Criminal Justice

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On today's show: 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Nine months ago, Joyce Chance left a refugee camp in Uganda where she had spent the last eleven years. Chance, who was born in Congo, boarded a plane with her two kids, and came to the United States.

A refugee resettlement agency in Concord, New Hampshire picked them up at the airport, and moved them into a one-room apartment.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Manchester Bishop Peter Libasci spent an hour visiting immigrants detained at the Strafford County Jail in Dover on Monday.

The decision to visit the jail came after the Bishop  met with a parish in Manchester on Sunday with many Hispanic congregants. That Parish, St Anne-St. Augustin, had sought to protect undocumented immigrants living in the neighborhood by proclaiming itself a, quote, “sanctuary church.”

The Bishop responded last month with a letter urging Catholic churches against such proclamations.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A couple years ago, Manchester police lieutenant Nicole LeDoux and two colleagues decided to crunch some numbers. They found that in a single year, 400 Manchester kids had been at either domestic violence incidents or overdoses when police were called.  LeDoux is a fast talker who oversees the juvenile and domestic violence units. “I remember sitting,” she said, “and being like ‘man, that’s a lot of kids. How do we deal with that?’” 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

For parents serving time behind bars, remaining close with their kids can be difficult.

But one nonprofit works to help connect inmates in New Hampshire with their children simply through reading.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

New Hampshire correctional officers have declared an impasse in contract negotiations with the Governor’s office.  The Teamsters Union, which represents the officers, say the Governor isn’t doing enough to end years of excessive overtime for staff in the state’s prisons.   

What the parties do seem to agree on is that prisons are critically understaffed. At his budget address last month, Governor Chris Sununu said “we are going to be aggressive and fully fund our corrections system to end the pattern of forced overtime and personnel shortfalls.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In March of 2016, 26 year-old Jeffrey Pendleton died inside a Manchester, New Hampshire jail. Pendleton was a homeless African-American man charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana. He remained in the Valley Street jail while awaiting trial because he couldn't afford to pay $100 in bail.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Michael Treadwell sat at the back of a courtroom.  In a windbreaker and khaki pants, he leaned over his work boots, elbows on his knees. At first, I thought he was chewing gum – a bold choice in a courtroom.  When we began to talk, I discovered it wasn't gum Michael was chewing.  It was his own gums. Michael doesn't have any teeth.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

As immigration officials ramp up deportation of new classes of unauthorized immigrants, more residents and visitors without documents fear run-ins with police.

On New Hampshire's diverse Southern border, a traffic stop in one town could lead to very different consequences than the same kind of stop one town over.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

There’s to be no more kissing, and no hugs lasting more than three seconds in New Hampshire’s prison visiting rooms as of this week. The policy change is part of an effort to curb rampant drug smuggling into the prison.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Updated on Jan. 13, 2017 at 5:07 PM:

Visiting hours will return to normal on Saturday at the state prison for men. Inmate visits were halted earlier this week after a series of likely drug overdoses left one man dead.

In the meantime, the department says it is investigating the type, source, and entry point of the drugs that caused the following three incidents.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Chris Webber was in jail on a couple hundred dollars cash bail the day his daughter was born. He wasn't there because of his trespassing and resisting arrest convictions. He was there because he misses court dates, and he's poor.

Bloomsberries vis Flickr CC

It’s been exactly one year since the New Hampshire Courts began a major change in how felonies are prosecuted, and the state's Judicial Council has delivered it's first progress report.

Traditionally, each felony offense had to make its way through two courts: local courts, with police prosecutors, then superior court, with county prosecutors, before it could be resolved. Many say this means cases cost more and take longer to resolve than they need to.

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday would have marked the first day of Manchester’s new drug court, which gives drug-crime offenders struggling with addiction a chance to get treatment instead of incarceration. But, according to the Union Leader, the opening has been delayed one week, due to a lack of participants.

In June of last year, the city’s commissioners denied funding for the program.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

In Manchester, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is partnering with state and local agencies in a new effort to curtail both the supply of illicit opioids and the demand for them.

On the demand side, the DEA program is starting young. Tuesday, students from Parker-Varney and Green Acres Elementary Schools danced to Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Cristine Dhimos is the regional manager of the after school dance program. 

“I think one of the best things is the kids have an opportunity to be in a safe place for one hour,” she says.

  State and city officials will meet with a representative of the US Drug Enforcement Administration Tuesday in Manchester to discuss the Agency’s new strategy to address drug crimes in the city. 

On Tuesday, thousands of New Hampshire voters will fill in a bubble way down the ballot, under “County Attorney.” It's likely few will know who they are voting for. Below, are interviews with all four candidates for the two contested county attorney seats in N.H. 

Click on the menu below to see how each candidate answered  her questions. 

RELATED: What's At Stake In Rockingham And Hillsborough's County Attorney Races

On Tuesday, thousands of New Hampshire voters will fill in a bubble way down the ballot - under “County Attorney.” But who are they voting for, and what does the job entail?  Few seem to know.

Related: Read Emily Corwin's interviews with the candidates for Hillsborough and Rockingham County Attorneys.

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons

The issue of “debtors' prisons” in New Hampshire will now likely come before the Legislature. That’s after the state’s highest court rejected change in court rules that would guarantee an attorney for people facing jail time for unpaid court fines. 

Courtesy photo

A retired New Hampshire state trooper and Army veteran who sued the Department of Safety for employment discrimination has reached a settlement with the state.

Carrie Nolet of Chocorua represented herself in federal court.  She says she was passed over for promotions because she is female, and faced harassment for her gender and orientation as a lesbian. She retired in 2013 after 20 years in the department.

As a rookie officer in Nashua, N.H., Sergeant Lakeisha Phelps owned a little blue sports car. “One of the troopers would stop me like every other night,” she says, laughing. Phelps worked midnight shifts, and arrived in Nashua around 11 at night.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Radio host, writer and historian Louis "Studs" Terkel was known for intimate oral histories of ordinary people—a collection of previously unheard recordings from his landmark 1974 book Working—revealing how regular Americans viewed their jobs four decades ago, and how that's changed.

On today’s show, The Working Tapes. Plus, the real cost of a mug shot. Police station photos of someone arrested for a crime are considered public record by the American justice system. They're also a multi-million dollar source of revenue for internet scammers.

We’ll also hear about a podcast that looks at Harry Potter as a sacred text. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  The Supreme Court has ordered comprehensive written briefs containing details of victim Lizzi Marriott’s sexual past will remain sealed during Seth Mazzaglia’s appeal proceedings.  However, attorneys’ oral arguments will remain open to the public – and apparently unrestricted. The justices also did not restrict the content of their written opinion.

A jury convicted Mazzaglia of murder in 2014. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 The city of Manchester has won a $25,000 prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for cultivating what the foundation calls a “culture of health.” 

Manchester is one of seven communities to receive the prize, out of nearly 200 applicants. 

kento via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/89fdMQ

In states all across the country, the days of pot prohibition are coming to an end. Today, critics say new regulations favor so-called the "Walmart weed" industry and put the squeeze on home growers.

Plus, Derrick Hamilton has never been to law school - but that hasn't stopped him from filing federal complaints against inhumane treatment of inmates, and helping others obtain hearings. He also fought the wrongful that put him in jail for 21 years. We'll talk with a jailhouse lawyer who was set up, but still believes in the power of the law.

Emily Corwin

New analysis of state and county-wide data shows black and Hispanic people are arrested and incarcerated at higher rates in New Hampshire than whites are, and at more disproportionate rates than blacks and Hispanics nationwide.

Alex Eylar via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6VbpUm

Mugshots are considered to be public record by the American justice system. They're also a multi-million dollar source of revenue for internet scammers. Today on the show, an investigation of extortionist websites that hold people's images, and reputations for ransom.

Plus, the chancellor of a very unusual school talks about the growing business of cannabis, and a troupe of Muslim women form a B-Girl dance group and show the western world that just because you wear a hijab, doesn't mean you can't bust a move.  

Emily Corwin

About a year ago, a few members of the Nashua Police force agreed to meet monthly with a handful of Nashua residents to address racial justice in policing. Thursday night, that committee invited members of the public to a meeting at Rivier University to discuss issues around race and policing in the aftermath of violence by and upon law enforcement around the country.

Twitter.com/ChiefWillard

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard's uninhibited style has landed him in the spotlight recently. He’s been outspoken about the state's opioid crisis and has weighed in on political campaign disputes.

Most recently, he’s taken heat for comments about policing and race. But those who work with Willard say his actions often speak better than his words. 

Allegra Boverman

  A few hundred gathered for a Black Lives Matter march down Elm Street in Manchester Saturday evening.

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