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PNS Daily Newscast - June 18, 2021 


President Biden just signed a law declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday; and the first tropical storm system is forecast to make landfall in U.S. by end of the week.


2021Talks - June 18, 2021 


The U.S. marks a new national holiday; Republicans reject Sen. Joe Manchin's election reform compromise; and U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare but strikes a blow to equal rights.

Public News Service - WV: Criminal Justice

To relieve overcrowding, a West Virginia bill would help inmates get access to classes required for reentry before, rather than after, parole starts. (Adobe stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.V. -- Criminal-justice advocates in West Virginia urged lawmakers to oppose a new bill they say would politicize parole hearings, making it more difficult for incarcerated people to get a fair review. House Bill 2747 would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of the state

A West Virginia bill would charge some former drug offenders $50 a month in fees for extended supervision for up to 10 years. (Adobe stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Criminal-justice advocates are urging West Virginia lawmakers to oppose a bill heading to the Senate that would add up to 10 years of extended supervision for certain drug offenders, even after they've served all their prison and parole time. House Bill 2257 would also send tho

About 44% of prisoners in West Virginia's regional jails are being held pretrial because they can't afford cash bail. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Research shows West Virginia is the only state to increase its jail population in 2020. In an online panel, state lawmakers shared ideas for criminal-justice reform measures in the Legislature to tackle the overcrowding. Pointing out the Mountain State has no statewide reentry

A West Virginia state delegate is facing sanctions for participating with pro-Trump groups storming the U.S. Capitol. (Wikimedia Commons)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia social-justice groups are decrying a state delegate's participation in the shocking assault on the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, while Mountain State lawmakers are calling for the delegate's removal from the Legislature. Wearing a motorcycle helmet and shouting

It's estimated that people in jail or prison are being infected by COVID-19 at rates more than five times higher than the nation's overall infection rate. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As the number of COVID-19 cases in West Virginia jails skyrockets, advocates for incarcerated people are urging Gov. Jim Justice to follow recommendations in a new report to curb the spread. As of December 1, more than 1,150 people serving time and correctional officers have co

A U.S. House bill would support 40 programs nationwide that team social workers with police departments to respond to mental health-oriented emergency calls. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mental and behavioral health practitioners in West Virginia are endorsing legislation in Congress to fund the use of social workers in tandem with police on some 911 calls. The Community-Based Response Act of 2020 would provide $100 million to support alternative responses to so

A new West Virginia state law requires a faster hearing if a defendant with a low-level misdemeanor charge can't afford bail. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- A coalition of prison reform groups is asking court officials in West Virginia to make better use of the newly passed bail reform law to lower jail populations and reduce the spread of COVID-19. The call comes just days after multiple novel coronavirus cases were confirmed in

Members of Appalachians Against Pipelines protest against the Mountain View Pipeline in West Virginia in 2018. (Appalachians Against Pipelines/Facebook)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Environmental groups spoke out this week against a West Virginia House of Delegates bill that would make peaceful protests against pipelines and other "key infrastructure" into criminal acts. They believe the law would not only impede on First Amendment rights, but could also d

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