Governor Wolf Leads Call-to-Action for Criminal Justice Reform

first_imgGovernor Wolf Leads Call-to-Action for Criminal Justice Reform SHARE Email Facebook Twitter April 12, 2018center_img Criminal Justice Reform,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, legislators, and advocacy groups in a call-to-action for criminal justice reforms that are long overdue and necessary to provide consistency and uniformity in the system.“The debate about how we can fix our criminal justice system is complicated, and over time that debate has changed to reflect the modern realities and issues present in our system,” Governor Wolf said. “I believe that we can improve the criminal justice system, so that we can protect victims while also ending a cycle of incarceration that has left so many people feeling trapped, helpless and without an opportunity to return to society after they have been released.”The governor outlined a package of eight reform initiatives, including:Justice Reinvestment Initiatives (JRI2), which seek to provide for fair sentencing, increase parole supervision and use of community-based programs, among other reforms.Bail and Pre-Trial Reforms to ensure that everyone has a right to a fair trial and that risk-assessment tools are consistent across the commonwealth.Post-Conviction Relief Act Expansion to reduce time sensitivity by increasing awareness of when rights expire so defendants can make an informed plea decision. Currently if a defendant pleads guilty, they are foreclosed from post-conviction relief; this needs to change so all defendants, regardless of plea, may attempt to prove their innocence.Review/Implement the Goals of the Sentencing Commission, which include adopting a standardized, single assessment tool model used from pre-trial until parole completion.Probation/Parole Revocation and Resentencing to create uniformity in probation revocation procedures and ensure a correlation between risk and probation lengths, resulting in better supervision.Comprehensive Clean Slate Legislation currently being considered in the General Assembly and the first step in establishing a much more comprehensive clean slate law in the commonwealth to provide an opportunity for persons convicted of greater offenses, including felony convictions, to reenter the community with success.Indigent Defense is a critical part of the system that can have a large impact on volume, cost, and human effects and is needed in Pennsylvania to ensure the independence and quality of counsel under the Sixth Amendment.Stepping Up Initiative, which was launched statewide in April 2017 and via summit in December 2017 along with a data-driven project by Dauphin County to examine its criminal justice system, with the goal of reducing the number of people who have serious mental illnesses in the county prison. The findings from that project will be made public at the end of this month and will be used to develop policy and programming recommendations.The governor was joined by Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf in announcing these reforms. Sen. Greenleaf has been a champion of criminal justice reform and is the Senate Judiciary Committee chair.“At one time, Pennsylvania had a 65 percent recidivism rate – that is a failed system,” said Sen. Greenleaf. “Since the landmark passage of criminal justice reform legislation in 2012, following our first round with the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, we have reduced our inmate population by over 3,300 inmates, seen a sharp decline in the recidivism rate and saved the state over $400 million. While we have made great progress in recent years reversing the unintended consequences of the past, there are still great injustices built into the system which must be rectified.”“We need to do the work to make our criminal justice system fairer, more equitable and more focused on rehabilitation,” Governor Wolf said. “Since I became Governor, I have worked hard to reform our system so that it leads to better outcomes and saves taxpayer dollars – while also leading to less crime and fewer victims.“Let’s continue to work towards building the criminal justice system we all want to see in Pennsylvania.”last_img

European Parliament agrees ‘practicable, proportionate’ IORP draft

first_imgAmendments to the IORP Directive proposed by the European Parliament could trigger “welcome reform”, bringing with them a relaxation of cross-border funding requirements and a greater focus on environmental concerns.Following Monday’s vote by the parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), PensionsEurope praised MEPs in pushing for a “practicable, proportionate and less prescriptive proposal” compared with that tabled by the Commission in 2014.However, despite parts of the industry welcoming revisions of the proposed universal benefit statement, concerns remain that the passed amendments contradict the European Commission’s stated aim of improving transparency. Sophie In’t Veld, a shadow rapporteur on the revised Directive, welcomed the removal of “unnecessary obstacles” for cross-border activity but said her parliamentary group of liberal MEPs wanted to go further, allowing for “innovative” arrangements. “It is to be expected that, in the era of FinTech, new products will enter the market that are outside the regulated area,” said In’t Veld, also a vice-president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE).“We need to be much more forward-looking and do more to prepare for these kinds of innovations.”PensionsEurope chief executive Matti Leppälä said the industry group was pleased with the changes to cross-border funding requirements, which would see them subject to the same requirements as domestic funds.“This is a welcome reform,” Leppälä added, “which should make it easier to establish and operate cross-border pension schemes.”The association’s chairman Janwillem Bouma said PensionsEurope was also pleased with the more proportionate position adopted by ECON, which he said would allow member states to tailor requirements to their individual systems.Bouma added: “It is important to take into account different types of pension schemes, as well as the role social partners have, and the differences in social and labour law.”UK responsible investment charity ShareAction also welcomed the vote, after MEPs reinserted language on environmental risk assessment initially removed by member states.The charity’s senior policy offer Camilla de Ste Croix said the vote showed the responsible investment debate was “shifting in the right direction”.“By voting in favour of measures to mandate the consideration of environmental risks in pension schemes’ investment processes,” she said, “MEPs have shown they recognise the very real risks that environmental issues can pose to investment portfolios.”The Commission’s initial proposal suggested that environmental risks be assessed as part of the proposed wider evaluation of a pension fund’s risk profile each time a “significant” change occurred.PensionsEurope also welcomed a “simplification” of the universal Pension Benefit Statement (PBS), which consumer group Better Finance had previously warned against.Ahead of the vote, Better Finance’s Guillaume Prache impressed upon Hayes the need for the PBS to be as transparent as measures in place in the US.In a letter from Better Finance to Hayes and ECON chair Roberto Gualtieri, Prache strongly protested against any amendments that could be “a very significant step back in the protection of EU pension savers”.The letter also said the amendments risked “a severe watering down of the information that IORP participants would receive”.It said any action to undermine transparency could contradict the Commission’s recent work around the Capital Markets Union.“The recent Capital Markets Union Action Plan expressly asks the European Supervisory Authorities to promote the transparency of long-term retail and pension products and an analysis of the actual net performance and fees,” Prache said.The approved draft will function as the parliament’s negotiating position as the trialogue negotiations get underway between member states, MEPs and the Commission.last_img

JetBlue Guyana decision imminent

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! 48 Views   no discussions Share BusinessLifestyleNewsRegionalTravel JetBlue Guyana decision imminent by: – May 1, 2018center_img By Ray ChickrieCaribbean News Now contributorGEORGETOWN, Guyana — US low cost carrier, JetBlue, which has indicated its interest in expanding into the Guyana market, is closer to making a decision, according to local media reports. The Guyana ministry of foreign affairs, without naming the airline, has also indicated that talks are still ongoing and that JetBlue will soon send a delegation to Guyana on a fact finding mission.JetBlue is reportedly concerned with facilities, security and fuel. The cost of jet fuel has been an ongoing issue for airline servicing Georgetown; however, jet fuel price has dropped and that should satisfy the airlines.According state media, foreign affairs minister, Carl Greenidge, noted at the conclusion of a parliamentary tour of Georgetown’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Friday that the executives of a “particular airline” had approached government officials in Miami and indicated an interest in operating in Guyana.”According to the Guyana Chronicle, Greenidge said that “the interested airline’s team is looking at the traffic and facilities, safety and fuel issues and will make a decision after acquiring additional aircraft.”With the imminent opening of a new and expanded CJIA by December, more airlines are expected to enter the Guyana market. American Airlines will commence service to Guyana in December of this year to serve the business travellers and especially those who will work in the upcoming oil and gas sector of Guyana. Airfares are set at US$900 roundtrip from Miami and First/Business class at over US$4,000.The foreign minister correctly pointed out, “If you have good enough facilities and prices are reasonable, you will attract demand,” and this means that more people will fly, which will encourage more airlines to service Guyana.Greenidge echoed what airline officials have said over and over that there are issues pertaining to security that affect the profitability of the airline and he noted that carriers are fined and have to pay a heavy financial penalty. Share Sharelast_img

Hontiveros: NCR’s GCQ shift could lead to new virus wave

first_imgMANILA – Sen. Risa Hontiveros expressed fears that the government’s move to place the National Capital Region (NCR) to general community quarantine (GCQ) could lead to new wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission.Hontiveros said Friday Metro Manila is not yet ready for the downgrading of the community quarantine, citing data from the Department of Health (DOH).On Thursday, the day President Rodrigo Duterte announced the GCQ shift for NCR, the DOH has tallied 539 new COVID-19 cases – the highest number of recorded new cases in a day.“Reading the data available to us, it seems that we have not yet flattened the curve,” Hontiveros said.“Instead, this easing of the lockdown may expose thousands of Metro Manila workers and residents to a new wave of community transmission that will definitely overwhelm our already-embattled health system,” she added.DOH Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire explained the increase in cases is not necessarily new cases but due to the Health’s department’s increased capacity in validating COVID-19 cases submitted by 36 various laboratories.“We expect the numbers to continue to rise over the coming days as we continue catching up with the backlog in validation and as we conduct more tests nationwide,” Vergeire said in a separate statement.Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, for his part, defended Malacanang’s decision to approve the Inter Agency Task Force for the management of the Emerging Infectious Disease recommendation for NCR shift. “Binalanse po natin ang karapatan ng mga mamamayan na magkaroon ng kabuhayan,” Roque said in an interview with GMA Network’s Unang Balita on Friday morning.The NCR was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 16 to May 15, a measure that prohibited mass gathering to prevent COVID-19 transmission, resulting in work stoppage in many industries./PN “This easing of the lockdown may expose thousands of Metro Manila workers,” says Sen. Risa Hontiveros. RISA HONTIVEROS/FACEBOOKlast_img

BHS and OA varsity football teams are Turning Over Hunger

first_imgRipley County, IN — For the 2020 football season, Batesville High School and Oldenburg Academy football teams joined forces with the Ripley County Community Foundation to Turnover Hunger in Ripley County. The Turnover Hunger program encourages football fans to pledge a dollar amount for every turnover their favorite team forces during the season.At the end of the season, the Community Foundation collects the pledges, and the proceeds are donated to the Weekend Backsack Programs administered in local Elementary Schools. Working together, these two teams collectively raised more than $10,000 since the program’s inception and started an Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation that will continue supporting the teams’ efforts forever. In 2019 alone, the teams’ donations helped feed more than 1,100 citizens in Ripley County.The Weekend Backsack Program provides a backpack of food to Ripley County elementary schools for children who face food insecurity on the weekends. These backpacks are filled with kid-friendly food that is easily prepared and provides nutrition they may not receive when they are outside of school. The students are identified by teachers, and the program runs from September through May, serving the Batesville, Jac-Cen-Del, Milan, South Ripley, and Sunman-Dearborn schools. The Weekend Backsack program is privately funded, and current programs are not meeting the needs without further support.The Turnover Hunger Fund, and all of the funds administered by the Ripley County Community Foundation, are always accepting donations. You may make a one-time donation or a pledge to the Turnover Hunger Fund on their website, or you may mail a donation to the Ripley County Community Foundation at 13 E. George St, Suite B, Batesville, IN 47006.last_img

Minister, PTF to decide on Sports Festival

first_imgRelatedPosts Nigeria’s COVID-19 curve flattening — PTF Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports COVID-19: PTF mandates schools to conduct weekly assessments A strong indication has emerged that the postponed Edo 2020 National Sports Festival earlier scheduled for Benin may still hold this year once there is a drop in the COVID-19 pandemic.The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said he is committed to ensuring that sporting activities resume as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic drops. It was revealed that plans have been concluded for a meeting between the Ministry and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to explore the possibility of Edo 2020 holding.The Minister said on Monday: “We have submitted our Sports Protocol to the PTF, but we shall be properly guided.“So very soon we plan to meet with them to work out the modalities for the resumption of Sports in Nigeria.“There is a possibility that the postponed Edo 2020 Sports Festival could still take place this year.”Dare further disclosed that there are plans to have 20 athletes resume training at the High Performance Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to begin preparations for the Olympics. This is to enable them get into shape due to long months of inactivity as a result of the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19.Tags: Edo 2020 National Sports FestivalPresidential Task Force on COVID-19Sunday Darelast_img

USC fares well at Clay Court Invitational

first_imgThe USC men’s tennis team sent in a contingent of players to the 2014 US Tennis Association Collegiate Clay Court Invitational in Orlando, Florida this weekend, with Trojan sophomore Nick Crystal placing highest on the team as the tournament’s runner-up.The final match saw Crystal ultimately unable to overcome No. 1 seed Hunter Harrington of Clemson. Harrington dispatched Crystal in two sets to claim the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational crown, 6-2, 6-3. USC head coach Peter Smith cited a rule change made by the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis committee for no-ad scoring, meaning that on deuce points where games are tied 40-40, the next player to score wins the game.“[Harrington] played great and Nick lost three deuce points. We’re using no ad scoring now and Nick barely lost those points,” Smith said. “Nick played a great match, but to Harrington’s credit, he never let Nick into the match.”Crystal, who finished last season ranked No. 85 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s  rankings, was unranked in this season’s preseason rankings. The former No. 1 college tennis recruit in New York, according to, began his campaign for the clay court title by defeating Virginia Tech’s Florian Nicourd in the opening round. Smith credited Crystal’s improvements and receptiveness to changes in his game, in addition to a comfort level on the slower clay courts, for Crystal’s success at this year’s tournament.“I think [Crystal] knows how to move really well on clay, but I think he would have done just as well on a hard court,” Smith said. “We talked to him about making some changes in his game and he implemented those changes. We changed [Crystal’s] grips, backhand, volley and forehand strokes. We made some tweaks to a lot of areas of his game.”Crystal went on to defeat Marco Nunez of Florida State in the next round and Columbia University’s Mike Vermeer, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, en route to a quarterfinal berth against No. 2 seed and USC teammate junior Max de Vroome.In a match that went to two tiebreaks, Crystal overcame de Vroome 7-6(5), 7-6(3) to earn him a semifinal tilt with Auburn’s Max Hinnisdaels, whom the Waccabuc, New York native defeated 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.In individual tournaments, players on USC’s team can — and often do — run into each other in the draw. Smith saw the match between de Vroome and Crystal as a positive development that helps his team improve, also noting that such incidents mean that both players had been successful in the tournament individually.USC senior Roberto Quiroz, the two-time defending champion of the tournament, didn’t play there this year. When asked about Quiroz’s absence, Smith joked that Quiroz had been barred due to winning the tournament two years in a row.“All the coaches got together and they barred Roberto from playing,” joked Smith with a deadpan. “Roberto hasn’t played a ton this fall, which I would have liked to see him do a little bit more. But he couldn’t make the trip because he’s going New York next week to play doubles with [USC senior] Yannick Hanfmann. It’s a tough back-to-back trip and he’s got to take care of his school work.”Hanfmann and Quiroz will begin play at the ITA National Indoor Championships in Flushing Meadows, New York on Nov. 6.last_img

Syracuse men’s basketball uses its size advantage to dominate Cornell, 80-56, in final nonconference game

first_img Published on December 27, 2016 at 11:45 pm Contact Matthew: | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+ With no real rim protector and hardly any presence inside, Cornell couldn’t stymie Syracuse’s inside-out attack. As one of the nation’s shortest teams faced one of the tallest, it presented a natural mismatch the Orange exploited from the start.On Syracuse’s first possession, Tyler Lydon received a feed 5 feet from the basket. With his back to the hoop, the sophomore rose up for a jump-hook. He missed, but the approach itself foreshadowed SU’s game plan. Syracuse pounded the ball inside all night, either to a cutting forward or posted-up big.“On a lot of offensive sets, we’re the first options now,” said freshman forward Taurean Thompson, who scored 18 points and grabbed seven boards in 22 minutes. “We got a lot of production down there, so we were always looking for each other in the high post.”The Orange (8-5) powered through Cornell (3-9) in an 80-56 blowout victory Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome. SU established the high post and fed the low block, creating and conserving its opportunities. Syracuse committed only 10 turnovers — its lowest tally since a 22-point win over Boston University on Dec. 10 and just one more than its season low.MORE COVERAGEAdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhat we learned from Syracuse’s 80-56 victory over CornellGraphical breakdown of Syracuse men’s basketball’s 80-56 victory over CornellSyracuse fans react to SU’s 24 point victory over Cornellcenter_img Save for the 105-57 blowout victory over Eastern Michigan last Monday, Syracuse scored more points in the paint (38) than it had since opening night on Nov. 11. On Tuesday, Syracuse outscored Cornell down low 38-30 and had 18 second chance points to Cornell’s six.“Once we got it to the high post, it’s like everything opens up,” Thompson added. “There’s so many things you can do with it. We do a good job utilizing the low post and high post in scoring down low.”Toward the end of the first half, Orange center Dajuan Coleman caught a pass in the high post, turned and lobbed a pass to Lydon’s direction. A Cornell defender had fronted Lydon, but Coleman’s pass floated over his head, into Lydon’s hands. He laid the ball off the glass for two.Those acrobatic maneuvers near the rim from either Thompson, Lydon or Tyler Roberson, who had two dunks, made the Carrier Dome roar, a sharp contrast to six days earlier when fans here saw Jim Boeheim’s worst home loss in 41 years.After Lydon laid it in from Coleman, he caught a pass in the high post and played distributor. The defense swarmed, opening up the baseline for a cutting Thompson. Lydon’s inside game — his ability to seal, establish the high post and hit cutters — stemmed in part from his 3-point tally. He hit 4-of-6 from deep, sucking defenders out.“Tyler (Lydon) and Taurean (Thompson) are a huge threat, especially foul line-in,” said freshman guard Tyus Battle, who went 4-of-7 from 3 and scored 16 points. “Teams have to double them, which opened up the floor for cutters and shooters on the perimeter.”When Syracuse didn’t work the ball inside, players sometimes chucked up distant jumpers early in the shot clock and brought the offense out of rhythm. But still, the Orange regained its balance because even when SU didn’t score near the basket, the size advantage forced Cornell to hedge its defenders low, creating space for cutters and perimeter shooters. SU shot 9-for-23 from deep, a 39-percent clip.“We had a little better movement,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Andrew (White) got some good looks. He didn’t make them, but I thought we overcame missing those shots. We made some good plays.”Near the end of the shot clock toward the end of the first half, a drawn-out Roberson hit Battle along the baseline for two points. A few possessions later, Gillon slung a pass from the corner to Lydon for a layup. The offense churned and SU cruised.With 8 minutes, 5 seconds remaining, a few fans filed toward the exits. The sight mirrored that of last Wednesday, when Syracuse suffered a 93-60 humiliation to a fledgling St. John’s unit. Only this time, SU was not en route to the program’s worst-ever Carrier Dome defeat. Instead, it had scooted out to a 20-plus point lead that it held onto for its eighth victory of the season. Commentslast_img

T.J. Yeldon expects ‘heated competition’ among Bills running backs

first_img Bills’ LeSean McCoy predicts comeback campaign in 2019 Despite being a late addition, Yeldon believes he has a good opportunity to carve out an impactful role with the team in 2019, even if it means sitting back and learning from two of the oldest running backs in the league as he plays behind McCoy and Gore.“That’s a blessing. Coming in my first couple years, I didn’t have vets like that,” Yeldon said, via The Buffalo News. “Being here in this situation, I can learn a lot from those guys. It’s a lot for me to take with me in my future years. It’s going to be a heated competition. That’s one thing they told me coming in. There’s going to be competition regardless.” Related News Tyreek Hill’s meeting with NFL lasts 8 hours, report says Panthers to be featured on Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ With several players to share carries, Yeldon knows not everyone will get to touch the ball, which is why he plans on bringing the heat for next month’s workouts.”I feel like I’m a do-it-all back. I can run. I can catch the ball,” Yeldon said. “Making plays with the ball in my hands is something I do. (My receiving) is just a plus.” The Bills have an abundance of running backs, but the order on the depth chart remains in question as training camp looms.While veteran running back LeSean McCoy has been the No. 1 rusher in Buffalo, the acquisition of Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and Devin Singletary this offseason certainly shakes things up. Yeldon, 25, was selected out of Alabama by the Jaguars with the No. 36 overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft and spent his first four seasons in Jacksonville.He has made 30 starts in 51 career games, registering 465 carries for 1,872 yards and six touchdowns. He also has 171 receptions for 1,302 yards and six touchdowns, catching at least 30 passes in each of his four seasons.The Bills are scheduled to open training camp July 24.last_img