Good intentions are only the starting place for good legislation.
Congress is currently considering the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act of 2014, in which an estimated 34,000 federal prisoners could see a substantial reduction in their sentences. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the bill would double the time off a sentence an inmate can earn for behaving and participating in certain programs.
The legislation is careful to exclude the worst inmates — sex offenders, violent-crime offenders, repeat offenders, organized-crime members and major fraud convicts. That leaves nonviolent, first-time offenders who have passed an assessment showing they are less likely to reoffend.
read the full article at union-bulletin.com
A felon desperate to be thrown back in prison got two knives into Detroitï's federal courthouse as part of a plan to kill his probation officer and a judge before changing his mind, according to a criminal complaint filed today.
Timothy Daniels, who has been charged in the incident, was released from state prison on Feb. 11 after spending the majority of the past 40 years in prison, according to the complaint.
Daniels said “that it was not going well and he wanted to go back to prison,” according to the complaint.
His plan to make that happen: Kill his probation officer and U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurie Michelson.
Read the full article at Detroit Free Press
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the Center for Effective Public Policy are pleased to announce the release of NIC’s publication, Dosage Probation: Rethinking the Structure of Probation Sentences
This is a great introduction to a new probation strategy which links “the duration of probation supervision to the optimal amount of intervention an offender needs in order to reduce risk of reoffense”. This monograph “provides a policy and practice framework upon which this new model of supervision can be constructed. It offers a review of evidence-based approaches to reducing recidivism in our communities, the most recent research on dosage, and its applicability to sentencing and community supervision practices. It describes the model’s promise for increasing community safety through recidivism reduction, as well as achieving fiscal savings by reducing periods of supervision. Finally, the monograph offers a summary of the work of Milwaukee County’s criminal justice stakeholders as they design and conduct the nation’s first dosage probation experiment.” Sections of this publication include: introduction to the dosage model of probation; the principles of effective intervention—who we target of intervention matters (the risk principle), what we target for intervention matters (the need principle), how we intervene and interact matters (the responsivity principle), how well interventions are implemented matters, fidelity and integrity of corrections professionals’ interventions, and the relationship between early termination of supervision and recidivism; adding dosage to the equation—how much dosage is delivered matters, and further study needed; implications—the dosage probation model of supervision; and dosage probation in Milwaukee County.
The document is authored by Madeline M. Carter, Principal, Center for Effective Public Policy and the Honorable Richard J. Sankovitz, Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Please click here for the full press release. The referenced document is attached.
For the last 40 years, we have largely relegated health problems like substance abuse and mental health disorders to the criminal justice system. As a result, millions of people are burdened by felony convictions due to drug use, and those who cannot afford to pay for treatment have had to be locked in cells in order to get access to necessary care.
Now, we have a chance to do something new. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents a remarkable opportunity for criminal justice and drug policy reform advocates to advance efforts to enact policy changes that promote safe and healthy communities, without excessively relying on criminal justice solutions that have become so prevalent under the War on Drugs, and which fall so disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color. Even with its challenges, the ACA sets the stage for a new health-oriented policy framework to address problems such as substance use and mental health disorders by more appropriately and effectively casting substance use and mental health disorders as matters of public health and not of criminal justice. Our task is to make the most of it.
By Ian MacDougall
Full Article at Newsweek.com
In November 2010, Steven Vargas, a federal probation officer in New York, received a call from a detective in Minnesota. Police in St. Paul had arrested 24-year-old Douglas Luke Robinette, who had confessed to producing child pornography and distributing it via email. He had shared some of that porn (Robinette's computer contained more than 18,000 images and 900 videos) with someone he knew only by an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Eight months earlier, the man with that address, Anthony Brooks, had walked out of a federal courthouse in lower Manhattan to begin a 10-year probation sentence for possessing child pornography.
The judiciary employs nearly 6,000 probation and pretrial services officers. Unlike most law enforcement officers, they police an already-identified population of accused or convicted felons. While most of them are no danger to society, a subset - like Anthony Brooks or violent offenders - pose a significant threat. And their numbers are rising. A steady wave of convicts released from federal prison has flooded the probation system in recent years - with more than 6,000 probationers added between 2010 and 2012 - and court officials expect that trend to continue in the foreseeable future. At the same time, policymakers on Capitol Hill have left federal probation offices with less and less money each year to pay for staff and programs needed to monitor this swelling population.
"I think we're at the bare bone," said Michael J. Fitzpatrick, the Southern District of New York's chief probation officer. "I'm going to have to take any resources I have next year and start trying to replace officers."
Continue reading the full article at Newsweek.com >>
The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.2 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails - a 500% increase over the last forty years. Changes in sentencing law and policy, not changes in crime rates, explain most of this increase. These trends have resulted in prison overcrowding and fiscal burdens on states to accommodate a rapidly expanding penal system, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not an effective means of achieving public safety.
Download the PDF report from wwww.sentencingproject.org
TAMPA — As Congress prepares to debate continued sequestration of the federal budget, court officials say cuts to their budgets have already jeopardized public safety and further expected budget slashing will make things worse.
Probation and pretrial services officials, who are responsible for tracking people in the community who are accused and convicted of federal crimes, say they have had to scale back on testing and treatment and are struggling to provide necessary checks.
Chief Judge Anne C. Conway joined 86 other chief federal judges in writing Vice President Joe Biden about their concerns over the effects of sequestration on the courts, including in probation and pretrial services. ”Our current staffing level is the lowest has been since 1999 despite significant workload growth during this same period of time,” the letter says.
Click here to read the full article: http://tbo.com/news/crime/budget-cuts-straining-federal-probation-officers-20130913/
FPPOA is pleased to announce membership discounts at the following online stores.
GiftTree is pleased to offer members 15% off of most products. GiftTree specializes in unique gifts with a wide assortment of gourmet gift baskets, flowers, personalized gifts and much more. Go to www.GiftTree.com to use our discount.
Mrs. Fields has also offered our members a 15% discount. Go to www.mrsfields.com or call 1.800.Cookies to use this discount. (It is not valid in stores.)
And FTD has also provided FPPOA members a 15% discount as well. Log onto our website for the link to this offer.
In order to take advantage of these offers, you must be a member.
All members can logon to the FPPOA website at www.fppoa.com to obtain the discount code from the Membership/Benefits page.
During FPPOA's visit with Assistant Director Matt Rowland in May, National President Karin Storm and Northeast Regional President Craig Penet discussed the protection of probation and pretrial officers, specifically as it relates to the filing of false liens and threats. Assistant Director Rowland provided FPPOA with the following information, to pass along to all in the system.
At its March 2000 session, the Judicial Conference adopted the Criminal Law Committee's recommendation to seek legislation that would create a new federal offense for harassing or intimidating a federal official, including a judicial officer, with respect to the performance of official duties, including filing a lien on the real or personal property of that government official.
On January 8, 2008, the Court Security Act of 2007 (Pub. L. No. 110-177) was enacted. Among other provisions, the Act created a new federal offense, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1521, which made it unlawful to file, attempt to file, or conspire to file, in any public record or in any private record which is generally available to the public, any false lien or encumbrance against the real or personal property of any government official on account of the performance of official duties by that individual, knowing or having reason to know that such lien or encumbrance is false or contains any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation. The offense is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both.
The AO has prepared guidance on what to do if a false lien is filed (the guidance was directed at judges, but is applicable to any judiciary official against whom a false lien is filed):
Also, the AO produced a short video (again intended for judges, but the advice is applicable to any judiciary official targeted by a false lien) that describes the steps to take when a false lien has been filed.
On May 1, 2013, Thomas Plumbley will be joining approximately 40 other law enforcement officers and survivors in a 1000 mile bicycle ride from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Brunswick, Georgia to Washington, DC. We will be riding in honor of all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2012. I will be riding in honor of Sgt Robert Warren " Bobby" Crapse, Bryan County Sheriffs Office who was killed in the line of duty on June 15, 2012. I will also be honoring USPO Tom Gahl and have designed the attached patch to honor Tom and to challenge other Probation and Pretrial Services Officers to join me next year. The official ride does not begin until May 10, 2013, in Chesapeake, Virginia, but a few of us start the ride in Brunswick, GA and meet with approximately 250 other law enforcement officers on May 10th to begin the official ride. We finish the ride in Washington, DC on May 13, 2013. As part of my commitment to this ride, I am required to raise money for Law Enforcement United. LEU in turn donates all of the proceeds to Concerns of Police Survivors and the Officer Down Memorial Page. Both of these organizations support the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. This will be my second time completing this ride and it is truly an honor to do this for the survivors. I am raising this money with patch sales and I am selling the patches for $10 each. I also have a few patches with Velcro backing that I am selling for $11.00.
The twelve spokes in the center of the patch represent the eleven Judicial Circuits and the AO. The three riders represent that this is a team effort.
Thank you for your support and may God Bless the families of all of our fallen officers.
If you are interested in buying a patch, please contact (912)658-5562 or send an email to email@example.com