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Balancing Justice Series

Census Count of Prisoners Boosts North Country Population, 4/28/00
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When the Census Bureau gives its final tally of north country residents, the population will get a big boost from prison inmates, housed in the region’s jails.  As a result, counties in upstate New York will receive millions of dollars in additional government spending…and gain an advantage in the redistricting process that will follow the census.  As Brian Mann reports, some lawmakers think the inmates should be tallied with their home districts in New York City and not with the towns where they’re jailed:

Activist Protests Rockefeller Drug Laws, 4/13/00
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Therese Derikart, with Families Against Mandatory Minimums, talks with Brian Mann about the impact of the Rockefeller drug laws on families and inner city communities.

Three Perspectives on the Prison Beat, 4/12/00
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Prisons Providing Employment in the North Country, 4/12/00
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In the last 20 years, prisons have become the North Country's biggest growth industry -- a remedy for the economic troubles of small towns. Since 1980, New York has built more than a dozen in the region, and there are now 15 from Cape Vincent to Altona. Hoping to boost its sagging economy, Malone lobbied  for a medium prison in the mid-80s, and ended up with two: Franklin Correctional facility in 1986 and Bare Hill in 1988. Last summer, Upstate, New York's newest maximum-security prison, opened there. But are prisons a good answer to perpetual underemployment in the North Country? Todd Moe reports.

North Country Prisons Help Local Economies, Hurt Inner City Families, 4/12/00
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Over the last twenty years, New York state’s prison population has increased five hundred percent - from twelve thousand inmates to more than seventy thousand.  Most of those prisoners are blacks and hispanics from New York City, jailed under the state’s strict drug laws.  But the prisons built to hold them are here  in the north, hours away from the city by car or bus. As Brian Mann reports, the distance makes it tough for family members, struggling to hold a connection with their loved-ones behind bars.


Tracking Justice in St. Lawrence County -- from Arrest to Sentencing, 4/11/00
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Cathy McDowell Stories, 4/11/00
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Next – true stories from the prison waiting room, where wives and families of inmates struggle to bridge the gap between inside, and outside. These short stories are from a collection by Cathy S. McDowell. McDowell is a student at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. They are read by Ann Heidenreich.

Judge Nicandri Interview, 4/10/00
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Eugene Nicandri has been St. Lawrence County Court Judge for 15 years. He was appointed in 1985 after practicing law for 20 years in Massena, and was elected to the bench that same year. For Balancing Justice, Martha Foley spoke with the judge about his perspective on the criminal justice system over his long career.  The conversation started with the point at which a person gets involved with the system – or should:


St. Lawrence County Court System, 4/9/00
Listen to story.  (6:58)

This morning we begin “Balancing Justice” – a series of stories and interviews about the criminal justice system in our region. Over the next four days, you’ll hear stories of policy and people. Of what happens once you’re arrested. Of the prisons in our communities, and the price paid for the jobs they’ve brought.  We begin with a look at St. Lawrence County’s pioneering effort to examine process and fairness in the local criminal justice system, from arrest to imprisonment. Todd Moe has our report on this three-year effort.