Archive for Saturday, January 24, 2004


January 24, 2004


New York

State to close prisons as inmate numbers drop

Gov. George Pataki's administration announced plans Friday to close three prisons and cut staff at six others, citing a declining prison population that runs counter to national trends.

Programs allowing nonviolent offenders to reduce their sentences through rehabilitative programs and good behavior have been so successful that the state can eliminate 1,420 inmate beds during the next 14 months, said State Corrections Commissioner Glenn Goord.

His plan includes closing two minimum-security prison camps and a work-release facility, changes that would save $18 million and cause the reassignment of 296 officers and employees. Another 645 beds will be vacated in six medium-security prisons, Goord said.

North Carolina

1789 Bill of Rights copy ruled to belong to state

A 1789 copy of the U.S. Bill of Rights that was lost after the Civil War and seized in a sting last year belongs to its original owner, the state of North Carolina, a federal judge ruled Friday.

However, U.S. marshals should keep the parchment for now, U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle said, pending appeals in the dispute involving the government and two Connecticut men from whom the document was seized last year.

The document is a draft of 12 proposed constitutional amendments President George Washington sent to state lawmakers to encourage them to join the United States. It was displayed at the North Carolina Capitol during the 1800s and disappeared when Raleigh was occupied by federal troops after the Civil War.

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