prison reentry

Probation And Parole
5:01 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Washington's 'Swift And Certain' Parole Reforms Getting Results And Attention

FILE - This photo shows the correctional facility in Shelton, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

President Barack Obama wants to expand a program pioneered in Washington to reform probation and parole. The new state law dramatically changed its approach to ex-offenders, and even the experts who back the new approach have been surprised at the promising results.

In the past, ex-offenders on probation or parole could often rack up a bunch of violation before they’d be punished. And by then the sanctions could be harsh: many months in jail.

The idea behind the new approach, called "swift and certain," is that a minor violation triggers an immediate but moderate punishment, such as a couple of days in jail for failing a drug test.

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Poverty
7:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Court-Ordered Fines Result In Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Says ACLU

Valerie Bodeau, who was homeless at the time, was jailed for missing payments on $7000 court ordered fines.
Paula Wissel

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Columbia Legal Services claims court imposed fees in Washington state have resulted in modern-day debtors’ prisons.

The report documents cases of people being locked up because they couldn't make payments on their fines.

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