Monday, August 15, 2022

Play

President Biden this week is poised to sign into law sweeping legislation that addresses climate change and prescription drug costs; Measuring the Supreme Court abortion decision's impact in the corporate world; Disaster recovery for Eastern Kentucky businesses.

Play

Federal officials warn about threats against law enforcement; Democrats push their climate, health, and tax bill through Congress; and a new report reveals 800 Americans were evacuated during the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Texas Takes the Lead with In-Person Visitation Law

Play

Thursday, September 3, 2015   

AUSTIN, Texas – A new law passed by the Texas State Legislature last session goes into effect this week, assuring county jail inmates of at least two 20-minute in-person visits per week.

The legislation was introduced in response to a growing trend of replacing face-to-face visitation with video technology. Kymberlie Quong Charles, director of criminal justice programs with Grassroots Leadership, says the value of traditional visitation extends beyond prison walls.

"Staying connected to community, staying connected to family, leads to much more stability and opportunity for people who are leaving a period of incarceration," she says. "This ultimately leads to lower recidivism rates."

According to Quong Charles, a grandfather clause enables some 30 Texas counties to not comply with the new law. She says counties that have made significant investments replacing physical sites with streaming video, for example, can keep existing visitation policies intact.

Criminal justice groups say they'll continue to push for restoring in-person visitation as an option in all of the state's correctional facilities. Quong-Charles says families of inmates maintain there is no way to replace looking at someone face to face, even through plexiglass.

"There's a connection that can be made, but the video monitor and technology kind of creates a disembodied experience," she says. "There's not a sense that they're really there with you."

Quong Charles adds that visitation policies are gaining traction in Texas politics. She cites the 2016 sheriff's race in Travis County, where candidates have announced they would bring back in-person visitation if elected.


get more stories like this via email

In 2021, damages from floods and other severe weather in the United States exceeded $145 billion. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …


Social Issues

Small businesses that suffered damage or destruction from the recent historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky can get one-on-one assistance as they try t…

Environment

The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …


Social Issues

By Linda Burstyn for Ms. Magazine Broadcast version by Roz Brown for New Mexico News Connection/Public News Service Bad Business: Anti-abortion …

In Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 General Election, voters will decide races for governor, U.S. House and Senate, and several state offices. (Zimmytws/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Repres…

Social Issues

August is National Black Business Month, and this year, for Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania that have managed to survive through the pandemic…

Social Issues

On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021