PBUS News Update
Jul. 5, 2012

High court ruling on juvenile life sentences offers thousands of inmates a chance at freedom
The Associated Press via the Star Tribune
The Supreme Court ruling that banned states from imposing mandatory life sentences on juveniles offers an unexpected chance at freedom to more than 2,000 inmates who had almost no hope they would ever get out. In more than two dozen states, lawyers can now ask for new sentences. And judges will have discretion to look beyond the crime at other factors such as a prisoner's age at the time of the offense, the person's background and perhaps evidence that an inmate has changed while incarcerated.More

US jail population declines for third consecutive year
Bureau of Justice Statistics
The U.S. jail inmate population declined for a third consecutive year, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced. From June 2010 to June 2011, the jail inmate population declined 1.8 percent, dropping to 735,601 from 748,728. In midyear 2011, the jail incarceration rate dropped to the lowest level since 2002. Jails confined 236 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents in June 2011, down from 238 inmates per 100,000 in June 2003. More

FBI's Ten Most Wanted list – its past and present
Los Angeles Times
The idea came out of a card game. A reporter playing Hearts with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover asked him to name the meanest, wiliest fugitives the bureau could not track down. He thought putting their pictures in the newspaper might help. To Hoover's surprise, nine of the 10 were soon captured.More

Growing old behind bars: Aging prison population strains system
Like their counterparts nationwide, New York's prisoners are aging rapidly, with the number of inmates age 60 and older more than quadrupling between 1990 and the end of last year, according to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. And older prisoners are more likely to have serious health problems. Their illnesses are stressing the resources of the prison health care system.More

Survey results show sheriffs support bail agents
Lake County Record-Bee
Californians for Responsible Realignment (CRR) shared survey results from the National Sheriffs Association Conference that showed a high amount of support for bail agents. The survey showed 97 percent of sheriffs surveyed considered bail agents "important to the criminal justice system," with 74 percent calling them "very important." CRR supported the increased use of reasonable bail as a solution to the jail overcrowding and budget shortfalls resulting from the state's public safety realignment. More

Fugitive accused of taking $90,000 wedding ring arrested in East Texas
The Dallas Morning News
VideoBriefU.S. marshals in east Texas have arrested a fugitive in connection with the 2010 robbery of a Highland Park woman. Brian Maurice Fuller, 56, of Wichita Falls was taken into custody without incident in Anderson County, Sheriff Greg Taylor said. He was first arrested shortly after the January 2010 mugging. Authorities say Fuller's bail was supposed to be set at $500,000, but after a court mix-up he was released on $50,000 bail.More

Accused "Manhattan Madam' free on bond after 4 months in jail
The Associated Press via CBS News
Accused "Manhattan Madam" Anna Gristina was released from jail on bond after serving four months behind bars based on allegations that she was running a high-end escort service in New York. Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan initially ordered her jailed on $2 million bond, but an appeals court called the amount "unreasonable and an abuse of discretion" and lowered it to $250,000 on June 12.More

Probation fees multiply for poor as companies profit
The New York Times
Fines and fees levied by money-starved towns across the country and the for-profit businesses that administer the system are mushrooming. The result is that growing numbers of poor people are ending up jailed and in debt for minor infractions. More

Reading offers Brazilian prisoners quicker escape
Brazil will offer inmates in its crowded federal penitentiary system a novel way to shorten their sentences: four days less for every book they read. Inmates in four federal prisons holding some of Brazil's most notorious criminals will be able to read up to 12 works of literature, philosophy, science or classics to trim a maximum 48 days off their sentence each year, the government announced.More

Texas man, gets 40 years in prison for fatally shooting neighbor after claiming 'stand your ground' defense
CBS News
Retired Houston firefighter Raul Rodriguez was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years after he claimed that Texas' version of a stand-your-ground law allowed him to fatally shoot a neighbor over an argument about a noisy party. Rodriguez, 46, was convicted of murder on June 13 for the 2010 killing of 36-year-old Kelly Danaher, an elementary school teacher. Angry about the noise coming from a birthday party at his neighbor's home, Rodriguez went over to Danaher's house and got into an argument with her and two other men.More