A second Cleveland-area woman was taken back to prison Wednesday after a judge objected to her early release through a prison intervention program, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The rearrest of Jewel Fussi, who had served only four months of her four-year prison term, intensified a growing rift between prison officials and judges over the Second Chance for Change program. A Plain Dealer review of dozens of inmates released through the program within the last year found five cases in which judges did not grant authority for the person to be in the program. The program is offered in 10 prisons.
Until recently, the loosely monitored program, which is used to reduce prison overcrowding, operated in relative obscurity. A Plain Dealer story on the release of Colleen Kempf, who stole $500,000 from a school where she worked, raised the ire of judges and turned the program into an embarrassment for the prison system. The Second Chance program allows inmates to leave prison after completing the three-month program — regardless of the length of the original sentence.