Inmate release dates not properly tracked

Inmate release dates not properly tracked

A person serving prison time for a criminal conviction should get out when their sentence is complete. But according to a recent legislative audit, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections doesn’t have a review process in place that ensures incarcerated people are released on time. The process used to determine an inmate’s release date is complicated, and the department lacks many resources needed to carry out this task. However, the consequences of this oversight are profound. The Advocate’s Jacqueline DeRobertis reports

Jamila Johnson, an attorney with Louisiana-based criminal justice reform nonprofit the Promise of Justice Initiative, said inaccurate time calculations can disrupt the lives of those who are incarcerated, breeding more uncertainty as they prepare to reenter society. “Returning home is a difficult process,” she said. “When time calculation dates are wrong, that massively interrupts the reentry process and makes it very difficult for people to restart their lives.”


White House an ally for payday lenders
Payday and car title lenders drain nearly $8 billion a year from low-income borrowers. For lenders looking to avoid regulations that protect consumers, that money is an important tool for avoiding regulatory scrutiny. The Washington Post’s Renae Merle reports on the payday loan industry’s surprisingly frank conversations about buying influence with policymakers, revealed in a leaked webinar. 

“Every dollar amount, no matter how small or large it is” is important, Hodges, founder of Advance Financial, one of the country’s largest payday lenders, said during a 48-minute webcast, obtained by The Washington Post. “For example, I’ve gone to Ronna McDaniel and said, ‘Ronna, I need help on something,’ ” Hodges said, referring to the chair of the Republican National Committee. “She’s been able to call over to the White House and say, ‘Hey, we have one of our large givers. They need an audience. … They need to be heard and you need to listen to them.’ So that’s why it’s important.”


Should we worry about the deficit?
The federal budget deficit is approaching $1 trillion — or about $300 million more than economists were forecasting just two years ago. That’s largely because of the 2017 federal tax cut law that provided big breaks for wealthy households and corporations. Economist Paul Krugman writes that public fears about deficits are overblown, but that if the government is going to borrow money it should be put to better use than tax cuts. 

(T)he Trump budget blowout, overwhelmingly driven by tax cuts, seems to have raised the deficit by around $300 billion, or around 1½ percent of G.D.P. Over the course of the next decade, that would amount to something like $3.8 trillion — substantially more than, for example, the combined cost of all of Elizabeth Warren’s proposals other than Medicare for All, which we’re still waiting to hear about. And the truth is that proposals like universal child care are far more likely than tax cuts to repay a significant fraction of their upfront costs, partly by freeing up adults to work, partly by improving the lives of children in ways that will make them more productive adults.


What is suburbia?
Most Americans describe their neighborhoods as “suburban,” but the United State Census Bureau only divides geographies into urban and rural. To fill in the gaps, The New York Times developed its own method for defining suburbia, and found a revealing political divide between kinds of suburbs.

The key finding: Suburbia should not be considered a distinct entity, but two separate realms. The difference between inner-ring and outer-ring suburbs goes well beyond geography. In fact, re-examining the 2016 presidential election through that lens, we found that the fault line in party preference was precisely at the boundary between old and new.


Number of the Day
36 – The number of states where the net price of tuition at public four-year college or university accounted for at least 25% of the median black household income. For white households, the net price accounted for at least 25% of median household income in just 16 states. (Source: CBPP