By Dianne Frazee-Walker 25-year-old Kyle has lived in Salida, Colorado most of life. He has also been involved with the court system for almost half of his life. His first brush with the law occurred at age 14 for just being a kid. Riding a dirt bike was the gateway to his path of being…

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By Matt Clarke / Prison Legal News

Two studies by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin found that juveniles held in Texas jails while awaiting trial as adults are often isolated with no access to education programs, and that violence remains prevalent in state juvenile facilities in spite of recent reforms.

Texas’ juvenile system, which has been renamed the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD), was rocked by months of violence during 2012 in the agency’s six secure facilities – especially the Giddings State School and Corsicana Residential Treatment Center. The spike in violence echoed widespread reports of abuse and misconduct in 2007 that resulted in substantial changes in the state’s juvenile justice system.

For the first study by the LBJ School of Public Affairs (LBJ), 41 jails were asked to complete a survey related to incarcerated juveniles, their access to programs and whether they were separated from adult prisoners. The results indicated there were few prisoners under the age of 17 held in Texas jails – only 34 during the survey months of October and November 2011. The survey also showed that in 30 of the jails – roughly three-fourths – adults and juveniles were incarcerated separately. However, the report noted that juveniles might come into contact with adult prisoners during showers, recreation or meals.

“National research indicates that juveniles in adult facilities are five times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse and rape than youths who are kept in the juvenile system,” according to the report.

On May 7, 2012, two days before the LBJ report was released, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a ruling requiring jails to separate adult and juvenile prisoners.

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Hinds County Supervisors are moving forward with plans to allow video visitation for inmates in county jails.  Global Tel Link, a company that many prison reform advocates disparage, now offers video visitation for inmates and their families.

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By Yahoo News

Some prisoner’s in Northern California are upgrading to better living spaces – but only if they’ve got the cash to pay.

That’s because a jail in Fremont is offering prisoners the chance to pay-as-they-go for a cell in the prison . And the rent isn’t cheap, running $155 a night, the same as a local three star hotel, according to local affiliate WTKR. 

“You do get cable TV, but you don’t get a warm cookie on your bed,” Lt. Mark Devine, of the Fremont Police Department told the station.

The $10 million minimum security prison is far from luxurious with standard prison beds, shared bathroom and shower space. But it does come with various recreational options, including a HD widescreen TV.

Built in 2000, the prison facility has 54 beds and can house up to 96 inmates at a time.

And the space is only eligible to misdemeanor offenders who receive prior approval from a judge.

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