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News Scan

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California Senate to Vote on Counties Opting Out of Secure Communities: denied a request by San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey to opt out of the program. But the Associated Press reports the sheriff's new plan will begin in San Francisco tomorrow, where illegal immigrants arrested for petty crimes will not be held in jail longer than necessary (the time it takes ICE to check their status through the fingerprinting monitoring program), even if federal agents may want them detained for possible deportation. Instead, those eligible for release will be cited to appear in court. San Francisco mayor Ed Lee says his office has reached out to federal authorities to determine if the policy conflicts with federal law. 

New Hampshire Votes to Expand Death Penalty: The Associated Press reports the New Hampshire Senate will vote tomorrow on an amended bill, supported by Governor John Lynch, that would expand the state's death penalty to include killings committed during burglaries of occupied buildings. The bill, sponsored by House Speaker William O'Brien, is named after Kimberly Cates, who in 2009 was killed in her bed by a machete and knife attack during a home invasion.

Nevada Bill Allows Inmates to Apply for Parole Earlier: Cy Ryan of the Las Vegas Sun reports the Nevada Senate in an 11-10 vote approved Assembly Bill 136, which would allow convicted felons who complete education courses to apply earlier for parole. The bill will not allow educational credits to be applied to prisoners convicted of a sex offense, a person who used a gun in a crime, or habitual prisoners. The key vote came from Senator John Lee (D), who initially voted to defeat the bill but changed his mind hours later.

ACLU Wants Prisoners in a Detention Center in S.C. to be Allowed to Watch Porn: KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA reports the ACLU is pushing for inmate access to porn at a detention facility in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, after reports claimed that prisoners were only being allowed to read the Bible.  Prison officials dispute the facts in the report, and also believe that giving inmates porn will lead to more assaults and eventually create a dangerous environment.  A preliminary hearing next is set for month.

New Zealand--Want Prisoners to Stop Smoking? Give Them a Carrot:
Paul Chapman of The Telegraph (UK) reports in preparation for a smoke-free prison policy starting July 1 in New Zealand prisons, officials are reportedly to distribute carrot slices to inmates.  Currently 70% of New Zealand's prisoners smoke.  Under the new policy, all tobacco will be contraband.  Judith Collins, the Correctional Minister, stated, "This is a prison. It's not home."  One city mayor suggested that this policy may itself significantly discourage future crime. 

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