipped off police in Huntsville, Ala., about a meth lab at a home with a history of criminal activity. Fugitive recovery agents went to the home looking for a suspect for jumping bail on rape and sodomy charges and while there, they discovered two people working an active meth lab. More

Zimmerman lawyer argues for new bond
George Zimmerman "accepts full responsibility" for misleading a judge about his finances, his lawyer said in a motion requesting a "reasonable bond" be set for his release from jail. Zimmerman, 28, is a neighborhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17, in a Sanford, Fla., neighborhood in February. He told police he shot the teenager in self-defense and has pleaded not guilty.More

Groups supporting the mentally ill bash jail bill
The News & Observer
Eleven groups have joined to fight a bill that would end pre-trial release programs and require mentally ill people to stay in jail for 48 hours after arrest. Thirty-two counties run pre-trial release programs, which try to prevent jail overcrowding by monitoring defendants who are released without bond prior to their court date. Under the bill, pretrial release employees would not be able to interview defendants for at least 48 hours after their arrest. More

Supreme Court: Juveniles can't get automatically sentenced to life without parole for murder
Detroit Free Press
Juveniles convicted of murder can't be automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled. The 5-4 ruling, involving two 14-year-olds convicted in separate robberies in Alabama and Arkansas, struck down 29 state laws that impose mandatory life-without-parole sentences on juvenile murder defendants.More

Bail bondsman tells of search, rescue missions
Gaston Gazette
The covert operation started with the opening of a sliding-glass door. In minutes Mark Derr's team swooped in, escorting a victim to a car and heading toward Charlotte, N.C. It's a tale that Derr, a Lincolnton, N.C., bail bondsman, experienced while rescuing victims of human trafficking – modern-day slaves. More

Idaho man who told bail bondsman about meth deal now off to prison
The Associated Press via KBOI-TV
A 35-year-old Idaho man is headed to prison after telling his bail bondsman he planned to sell methamphetamine to finance his bond payment. The bondsman called police, who then brought a search warrant to the man's motel room and found a third of a pound of meth.More

Details of jail hanging sought in Texas capital murder
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Attorneys for the man accused of killing an Arlington, Texas, pastor during a robbery last year urged a judge to force Tarrant County prosecutors to release details of an investigation into a jail hanging that has been linked to the defendant. Prosecutor Bob Gill told the judge that the results of the investigation into the inmate's death would be provided to the defense as soon as his office receives them.More

A different kind of hunt
Dothan Eagle
Toby Stacey, a fugitive recovery agent with Thompson Bonding, searched for nearly two years for a Dothan, Ala., man who jumped bail on an armed robbery charge. Police had charged Ray Brascomb with robbery in 2006, and he posted $30,000 bail, but failed to show up for court, leading authorities on a lengthy search. Stacey said once or twice a month fugitive recovery agents with Thompson Bonding have to search for people who've violated their bail, but seldom have actual bail jumping charges been filed. That wasn't the case with Brascomb.More