By Jason Pye / There has been a big, bipartisan push in Congress to right a wrong in the United States’ approach to the drug policy. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410), a measure that would end mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses. Rep.…

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By Christopher Zoukis

While walking on my prison’s recreation yard yesterday, a man approached me.  He was a casual acquaintance and had questions about how to seek a publisher for a graphic novel that he’s been working on.  Since I do a lot of writing for prison-related outlets (e.g., and, and used to teach a class on writing here at FCI Petersburg, I have lots of such discussions, even with complete strangers.  While I didn’t know much about publishing graphic novels, I agreed to look into the matter for the man and try to help guide him along in his path as an incarcerated writer.  It reminded me of when I first started writing from my prison cell.

As Americans, we are very used to having information at our fingertips.  Have a question?  Simply power on your laptop and Google it.  It really is that simple.  Don’t have a computer handy?  You could always pick up your cell phone and call someone to point you in the right direction or use your car’s GPS to direct you to your nearest public library.  But what if the library had few books (and almost all of which were trashy fiction)?  What if you didn’t have a car, or a cell phone, or even a computer?  What would you do to find the answer to a fairly simple question like how to publish a novel?

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A law that allows brief jail stays for parole violations is getting mixed reviews from corrections officials and law enforcement agencies in Reno County, which has used the provision more than any other Kansas county.

The law enacted last July lets offenders avoid having their parole revoked if they spend a few days in jail. Reno County has made more use of the law than any other county per capita, Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts said.

Roberts and other corrections officials say the law has helped reduce jail overcrowding, while some Reno County critics contend it is difficult to enforce and ineffective, The Hutchinson News reported.

The legislation allows judges to impose two- or three-day jail stays if an offender violates parole. If violations continue, judges can order a 120-day prison stay, followed by 180-day sentences. If the violations continue after that, offenders must serve the rest of their underlying prison sentences.

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Arizona Boy Murders Maricopa County Jail Guard By Prison Legal News A Maricopa County jail employee was murdered in his driveway by a 15-year-old boy who police say was motivated by gangs, drugs, and guns.  The teen, identified on September 25, 2013 as Leonard Moreno, will be tried as an adult for the random shooting…

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