inmate news atlanta

We’ve all had some crazy business ideas, but never took action and always wondered ‘what if?’ In Atlanta, prisoners would escape from prison and get the help of Deldrick Jackson (who was a current inmate) and his fiancée, Kelly Bass to drive them to nearby locations, pick up contraband, and return to prison. This happened from Nov 2016 to April 2017 and the details are a little vague, but we’re imagining that Mr. Jackson and the other inmate would plan the escape and the fiancée would pick up the escapee and drive them somewhere to get drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or whatever. Then, she would help sneak them back into the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta

In the mindset of an inmate, this might seem like a great idea. Turns out – it wasn’t. The “inside man” was sentenced to serve an additional 18 months and the fiancée was sentenced 6 months in prison.
The next time these two think they have an idea for a business, they should run it by someone first.

Read the news release from the Department of Justice for more information.

Civil rights campaigners have come together to launch a new campaign against the bail bond industry. The movement, which was launched on Wednesday, could be the biggest step towards ending America’s focus on cash bail.

Udi Ofer, the deputy national political director representing the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the group wishes to bring an end to the bail industry’s for-profit operations in the United States.

The efforts are centered on what Offer is calling a public opposition campaign, and the hope is to get lawmakers and voters to turn against those who are trying to oppose the bail system. This system is centuries old, but those campaigning for reform believe that it preys on poorer people and is driving mass incarceration.

Civil rights groups on Wednesday said that they would launch a multi-front campaign against the industry, and that they hope to bring an end to for-profit operations. The goal is to find new ways to operate the system which are fairer to those who have been arrested, and that will provide equal opportunities for those who are incarcerated but that under the current system are simply not in a position to actually post bail. The campaign is being run by Ofer, and by members of several organisations that are fighting against bail – such as Just Leadership USA and Color of Change. They plan to expose the profiteering which they believe is happening in the bail industry, and to engage in petitions against the bail bonds system as well as holding community forums, and discussing the possibility of filing one or more lawsuits against companies that operate in the bail industry.

Offer called the events the evolution of a new movement, and said that it was a product of the way that the primary opposition to reform of the bail system has come from those who operate in it as a for profit industry.

Via lawsuits, legislation and judicial orders, reformers have managed to accumulate a number of wins, and are now working to get state governments and local governments to find alternatives to bail – things that will ensure that dangerous suspected criminals are locked up, but that those who are less likely to be dangerous will have a chance to be let out while awaiting trial without having to pay for bail. Some jurisdictions are using algorithm-based tools to help judges to work out who should have a chance at bail and who should remain in custody.

Earlier this month, Alaska introduced a system that foregoes bail. Meanwhile, New York City’s comptroller has called to ban commercial bonds for bail. There is opposition to these movements from bail bond industry representatives, who feel that the system is performing an essential public service because it ensures that defendants turn up for their hearings. They argue that eliminating bail could put the public in danger, and would be a waste of taxpayers’ money, as well as potentially violating the constitutional guarantee of bail.

The bail bond industry is backed by insurance companies, and is resisting the reform movement. So far, they have sued the New Mexico Supreme Court over changes to bail rules, and defended the industry from changes to the rules in Maryland as well.

$37 million dollars was awarded to a Maryland woman’s family on Friday as a result of her shooting death that occurred during a 6 hour standoff.

According the the Baltimore Sun, the jury spent several hours deliberating before coming to its decision on the case involving the death Korryn Gaines, 23 at the time, and her shooter, police Corporal Royce Ruby.

The Sun also reported that the family had named both the government of Baltimore County and Ruby in its civil lawsuit.

Crime News

The six woman jury found that the shot that took Gaines’ life and wounded her young son wasn’t a reasonable use of force and was a violation of their civil rights per current state & federal law.

According to the paper, Gaines’ son Kodi, who was 5 years old at the time of the shooting, was awarded $32 million dollars, with his sister Karsyn being awarded an additional $4.5 million. Gaines’ parents were awarded $300,000 each, with another $300,000 going to her estate.

After the decision was read by the forewoman, gasps were heard from the courtroom crowd.

Afterwards, Rhanda Dormeus, Gaines’ mother, took time to speak with reporters with tears in her eyes.

She went on to describe the verdict as a win for all who have suffered the tragedy of losing a child to police violence.

Mike Field, the attorney for Baltimore County, released a statement after the decision expressing disappointment with the verdict and said future legal options were being considered, including the possibility of an appeal.

The State’s Attorney had cleared Corporal Ruby of any criminal wrongdoing before the case went to civil trial. No charges were ever issued, and Ruby has recently received a promotion.

The civil trial for the fatal August 1, 2016 shooting lasted just under three weeks.

The closing argument for the defense was made on Friday by James Ruckle Jr., who is employed as assistant attorney for the county. Rickle claimed Ruby’s response was a reasonable one because he was afraid that officers could be injured by Ms. Gaines or worse.

In his closing, he revealed that arrest warrants had been issued for Ms. Gaines and Corey Cunningham, her fiance, and two police officers had attempted to serve them that day. After no one would answer the door, police officers had no choice left but to kick the door in. According to Ruckle, the first officer to enter the apartment found himself facing a shotgun-wielding Gaines who had the weapon pointed directly at him.

Gaines’ fiance had fled the location with his and Gaines’ infant daughter. Gaines stayed behind in the apartment with her 5 year old son.

Ruckle said it was after seeing Gaines’ braids and the barrel of the shotgun extending from behind a wall when Ruby opened fire.

According to Ruckle, Corporal Ruby was merely doing as trained and was attempting to put an end to the threat at hand.

Kenneth Ravenell, the attorney for Ms. Gaines’ fiance who is also the father of Kodi, expressed a sentiment that is often expressed in situations like this and stated the child didn’t deserve what had happened to him. It is Ravenell’s belief that Ruby acted recklessly after deciding to open fire.

As often happens in cases like this, the case became a national story with anti-police activists taking advantage of the issue to advocate against what they believe is yet another case of excessive police force.

While satisfied that the jury decided in their favor, the Gaines’ family still finds it frustrating that Ruby is still an employee of the police force.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance BottomsLetters from the Southern Center for Human Rights have led Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, to push through an ordinance that reduces the number of instances in which impoverished offenders sit in jail for low-level offenses. In previous months, there have been cases in which the bail was set too high for someone’s family to pay the full amount. They then had to resort to seeking out the help of a bail bondsman only to find out that the fees for the bond were too high as well. On top of that, many of these families couldn’t qualify for a bail bond due to the income requirements. What might be great for first offenders who can’t afford the bail might not be so good in cases of prior convictions, habitual offenders, and even the smaller bonding companies who service the area.

While this news was covered by The Atlanta Journal Constitution a few weeks back, there has been little to no commentary about the affects of the reduction of cash bail cases on the community. Does the ordinance take into account the criminal history of the defendant? According to one bail bonds company in Atlanta, many smaller bonding companies are struggling to get business. In fact, a few of them might be on the brink of going out of business.

Beside the local bondsman, how will the community be affected? If the people who are getting out with just a simple signature end up committing another crime similar to the one they were just arrested for, will the justice system share in the responsibility? After all, they released the defendant, right?

It is hard to say what will come of this in the upcoming months or years, but lets hope that it doesn’t get to that point. What Atlanta residents would like to see is a safe community in which offenders are given the benefit of the doubt, but not given a free ticket to go out in their neighborhood and commit another crime. At least with bail bonds being an option, the bonding company can help ensure that the defendant stays out of trouble until their court date is heard. By obtaining a co-signer on a bond, there is more accountability present. This could mean that the one thing that holds a person back from committing another crime is the financial burden that they will inflict upon the co-signer. If the essence of this accountability gets lost through the upswing in signature bonds vs traditional bail bonds, then we could see a steady increase in the crime rate of Atlanta, Georgia.

Municipal court officials are currently looking at a new bail schedule to allow for the new ordinance to supersede previous versions.

criminal justice news

The man behind the stabbing which occurred at the Mall of America in November last year has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. Mahad Abdirahman pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree assault, for attacking two brothers at the mall in Bloomington.

Mr Abdirahman declined to comment when he was given an opportunity to do so by the judge. Last month, when he lodged his guilty plea, he said that he was inspired to perform the attack by the Islamic state group, and that he went to the shopping centre in to take part in “Jihad” believing that the USA was in a war against Islam.

According to those investigating the case, he attacked the 25 year old John Sanchez and his younger brother Alexander Sanchez, aged 19. The brothers suffered from serious injuries.