My role at the Justice Programs Office (JPO) is to be heard but rarely seen. I am not asked to go to conferences and present on the constitutional right to counsel. I am certainly not going out into the field to provide training and technical assistance to adult and juvenile treatment courts. But you have probably seen my Friday News Roundup or read my social media posts. I liken my role at JPO to a spotlight. I use my writing abilities and communications knowledge to shine a light on the fantastic work that JPO does and on the talented people that work here.
A New York judge rules counties may sue opioid distributors, The Massachusetts Supreme Court agrees that judges can jail those who violate probation by using drugs, and Spokane’s public defenders are trying out a new and cheap way to remind their clients of trial dates. All of these stories and more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Evening news stories’ headlines, bloggers, public opinion, all broadcast the dangerous effects of social media on today’s youth. Some argue that online sharing has replaced human interaction, stunting emotional growth and leaving young people socially isolated. Others fret that the increased access to sexual and violent content and general vulgarity that the internet allows is causing an erosion of teens’ moral perceptions. Whatever the conclusion, it seems everyone agrees the kids are not alright.
President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court, New review reveals gaps in education opportunities at juvenile justice schools across the United States, and a report by the National Association for Law Placement reveals that median pay for public defenders only modestly rising. These stories and much more in the JPO Friday News Roundup.
Pennsylvania Governor signs bill to automatically seal criminal records for low-level offenders, reforms reducing cash bail in Maryland actually increasing number of those held without bail, and inconsistent veterans treatment court coverage exists in New York despite expansion. All of these stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces plan to retire on July 31, Juvenile justice reforms in Connecticut are making an impact, and a study of New York bail by FiveThirtyEight shows that it may all depend on who your judge is. These stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: June 29, 2018”
Delaware lawmakers race against the legislative clock to pass money bail reform, audit finds increased violence in Louisiana juvenile facilities, and the ACLU is challenging New Hampshire’s debt-collection methods for public defense fees. All these stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
On May 25, the New York Times published an in-depth look at Drug Induced Homicide Laws (DIH), intended to punish people with sentences equivalent to those for manslaughter and murder for providing or purchasing drugs which resulted in an overdose death. Though states started enacting these laws in the 1980s, there has been a gradual increase in their application over the past 15 years. The current opioid crisis has created a trend of legislators and prosecutors passing and utilizing these laws as they search for ways to deter opioid use. After reading the article, I conducted an informal survey on a small group of my friends, family, and significant other. I explained the premise of the laws, which now exist in at least 36 states. Those around me saw the logic, if they were used to punish kingpins of drug trafficking rings. But as the New York Times article pointed out, the sad reality is that these laws are not being used against kingpins. Instead, they are being used to target the family members, friends, and significant others of those who have died from overdoses. I posed the question, “What if I overdosed one Friday night and you got sent to jail for murder?”
Major pharmacies attempt to remove themselves from the nationwide opioid lawsuit, a package of bills in Michigan seek to raise the age and improve juvenile justice services, and a lawsuit against Louisiana’s public defense system seeks class-action status. All of these stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
President Trump commutes the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson following lobbying from Kim Kardashian West, Wisconsin juvenile prison officials agree to end pepper spraying and solitary confinement in response to ACLU lawsuit, and Texas counties are being forced to shore up public defense due to lack of state funds. All of this and much more below in our latest edition of the JPO Friday News Roundup.