Friday, April 11, 2014

14 year-old sentenced to 6 years in jail for killing his mother's partner

A teenage boy has been sentenced to six years in prison after he was found guilty of the manslaughter of his step-father in Guildford. 14 year-old Jerome Ellis, of Cedar Way in Bellfields, has been sentenced at Guildford Crown Court. 54 year-old Neil Tulley was stabbed to death while he lay sleeping at the family property on Cedar Way. A post-mortem showed he had suffered over 60 knife wounds to the back and neck. Jerome's elder brother, Joshua, 23, was found guilty of Mr Tulley's murder, he will be sentenced on the 22nd May. Meanwhile a Domestic Homicide Review has been launched into whether more could have been done to better protect the family. A police manhunt and public appeal regarding the whereabouts of the two brothers was launched after they went missing following the fatal attack. They handed themselves in at Woking Police Station on the evening of Wednesday, 14 August 2013 where they were both subsequently arrested. Commenting on the sentencing today Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston said: "This was a tragic case in which a man was fatally injured and two families have been completely devastated as a result. "It has been a distressing case for the jury and the investigation team involved which have had to deal with some particularly traumatic evidence and harrowing accounts." Meanwhile a Domestic Homicide Review has been launched into whether more could have been done to better protect the family.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. moved to Ala. prison

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been moved from the federal prison in North Carolina to a minimum security prison camp in Montgomery. A longtime friend of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Democratic state Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, said the Jackson family contacted him Friday night about the 49-year-old former congressman being moved to the federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons' website now lists Jackson as a Montgomery inmate. Jackson is serving a 2 1/2 -year sentence after admitting to illegally using campaign money. The Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Dec. 31, 2015. The Montgomery camp has housed several government figures over the years, including former Attorney General John Mitchell and former U.S. District Judge Harry Claiborne of Nevada.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The community benefits when ex-offenders find jobs

Jerry Morlock listens to MLive Community Engagement Specialist Paula Holmes-Greely as he participates in an live chat in the Muskegon hub on January 10, 2013. He is an employer connections specialist with 2nd Chance Connections, a federally funded effort aimed at reducing recidivism among mothers and fathers coming out of prison and jail in Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties. Everyone benefits when ex-offenders find jobs, a representative of 2nd Chance Connections, a federally funded effort aimed at reducing recidivism among mothers and fathers coming out of prison and jail in Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties, told MLive and Muskegon Chronicle readers during a live chat Thursday. "If an ex-offender can't find work, and returns to prison, it costs all of us taxpayers $35,000 per year," said Jerry Morlock, who works with employers to create job opportunities for ex-offenders through 2nd Chance Connections. He said employers can benefit from hiring ex-offenders, too. "I believe it also helps the employer to find a valuable employee, maybe through a means they hadn't previously considered." Morlock said more employers hire ex-offenders in Muskegon County than people realize. Each year about 400 men and women leave Michigan’s prisons and return to live in communities across Muskegon County. He said finding jobs for ex-offenders gives them an opportunity to return to self-supporting status and get their lives back on track. "That also reduces the chance that they will return to prison," Morlock said. "Helping people stay out of trouble also helps the community by easing the burden on law enforcement agencies, the judicial system, and nonprofit, government and social welfare agencies that are overburdened already. "It also helps all of us as Michigan taxpayers," he said. "The state spends $2 billion a year on corrections $300 million more than we spend on higher education and communities colleges combined." In addition to working with employers to get ex-offenders hired, Morlock's agency also provides job training. Currently, 14 ex-offenders are receiving 128 hours of basic manufacturing training at Muskegon Community College. This is the second group to go through the training offered by 2nd Chance Connections. "They are being taught skills such as workplace safety, shop math, blueprint reading, basic measuring tools, machine operation and welding," Morlock said. He said the training program had been tweaked in response to employer comments following the graduation of the first group of graduates, something 2nd Chance Connections did to improve the pilot program and make it responsive to employers. Here's some additional issues Morlock addressed during the live chat: Q: What sorts of barriers do ex-offenders face in finding employment? A: Some ex-offenders leave incarceration with good work skills, or maybe connections through family or a former employer that help them find employment after they are released. But many come out with few skills, little experience and no work history, or at least a shortened work history. Those, of course, are huge hurdles. But a bigger one may be the stigma of their conviction. And that's the one that I try to address. They should not all be automatically excluded from every job opportunity because of that criminal history. To do that gives them a lifetime conviction, in a way, and little chance for improving themselves. Q: How can ex-offenders improve their chances for getting a job? A: Ex-offenders should follow all the conventional wisdom that applies to all job hunters, but I'll focus on a few that are specific to ex-offenders. First, be honest about your conviction and stress what you've learned from it. Be willing to work your way up (in other words, have realistic expectations about what job you might get), and volunteer! What better way to show people that you are looking to turn your life around than to show that you care about others, and want to help them, too. Q: How can that “support system” help employers evaluate ex-offenders as potential hires? A: Goodwill Industries, for example, has caseworkers that work with ex-offenders all through the process. Parolees go through a three-week stage in which they are taught job-hunting skills. They then undergo four weeks of work experience within the Goodwill system, mainly in Goodwill's industrial services department. During that time, the ex-offenders are evaluated on a weekly basis. By the time that's complete, the case managers have a pretty clear idea of who is motivated and ready to move to the next step -- regular employment. Parole agents, or parole supervisors, also are available to consult with employers about prospective candidates.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

FREE Book Catalog Sended to Inmate

Send an Inmate a Catalog, which will allow them to forward you items that they may like from our catalog, so you can purchase for them or redeem our Gift Certificate for their own purchase. When you purchase our Gift Certificate for an inmate, we forward them a card ( saying you have receive a $50 Gift Certificate, from: Name / Address and you may include a message) along with a code that they will enter on the order form on catalog for payment. If they do not purchase items for full amount, there will remain a credit for future purchases. Please note: Print catalogs does not show all items that we carry or that are on web-site. Print Catalogs are only send to Inmate's and Correctional Facilities. SureShot Books 15 North Mill St Nyack, NY 10960 888.608.0868

Friday, September 28, 2012

Man cleared of murder, freed after 19 years in prison

A former gang member sentenced to life in prison for a murder he didn't commit walked out of prison Monday after 19 years, reports NBC Los Angeles. John Edward Smith, now 37, had always maintained his innocence in the drive-by killing, but it wasn't until advocacy group Innocence Matters took up his case in 2009 that things began to change. Turns out, the sole witness whose testimony convicted Smith admits he lied under police pressure. Smith, who is black, was at his grandmother's house when the killing took place. "I had days when I was really frustrated, but I knew I couldn't stop," Smith told the Los Angeles Times, adding that he was dazzled by the lights of downtown. The LAT adds this odd footnote: Smith's exoneration took place just before singer Chris Brown's probation hearing, so the celeb himself happened to be in the courtroom. He applauded along with Smith's family when the judge delivered the good news. Newser FACTS & FIGURES The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, at 743 per 100,000 people. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Historically, the current U.S. incarceration rate is comparable to the record-high Soviet Union's levels before World War II. The Soviet Union's incarceration rates from 1934 to 1953 were historically the world's highest for a modern age country. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics However, the U.S. total population incarcerated, on probation or parole, dwarfs that of the former Soviet Union at a staggering total of over 7 million. That amounts to over 2,000 citizens per 100,000 under supervision by the prison system. The Gulag Archipelago Throughout the United States, African-Americans and other racial minorities are systematically excluded from capital juries that typically make sentencing decisions, even in communities with substantial minority populations. USHRN According to a report published by Amnesty International, one in five of African-Americans executed in the modern era were convicted by an all-white jury. Ninety percent of these cases involved victims who were white. USHRN According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

SureShot Books sending books to inmates

SureShot Publisher sends Spanish books and other reading materials to inmates in prisons. NEW YORK, August 28, 2012 – SureShot Books has sent Spanish books, magazines, and other reading materials to inmates in various prisons across the States. The company has been sending inmates books and other reading materials ever since they started the company back in 1990. Sending magazines to inmates, aside from sending books and newspapers, has always been the main aim of the company. The company believes that education is the most important help that can be given to inmates who have to spend their time in jail. By sending these reading materials, they are given the chance to enhance their education through self-learning. Incarceration can always be a time to improve oneself through education. Therefore, sending magazines to inmates, aside from other reading materials, can help inmates equip themselves with new knowledge that will help them acquire new skills that they may be able to use by the time they are released from prison. Because a lot of these inmates don’t have English as their main language, Spanish books are also provided. It is the belief of the company that no one should be barred from being able to read because they aren’t that well-versed in English. It is the goal of the company to give hope to these inmates. Through improving themselves while they spend their time in prison, they may be able to better themselves and be able to re-integrate back into the society once they have spent their time in jail. By giving them the chance to attain new skills through education and reading, they are given the chance to learn new skills that will help them get new job and work opportunities in the outside world. Family members and friends are also encouraged to help further the inmates’ education by sending them these reading materials via online purchases through the company. They may be able to send their incarcerated loved ones with books, magazines, newspapers, and even greeting mementos via ordering online. Even inmates can order via the company and have these materials sent directly to their loved ones in the outside world. Sending magazines to inmates and other reading materials can be a big help for them. Rather than spending time in despair, they can focus their attention in reading and discovering new interests and widen their education by spending time reading. About SureShot Books SureShot Books is a company that has been created during the nineties with the main goal of helping the families of inmates get the means of improving themselves through education and reading. A complete library equipped with Spanish and English titles alike have been put together so that inmates are given the access to as much materials as possible. Newspapers and magazines from all over the country can also be accessed through the website. Contact: SureShot Books Publisher’s 15 North Mill Street Nyack, Ny 10960 888.608.0868

Friday, September 14, 2012

Released from prison, many former Indiana offenders struggle to start their lives over

MUNCIE, Ind. — On the day the prison gates open allowing a former offender to begin his or her life over, many genuinely believe they will never, ever return to the correctional institutions that had been their home for months or years. That's easier said than done. "You can't find a job. You have a hard time finding a place to live. You don't trust anyone. All you have are the people you were hanging around with before and your demons. For me, that's alcohol, drugs and women," said Donald Thompkins, an ex-offender living in Muncie. "You have to find something to give you hope. Something that will help you change your environment." For Thompkins, that release has been his art, a talent he realized he had when he was young. But he understands not everyone leaving prison knows they have a value for something other than a life of crime. Each year, slightly more than 200 former offenders are released from the Indiana Department of Correction to return to Delaware County. On average, close to 900 of the county's residents at any given time are ex-offenders, a large number of whom have been convicted for drug-related crimes. Most of them return to a correctional facility within three years, according to state and national data, shocked their promise never to return has dissolved. The After Doing A Prison Term, or ADAPT, program in Muncie attempts to break the prison cycle by providing these men and women with resources they need to make a life for themselves outside of a state institution. Associated with the Muncie Alliance for the Prevention of Self-Abuse, the ADAPT project uses tough love techniques to educate ex-offenders about their value and the need to create a new environment for themselves if they hope to stay out of prison. The idea came to H. Royce Mitchell, bishop at Deliverance Temple church, in the 1980s when he began doing prison ministry and realized he was seeing some of the same men year after year. "When you'd speak to them, they first saw themselves as the victim. They had a hard time taking responsibility for their actions," Mitchell said. "But then there was some truth to what they're saying. Some employers weren't open to hiring them and they had a lot of time on their hands with nothing to do." Myra Hatfield left Rockville Prison in October 2009 and spent months without a job. The recession played a role in her struggles, she said, but she couldn't find someone "to give me a chance." "I know I'm really good at administrative work. I know I am," she said, through tears. "I made some mistakes, but I want to give back to society, to other people needing help when they leave prison, who want to stop drinking and doing drugs. I just can't get a chance." The ADAPT program keeps a list of "felony friendly employees," local business owners and nonprofit organization that will work with ex-offenders. They also encourage program participants to return to school to gain the skills needed in the 21st century workplace. Thompkins, who has been to prison three times and to jail "more times than I can count," plans to enroll in Ivy Tech Community College in January. He's been performing odd jobs since leaving Putnamville Correctional Facility on 2008. He's found his art — especially sculptures and carvings — have given him the chance to release his anger. The ADAPT program has assisted in growing his interests, as has the 12-step programs that have kept him clean and sober "and out of prison," he said. "But sometimes I wonder how long I should pay my debt to society," he said. "I wonder when I will actually become a member society, ready to participate in a community. I've made mistakes, I know that, and I've paid my debt. But I'm ready to change. I just need society to let me do so." ___ Information from: The Star Press,