California on Path to Drug Sentencing Reform

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Assembly has passed a drug reform bill that would give counties more control in how to prosecute low-level nonviolent drug offenders. Authored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-san Francisco, Senate Bill 649 would allow county prosecutors to charge drug possession offenders with a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

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Pennsylvania Governor Plans Parole, Corrections Reform

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Edward G. Rendell announced plans to implement several recommendations from an independent review for improving the state’s corrections and parole system.

The review by John Goldkamp, chair of the department of criminal justice at Temple University, found the majority of the state’s parole procedures to be sound, but suggested the implementation of additional measures to ensure paroled violent offenders do not pose a threat to public safety.

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New Prison, Rehab Centers Could be Part of West Va. Reform

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — A state commission created to investigate overcrowding at West Virginia prisons issued several recommendations to solve the problem, including construction of a new medium-security prison.

The cornerstone of recommendations for new construction submitted to Gov. Joe Manchin is a 1,200-cell, medium-security prison that would cost $100 million to $200 million. The location for the proposed prison is yet to be determined.

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