National / International News

FA plan includes league for B teams

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:29
A new tier for Premier League B teams is part of the Football Association commission's four-point plan to boost English football.

Scotland to pilot 'Clare's law'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:26
A scheme allowing people to find out whether their partner has a history of domestic violence will be piloted in Scotland.

VIDEO: House of Commons

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:25
MPs discuss the ban on Indian mango imports to the EU, during an adjournment debate.

VIDEO: Explainer: What is halal meat?

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:24
Butcher Mohammed Adnan explains the difference between halal and non-halal meat.

Tsarnaev's Attorneys Say FBI Questions Violated His Rights

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:22

The agents said they needed to be sure the threat to public safety was over; the filing says they went too far, in an attempt to "extract as much incriminating information as possible."

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HealthCare.Gov Looks Like A Bargain Compared With State Exchanges

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:18

As rocky as the rollout of HealthCare.gov was, the federal exchange was relativiely efficient in signing up enrollees. Each one cost an average of $647 in federal tax dollars.

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France to fight Sahel militants

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:14
France will deploy 3,000 troops to fight militant Islamists across Africa's vast Sahel region as it has turned into a "danger zone", the defence minister says.

VIDEO: Jenkins: 'A simpler Barclays'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:08
Barclays is to cut 19,000 jobs by 2016, with more than 9,000 to go in the UK, the bank has said. Chief executive Antony Jenkins speaks to the BBC's Kamal Ahmed.

China warns Vietnam over sea dispute

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:05
China warns Vietnam to withdraw its ships from disputed South China Sea waters after vessels from the two sides collide in a tense confrontation.

Double Charged: Teens on house arrest on GPS

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-08 08:00

Double Charged is a special investigation into the U.S. Juvenile Justice system, produced by Youth Radio. This is part two of a two-part series:

Seventeen-year-old Elisa Morris-Jackson is sitting on the couch in sweatpants and a hoodie. It’s 7 p.m. and she’s watching the TV show “Dancing With The Stars”. Each evening, 7 is also the time when about 130 other juvenile offenders in Alameda County, California are required to plug in and sit down for their mandatory two-hour battery charge.

“I’m going to be so excited to get this thing off of me,” she said.

Jackson has a GPS monitor fastened around her ankle with a rubber strap. It’s part of her probation. The GPS unit is black and plastic -- about the size and shape of a computer mouse -- with three LED lights and a big button. Its purpose: to track her every movement.

17-year-old Elisa Morris-Jackson showing her GPS ankle monitor.

Youth Radio

Where does that information end up? At the Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, California. A probation officer named Chris showed me how GPS monitors work.

“We use Google Maps, and it shows real time. So this kid we released today...this shows us that he was here at the Juvenile Justice Center,” he said, pointing at the computer screen.

We are looking at the digital breadcrumbs of one teenager’s movements since he was released from juvenile hall, just an hour or two ago, and fitted with a GPS monitor.

The map shows the teen’s path out of the building to the parking lot. Then, down the hill to the freeway.

“It’s very high tech,” said Chris. The officers can even tell if a teenager is in the front yard or backyard of their home.

The probation officer drags a green circle over the kid’s home. On the screen, it’s about two inches, but in real life it represents a radius of 150 feet – the zone the kid is restricted to. Outside of that, it would be a GPS violation and a judge could send him back to juvenile hall or lengthen probation.

Teens on GPS monitoring have to call their probation officer before they leave for school in the morning. And anything outside of school and home – like a job – requires special permission at least 48 hours in advance. So, it’s basically house arrest.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley says GPS monitoring saves money because it costs a lot less than incarceration. In fact, locking a kid up in juvenile hall costs about $429 per day. GPS costs only $85. O’Malley credits the surveillance technology for helping to keep young people at home with their families and out of incarceration.

“When they were originally building a juvenile justice center, the original idea was that it was going to be more than 500 beds,” said O’Malley. “And I think that on any given day now, there are less than 200.”

While incarceration is down, use of electronic monitoring like GPS has increased, more than tripling in the last ten years. And the devices cost families up to $15 a day.

Dominique Pinkney is a juvenile public defender in Alameda County. He’s glad to have more kids out of jail, but he has big problems with GPS: “It’s absolutely overused,” he said. Pinkney argues that judges assign it almost reflexively, even to teens who never would have been sent to juvenile hall. Not only that, Pinkney says it’s too restrictive and teens get in trouble for silly reasons, like not keeping their device properly charged or hanging out with friends.

The consequence of these violations? Lengthening teens’ probation, or even sending them back to juvenile hall.

“When you extend the consequence beyond some rational period, it becomes abusive. It makes kids angry. It actually has the opposite effect,” said Pinkney. “So you engage in a battle instead of sending a corrective signal.”

Nearly half of the young people who are electronically monitored end up violating the terms, according to a study cited by the American Bar Association. A quarter cut the device off entirely.

Sixteen-year-old Manny Velazquez is waiting outside of a courtroom. Besides his towering spiked hair, the most noticeable thing about him is the GPS monitor strapped around his
ankle.

Manny Velazquez, 16, after a court appearance in the Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, California. 

Brett Myers/Youth Radio

“I am ashamed of it. But that’s not stopping me from…being myself, of the way I dress,” he said.

Velazquez has been on GPS for more than two months. He says the worst part is the isolation.

“It’s just the same routine over and over,” he said. “Go to school. Come home. Sometimes I do get frustrated because I feel like I’m trapped in my own house. Just last night, I felt like the walls were closing in on me.”

One courtroom away, 15-year-old Cameron Lopes had just met with a judge. He was caught carrying a pocketknife in school and spent five days in juvenile hall. Then he was strapped with a GPS unit for 30 days, after missing a court date. Today he and his dad, Jamie, were hoping they could get the device taken off.

Jamie walked out of the courtroom as the heavy wooden doors thumped shut behind him and his son. “He didn’t get his GPS off today,” he said.

Cameron was angry: “I’ve been trying real hard and they just throw all the bad stuff in there and never the good stuff.”

Jamie added, “It’s just little stuff that happened at school. If he got mad at school, they brought it up. If he yelled at somebody, they brought it up. They didn’t bring up that he was on the honor roll... It’s just a lot of negative stuff. So, another 30 days.”

Judges, DAs and public defenders are in rare agreement about GPS tracking as a good alternative to incarcerating teenagers. And it does save money.

But for the young people being monitored, the technology may be solving one problem and creating others, like extending their time in the criminal justice system.

Velazquez says he's ashamed of his GPS ankle monitor.

Brett Myers/Youth Radio

Read Part 1: The true cost of juvenile justice.

Photos and infographics by Youth Radio.

Police treated Brooks 'sensitively'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:59
Police treated former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks with "particular sensitivity" before her arrest, the phone-hacking trial hears.

Pension urged for Troubles victims

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:55
A pension for those severely injured during the Troubles should be implemented immediately, the Victims Commissioner says.

Toddler's pond death accidental

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:53
A toddler who had an obsession with water drowned accidentally in a neighbour's pond in Denbighshire, a coroner says.

PM 'won't intervene on meat labels'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:41
The government indicates it will not intervene over the labelling of ritually-slaughtered meat, saying it is an issue for retailers and customers.

Lewis to play Wolf Hall's Henry VIII

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:38
Damian Lewis will play Henry VIII in the forthcoming BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall, based on the first of Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novels.

Pistorius trial discusses last meal

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:33
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius's murder trial hears expert testimony on when Reeva Steenkamp may have eaten her last meal.

PODCAST: Size does matter for FedEx

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:31

The great mover of packages known as FedEx is shifting to what it calls "dimensional weight pricing." It's about size as well as heft and more money for FedEx. A FedEx spokesman gave this quote to Bloomberg News: "We felt like we weren't receiving the correct compensation for the services we were providing." Marketplace's David Weinberg explains.

President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services appears before the U.S. Senate on Thursday. Sylvia Burwell's nomination will be considered by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. There will be plenty of political questions about the future of Obamacare. But what questions would healthcare executives and policy wonks want to ask? We got in touch with a few to find out.

Meanwhile: Google. Amazon. Walmart.com—These aren’t the first places that people think of when planning a funeral service. But more people are shopping online for cremation urns.

PODCAST: Size does matter for FedEx

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:31

The great mover of packages known as FedEx is shifting to what it calls "dimensional weight pricing." It's about size as well as heft and more money for FedEx. A FedEx spokesman gave this quote to Bloomberg News: "We felt like we weren't receiving the correct compensation for the services we were providing." Marketplace's David Weinberg explains.

President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services appears before the U.S. Senate on Thursday. Sylvia Burwell's nomination will be considered by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. There will be plenty of political questions about the future of Obamacare. But what questions would healthcare executives and policy wonks want to ask? We got in touch with a few to find out.

Meanwhile: Google. Amazon. Walmart.com—These aren’t the first places that people think of when planning a funeral service. But more people are shopping online for cremation urns.

Venezuela protest camp broken up

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:25
In a dawn raid, security forces in Venezuela clear four protest camps in the capital, Caracas, and arrest hundreds of anti-government activists.

The Interesting Bits From Monica Lewinsky's 'Vanity Fair' Article

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 07:17

The former White House intern whose affair with President Clinton eventually led to his impeachment writes about her life after the scandal, and shares her thoughts on Hillary Clinton and others.

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