Johnson County Focuses on Accessibility with New $193 Million Courthouse

Accessibility is said to be the focal point of a new courthouse construction project currently underway in Johnson County. According to the Kansas City Star, the $193 million project is currently in the concept and design phase, with a number of partners on board, including the Johnson County commissioners, the City of Olathe, and Olathe’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board.

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Report Shows Prison Population Increases, Decreases

WASHINGTON — The Sentencing Project, a Washington-based research and advocacy group, released new data on April 8 showing incarceration trends across the U.S. Two-thirds of states (34) have experienced at least a modest decline in prison population since 1999, while one third (16) have seen continued increases, according to the study “U.S. Prison Population Trends: Broad Variation Among States in Recent Years.”

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Court Gives California Two Years to Lower Prison Population

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Feb. 10, a three-judge panel approved the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s proposal for a two-year extension to Feb. 28, 2016 to reduce the state’s prison population to 137.5 percent capacity. In return, Governor Jerry Brown’s administration promises not to file any more appeals or ask for any more time. This finally ends the back-and-forth deadline extension process between the two sides.

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Canada’s Prison Numbers and Costs Are Rising

OTTAWA, Ontario — Canada’s prisons were a little fuller last year, with an almost 1 percent increase in the rate of adults serving time, according to the Toronto Sun.

The cost to run prisons went up to handle it, too.

During the 2010-2011 year, there were approximately 38,000 adults in prison, according to a report by Statistics Canada. Roughly 36 percent were serving sentences of two years or more — a 3 percent increase in the rate of incarceration in federal Canadian penitentiaries over the year before.

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Kansas and Washington Face Overcrowding

TOPEKA, Kan. — States throughout the U.S. are experiencing record high incarceration rates — including Kansas. The state’s Department of Corrections is addressing the issue and working on predicting where more problems could lie in the future.

There are currently 8,635 inmates housed in Kansas and the number continues to grow. The average men’s jail exceeds capacity by over 250 inmates and women’s facilities are reaching capacity quickly.

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