Prison Release Plan
1:54 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Illinois House approves early prison release plan

(via Flickr/neil_conway)

Illinois lawmakers are telling Gov. Pat Quinn to reduce prison crowding with a new early release program.

The House voted 68-50 Thursday to reinstate sentence credits for prisoners who stay out of trouble behind bars or participate in self-improvement programs.

Non-violent inmates could qualify for as much as six months' time off their sentences.

Quinn shut down a similar program in 2009 after The Associated Press reported his Corrections Department released violent inmates weeks or even days after arriving at prison.

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Morning round-up
7:27 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Morning headlines - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Out-migration is costing St. Louis County money

More people are moving out of St. Louis County than moving in – and they’re taking money with them.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites Internal Revenue Service figures that show those who left the county between 2001 and 2010 earned on average $8,000 more than those who moved in. And about 52,000 more people left the county than moved in.

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Criminal Justice
5:25 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Justice Center guard accused of sexual contact with prisoner

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A Justice Center prison guard is facing multiple charges of sexual contact with an inmate at the maximum security jail last year. 

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce filed eleven felony counts against Stephanie Rodgers Monday. The acts are alleged to have occurred in the prisoner’s cell and a security tower.  

Assistant Circuit Attorney Dan Proost said officials learned of the affair through phone taps that were part of a separate investigation. 

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Mothers in Prison
6:25 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Visiting Mom, in prison: bill would launch visitation program for children of imprisoned mothers

The Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Mo.
(Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)

Last week, the Missouri House passed a bill that would make it easier for children to visit their mothers in prison. It would launch a two-year test program requiring the Department of Corrections to provide monthly transportation for kids to see their moms at the prisons in Vandalia and Chillicothe.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports, supporters say, if approved, the bill could have an impact on recidivism rates in Missouri.

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Missouri Supreme Court
12:59 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court chief calls for sentencing fixes in State of Judiciary address

The Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

One day after Governor Jay Nixon (D) made his State of the State Address, the annual State of the Judiciary Address was delivered to Missouri lawmakers today.

Chief Justice Rick Teitelman kept his speech short, but did call for the General Assembly to pass changes to the state’s probation and parole system in order to ease Missouri’s prison population.

“I support your effort to help make sentencing practices more cost effective, helping Missouri to become, as Judge (former Chief Justice William) Price stressed so often and so eloquently, both tough and smart.”

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Kit Bond
1:53 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

New Mo. federal courthouse named for former Sen. Bond

Former Mo. Gov. and U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, cuts the ribbon at a new federal courthouse in Jefferson City named after him. Joining him (l-r), his wife Linda, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

 The ribbon was cut today on a $68 million federal courthouse in Jefferson City, named for former Missouri Governor and U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R).

 It replaces an older building, which shares space with a post office, and where judges, jurors, lawyers and criminal defendants all shared the same elevator.  Bond says the new facility is sorely needed.

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Illinois Supreme Court / Prison System
11:41 am
Thu June 16, 2011

Ill. Supreme Court limits taking prisoners' savings

(via Flickr/neil conway)

The Illinois Supreme Court calls it "absurd" to let inmates earn money in prison and then take it away to pay the cost of keeping them behind bars.

The court dismissed a lawsuit in which the Department of Corrections tried to take $11,000 from the savings of convicted murderer Kensley Hawkins. He saved the money working at a furniture-assembly job at a Joliet prison.

12:22 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Sheriffs want limit on jail wait for mentally ill

(via Flickr/neil conway)

A law enforcement group is supporting legislation to address a backlog of jail inmates waiting to be transferred to crowded state psychiatric facilities.

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Richard Clay
3:35 pm
Mon January 10, 2011

Nixon commutes death sentence for Clay

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon commuted the death sentence for Richard Clay (pictured) today. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

UPDATED 6:08 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011 with comment from Clay's attorney:

Last week we told you that supporters of Richard Clay asked Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to halt Clay's execution. Well, now it seems that Nixon has granted their request.

The governor issued the following statement this afternoon:

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George Ryan
10:56 am
Fri January 7, 2011

Former Ill. Gov. Ryan allowed to leave prison to visit ailing wife

Lura Lynn Ryan, the former governor's ailing wife, with Illinois State Police troopers in 2007. (via Flickr/spsarge)

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former Ill. Gov. George Ryan, currently in prison, was allowed to leave prison Wednesday to visit his very ill wife, Lura Lynn.

The paper says that the visit was revealed when prosecutors filed response to a motion made by Ryan's lawyers  to let their client out on bail.

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