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News Scan

After Ruling, More States May Follow Arizona Immigration Law: David Crary of the Associated Press reports lawmakers from throughout the U.S. are preparing to push for tougher immigration laws following signs that the U.S. Supreme Court may uphold key components of Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said if the Supreme Court upholds key parts of the law, "it will be a huge green light." He added, "All of the other states will have a blueprint they can apply." While the Department of Justice's appeal argues SB 1070 conflicts with federal immigration policy, polls have consistently shown the majority of Americans support similar 'get-tough' immigration bills. A ruling is expected in June.

San Diego Jails Nearing Capacity: Dana Littlefield of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore, in a letter to local law enforcement, stated his department will no longer accept bookings for certain types of misdemeanors as jails are approaching full capacity. Friday, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, in an e-mail, said, "shifting the State's responsibility to incarcerate felons to the local level is creating safety risks to our communities," blaming the Legislature and governor for transferring the overcrowding problem to local governments rather than cutting unnecessary spending at the state level. Gore's department has established a unit to handle custody alternatives, including GPS monitoring and home custody, in an attempt to open up some space in local jails.  

New Mexico Fixes Online Sex Offender Registration Mistake: KOAT 7 Albuquerque reports New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is requiring law enforcement to get all online sex offenders convicted after 2007 registered after closing a loop hole in the law. There are 12 situations in which convicted predators are required to register, but somehow the requirement to register online was placed in the annotations when the law was compiled with other laws from the same year. The oversight was what the governor called a 'dangerous mistake.' Gov. Martinez stated, "We deserve, (and) the public deserves to know that someone in their neighborhood is a convicted sex offender." During the next legislative session, Martinez intends to ensure the error is corrected in every law book.

Bill to Lessen Overcrowding in CA Jails Voted Down: City News Service reports Senate Bill 1441, which would have amended Governor Brown's Public Safety Realignment Act, AB 109, and ease jail overcrowding, was voted down in the Senate Public Safety Committee last week. Senator Bill Emmerson (R-Riverside) introduced SB 1441 to require all convicts sentenced to over 36 months in jail for any one or series of offenses to serve their sentence in prison instead. Before AB 109, anyone who received more than a one year sentence automatically went to prison to serve their sentence. However, AB 109 does not spell out any length of time after which an inmate would be transferred to prison, resulting in some offenders currently serving jail terms in excess of 10 years. By June 2013, 23,000 more inmates must be moved from prisons in accordance with a federal court order. With only 11,000 inmates moved so far, Emmerson points out that AB 109 as it stands puts public safety at risk, as jails will be well over maximum capacity and sheriff's officials are forced to release low-level offenders from custody early.

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