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News Scan

Parolees and Probationers Filling Idaho Prisons:  In the state of Idaho, over 40% of prison beds are being occupied by returning probationers and parolees, according to researchers from the Center for Justice and the Pew Charitable Trusts.  Betsy Z. Russell of the Spokesman-Review reports that the inmates who do return to prison will stay there for an average of two more years.  Idaho's return-rate is much higher compared to that of other states which may explain why its crime rate is far below the national average and that of most other states.  But some see it as a problem and have proposed solutions including major reforms to the state's supervision systems and sentencing laws.

Judge Finds Panhandling Restrictions Violate of Free Speech:  An Arizona law, which made begging and panhandling in public places a crime, has been deemed by a federal judge to be unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment. Linda Kor of the Arizona Journal reports that communities embraced the law because it reduced vagrancy. The judge's ruling allows beggers to sit on the sidewalk with cardboard signs asking for help, but will treat aggressive panhandling as a crime.

Teen Sentenced in Murder of his Father: A 13-year-old Southern California boy has been sentenced 40 years to life in prison for murdering his neo-Nazi father as he slept in 2010.  Leticia Juarez of ABC Los Angeles reports that the judge presiding over the case ordered the boy, who was tried as juvenile, to begin serving his sentence at a juvenile detention facility.  With good behavior, he could be eligible for parole in as little as five years. 

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