Keeping The Peace

August 29, 2014

What Do You Do When Approached By An Officer?

Officer At A Car STopHere we are, the official last weekend of summer. I don’t know about you, but I get overrun with all the “bad news” in the world.

Just this week, I posted about police militarization and the deadliest holidays on America’s roads.

Thankfully, yesterday I came across a positive thought from my friend and local criminal defense attorney Doug Ridley on what to do when you interact with a Peace Officer.

It’s easy to forget with all the bad news that old adage I remember learning in elementary school: An officer is your friend. These folks are not only human beings, but they are somebody’s parent, somebody’s kid and lots of people’s friends.

Here’s Mr. Ridley’s insights:

  • Do Not Appear Threatening – Believe it or not, Read more »

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Back to School: Bail Beginnings and Change

August 29, 2014

A History Lesson

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Lately bail reform has been in the news, but really this isn’t new news.

Bail has been a part of the US practically from the beginning. In the late 1790s the US Congress decided that anyone who had not been accused of a crime punishable by death should be granted the option of posting bail.

Changes came a little more than 100 years later, when lawmakers felt bail amounts were too closely tied to the defendant’s ability to pay and the crime they were accused of committing.

In the middle part of the twentieth century another round of changes were handed down.  That’s when the US Supreme Court deemed that bail may not be excessive, although it could be set in line with the type of crime that was committed.

A decade later, Congress started to put together guidelines for the bail system to make sure financially strapped defendants weren’t unjustly held for no other reason than lacking the ability to pay.

And then, in the 1980s,  courts were given the authorization to set and /or deny bail based on whether the person in custody was considered to be a risk to society.

Bail reform in New Jersey

Lawmakers in the Garden State Read more »

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CA Jail Realignmet Leads To Spike In Early Releases

August 19, 2014

The jail crowding that has been brought on by the CA prisoner realignment program has become so bad that in some cases, county detention centers are turning people away without even taking the time to book them.

Why?  There isn’t enough room at the inn to house additional bodies.

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The recent statistics are staggering; the problem has become so bad that jails are releasing more than 13,000 inmates each month just to keep from busting at the seams.  This is a nearly 35 percent increase from Read more »

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NJ Gov. Signs Off On Bail Reform Legislation

August 13, 2014

After weeks of talking about the need for bail bonds reform,  Gov. Chris Christie finally put his pen where his mouth in.

Earlier this week, he signed a bill that allows for a complete overhaul of the state’s bail rules.   Christie feels these changes will make the state’s criminal justice system more effective.

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The new reforms, he said, will help ensure that communities are protected from the most violent of offenders, and that people who are accused of non-violent crimes don’t stay stuck behind bars for extended periods of time.  Judges can now Read more »

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Is Bail Reform Needed?

August 4, 2014

Late last week, the NJ state senate passed two proposals set forth by Gov. Chris Christie.

The bail system is broken according to Governor Christie.  If someone is accused of a crime and can’t afford to post bail bonds, they’ll be stuck behind bars until their case is over amounting to “debtors prison”.

Christie is also worried it’s causing innocent people to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit so they can get released for time served.

Scales of Justice

 

Many in the legislature seem to agree, but they also feel there are significant details to be worked out.

It seems like Governor Christie needs additional education in bail.

The state assembly is set to look at the proposal on Tuesday.  It’s still unclear whether they’ll pass or veto what’s being put on the table.

Two Proposals

One of the two proposals up for vote Read more »

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Monterey Jail Expansion Said To Have Little Impact To Environment

July 17, 2014

Before any big-scale project can get the green light of approval, the proposal needs to be run over with a fine tooth comb to see what, if any, impact it will have to the local environment.

And the recent environmental impact review of the proposed Monterey County Jail expansion shows little, if any negative effects will take place if the project moves forward.

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The worst that could happen, they said, is that there could be some added noise and traffic issues, but if construction hours are limited and the right equipment is used, all of those concerns can be mitigated.

And if pedestrian access is Read more »

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Inside The Expanded Riverside County Jail

July 10, 2014

From our Inside California Jails Series

The soon-to-be-built Indio Jail will focus on education, rehabilitation

There’s been a lot of talk about what lies ahead for Riverside County’s newest corrections facility.  Although there will be several key modifications from the others, such as a video-only visitation policy between inmates, their friends and family members, another big difference revolves on rehabilitation.

Having extra bed space is good, according to county officials, but finding ways to keep inmates from reoffending (and winding back up in the system)- is even better.

The expanded Indio Jail will have a number of programs and and educational opportunities that are geared toward accomplishing that goal.

And while some detention centers offer little in the way of helping inmates advance life skills, the newest Riverside County Jail is hopeful that if their model is successful, others may follow their lead.

Today, Greg Rynerson Bail Bonds continues with our seventeenth series in our California Jails: Inside the Expanded Riverside County Jail.

Here, we fill you in on:

  • The types of programs that will be offered
  • The types of goals jailers have in mind
  • When the expansion is set to be complete and
  • How much the finished jail is expected to cost

Is there a jail you’d like to learn more about? Let us know-   we’ll get you “inside” (or, if you need, we’ll get you out!)

 

 

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Counties To Allow Bail Bonds For Undocumented Immigrants

July 6, 2014

In the past few months, more than 135 counties throughout the United States have said they’ll no longer honor ICE holds for immigrant jail inmates.

So what does that mean, exactly?

Orange county bail bonds for illegal immigrants

In the past, if someone was arrested and jailers believed they didn’t have papers, they’d detain that person on an immigration hold.  Even if the crime was relatively minor (being drunk in public, having warrants for unpaid parking tickets, you get the gist), the inmate would not be allowed to post bail bonds.

Instead, the facility would Read more »

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Inmate Educational Platform Gets A “Thumbs Up”

July 2, 2014

The maker of an electronic, self-learning driven platform learning system that’s geared toward reducing recidivism is receiving some pretty high marks.

Jail Education Solutions says that when inmates are provided with educational and vocational opportunities while they are serving their time, they’re far less likely to reoffend once their sentence is up.

A 2013 RAND Corporation study found that investments in educational programming can cut recidivism by as much as 43 percent over a three year period.   In addition to freeing up bed space, Read more »

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LAPD Rampart Under Fire Again

June 29, 2014

A longtime LAPD Rampart Station officer is in hot water this week after audio of him making racist comments during a Police Academy session have made their way onto the interwebs.

Veteran detective Frank Lyga has admitted that it’s his voice on the recording, and what he said is truly shocking.

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Lyga was involved in an officer-on-officer shooting back in the late 1990′s that resulted in another man’s death.  That man, off-duty LAPD officer Kevin Gaines, was African American.

To this day, Lyga swears up and down that Gaines pulled up alongside him, flashed a gang sign and started to pull out a gun,  which is why he pulled out his gun and opened fire.

Suffice to say Gaines’ family has disputed that testimony from day one and said it simply never happened.

To make matters worse, if you listen to the recent recording you’ll hear Lyga say how he “could have killed a whole truckload of them and been happy doing it”.

The remarks are raising more than a few eyebrows, and the LAPD has since removed the man from his post at the police academy and has pulled him out of the field.

Opening the big can of worms

The Rampart Station was tossed under a microscope after Gaines’ shooting, and eventually, the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of about 70 different officers.

The scandal also wound up having more than 100 convictions overturned.  And once that was all said and done, well, the feds stepped in to provide oversight to the department.  (That oversight just ended not too long ago, actually.)

It was such a big story that Hollywood even made a movie about it.

Lyga was eventually exonerated in the shooting but the LAPD still paid out about a quarter million to the deceased officer’s family before the matter went to trial.

But to this day, the detective still claims he’s been unfairly painted as a racist.

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