• Need-to-Know News: July 1, 2011

    July 01, 2011

    Updates from Us

    • We were thrilled to announce this week that our joint advocacy efforts with the New York ATI/Reentry Coalition have been a success: at both the city and state levels, our critical programs were spared devastating cuts! Many thanks to all our supporters and legislators, law enforcement officials and other city and state leaders for their commitment to a "smart on crime" future for New York.
    • LAC and SAAS have released the June/July newsletter with updates from the National Advocacy Campaign. Among the news: We need your help to secure co-sponsors of the bill to reauthorize the Second Chance Act! Follow this link to make your voice heard.

    Headlines on Our Issues

    State

    • Following through on his promise to close prisons as part of an effort to balance the budget, Governor Cuomo released the list of seven facilities in the state that would be shuttered, including two in New York City.
    • The City Council approved a $66 billion budget this week that, in addition to providing a victory for ATI/reentry programs, contains no teacher layoffs or fire company closings.
    National

    • In the first appellate ruling on the Obama administration's healthcare reform law, a Cincinnati court decided in favor of the law, saying it was constitutional for Congress to require that Americans buy health insurance.
    • In related news, a report by the American Public Health Association finds that many public health provisions in the year-old healthcare law have not received funding, while some funded measures are under political attack.
    • The CDC reported this week that a three-year campaign intended to expand testing for H.I.V. discovered more than 18,000 adults who were not aware that they were infected.
    • Between 1999 and 2009, more people sought inpatient treatment related to alcohol and opiate addiction, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), though fewer sought help for cocaine and methamphetamine or amphetamines.
    • Moving toward fairer sentencing, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively apply a 2010 law that brings penalties for crack cocaine offenses closer to those for powder cocaine.
    • In another big victory for advocates in the criminal justice system, Delaware passed a law exempting individuals with drug felonies from the federal ban disqualifying from receiving food stamps.
    • Following up on the Supreme Court ruling ordering California to reduce its prison population, a panel of federal judges issued strict deadlines for compliance this week, demanding a reduction of 37,000 inmates in two years.
    • Oklahoma has been chosen for an intensive study aimed at improving public safety and reducing prison overcrowding as part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.
    • Hawaii's governor has announced a plan to reexamine the state's criminal justice system in order to reduce the number of prisoners sent out of state, lower recidivism and prevent crime.
    • Meanwhile, in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott and the legislature have created a task force on law enforcement consolidation in an effort to cut costs.

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