Capital Watch Newsletter | To view online version
May 10, 2013
On Capitol Hill
With both immigration reform and appropriations being considered on Capitol Hill, Congress has remained very busy in recent weeks.  In the Senate, comprehensive immigration reform has become a hot topic with hearings and markups scheduled for the coming weeks. In the House, the appropriation process is well underway. Lawmakers on the Hill remain cautiously optimistic that the regular appropriations process will be completed this year thereby eliminating the need for stopgap funding through continuing resolutions.

It is expected that both chambers of Congress will remain in session through Memorial Day weekend.
In This Issue
In this Issue...
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation Introduced in Senate
CALL FOR INFORMATION: Cost of Mental Health Inmates in Local Jails
ONDCP Releases 2013 Drug Strategy
No Cells in Cells Press Release
DHS Releases “I Speak” Tools for Law Enforcement
COPS Office Opens Solicitation for 2013 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award
 
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation Introduced in Senate

On April 16, 2013, the “Gang of Eight” introduced its comprehensive immigration reform package in the Senate. Entitled the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744), the bill attempts to address border security concerns, update the current visa system, and improve the employer verification system.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary as well as the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. Both committees have held hearings on the bill and the Committee on the Judiciary will begin marking up the bill on May 9, 2013. However, the Senate is expected to spend a good portion of the summer considering the legislation. If the measure is passed by the Senate, it will then move to the House for further consideration.

NSA has created a one page fact sheet highlighting items in the 844 page bill that are of importance to sheriffs, which you can view here. **(This link has been updated)**

CALL FOR INFORMATION: Cost of Mental Health Inmates in Local Jails

SHERIFFS: We need your assistance in compiling information on the costs of incarcerating mentally ill offenders in your local jails. This information will be used to demonstrate how incarcerating the mentally ill in local jails has a real impact on how you manage your resources. If you are able to provide examples of the costs of incarcerating mentally ill offenders in your jail, please email them to Breanna Bock-Nielsen, Legislative Liaison, at bnielsen@sheriffs.org.
ONDCP Releases 2013 Drug Strategy

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has released its 2013 National Drug Control Strategy. The Strategy outlines the ways in which the Obama Administration plans to reach two specific goals by 2015: (1) curtail the use of illicit drug consumption in America and (2) improve the public health and public safety of the American people by reducing the consequences of drug abuse. The Strategy addresses five components to reaching those goals: strengthening efforts to prevent drug use in our communities; seeking early intervention opportunities in health care; integrating treatment for substance use disorders into health care and expand support for recovery; breaking the cycle of drug use, crime, delinquency, and incarceration; disrupting domestic drug trafficking and production; strengthening international partnerships; and improving information systems for analysis, assessment, and local management.

To view the full document, click here.

No Cells in Cells Press Release

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to “remove barriers to the deployment and viability of existing and future technologies used to combat contraband wireless devices.” The No Cells in Cells Coalition released a statement supporting the proposed rulemaking. To view that press release, click here.
DHS Releases “I Speak” Tools for Law Enforcement

DHS’ Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) has developed a set of three tools, “I Speak,” to be used by sheriffs, state, and local law enforcement officers who work directly with the public and who may need to identify the language of the person with whom they are interacting. CRCL offers these tools in support of the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plans that many sheriff’s offices have put into place to meet the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

The available materials include a poster for use in public areas, a pocket guide designed to fit in a uniform pocket and a job aid reference for use when a service requires the public to wait in line. Upon request, CRCL Institute will provide customized, digital versions of these tools to sheriff’s offices. For more information or to request materials, contact Charlotte Waller by at 202-357-7696 or charlotte.waller@hq.dhs.gov.

COPS Office Opens Solicitation for 2013 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award

Awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), the L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is bestowed upon a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community.

The winning team of two or more individuals—at least one law enforcement officer and one community member—will have demonstrated active engagement with the community in a multifaceted manner that has been sustained over time and has resulted in positive, observable public safety outcomes.

The ideal team:

  • creates sustainable collaborations that are innovative, creative, and transformative;
  • displays civic leadership through problem solving and collaborative partnerships;
  • institutionalizes sustainable, positive, observable public safety outcomes;
  • promotes public safety through dedication to the community policing philosophy.                

The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and deputy director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 until 1996. A distinguished graduate from Harvard Law School and former partner of the law firm Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C., Tony was widely known and respected for his tremendous commitment to service and community. It is with great admiration and respect for Tony’s many contributions to the COPS Office and the principles of community policing that the COPS Office names this award in his memory.

Nominations must be sent via e-mail to SutinAward@usdoj.gov or via fax to 202-616-8658 (ATTN: Nazmia Alqadi) by Monday, June 24 at 5:00 PM EST.

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Breanna Bock-Nielsen
Legislative Liaison
703-838-5308
bnielsen@sheriffs.org

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