Thursday, October 25, 2007

News Excerpts Just for You

  • Kansas' efforts to reintegrate its prison inmates into society are starting to ease the pressure on its bulging prison system, Secretary of Corrections Roger Werholtz said Wednesday during a visit to Wichita.
    "We could go several years without having to add to our prison capacity," he said. "All the numbers are going in the right direction."Last month, the KDOC was operating at about 97 percent of its 9,100-bed capacity.
  • Yet funding for the program and dozens of others across Michigan designed to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail and enrolled in drug and alcohol therapy took a hit this fall when the state announced how much or -- in many cases -- how little money it had for each court.
    Despite $5 million in requests for money for drug court programs, only $2 million was awarded statewide. The funding shortage means many courts are cutting back staff hours, limiting treatment options for offenders and making defendants who often are jobless pay more to be in the program. With low recidivism rates, drug courts have been spreading rapidly across the nation, especially in Michigan, where another nine programs are under way this year.
  • A western Missouri man convicted of drunken driving could face life in prison under a law targeting repeat DWI offenders. Joseph Townsend of rural Deepwater in Henry County was found guilty Tuesday of driving while intoxicated. Prosecutor Richard Shields had charged him as a chronic offender, under a recently toughened statute for repeat offenders. Shields said Townsend's status as a prior and persistent felon makes him subject to imprisonment for 10 to 30 years, or life. Missouri troopers stopped Townsend on January 15th for driving erratically and charged him with DWI. Townsend's record showed at least four prior alcohol-related driving counts and two more felonies. Sentencing is set for December.

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