• Exchange Student

    Iowa foreign exchange student program coordinator sentenced to prison

    A Council Bluffs man will spend more than 27 years in federal prison after being convicted of coercion and enticement of a minor Thursday. Thomas Boatright, 52, pleaded guilty in February to four counts of coercion and enticement of a minor. He was sentenced Thursday to 327 months for each count, to be served simultaneously, as well as ordered to pay nearly $80,000 in restitution. Boatright served as a coordinator for EF High School Exchange Year, where he connected international students with U.S. host families and hosted teenagers in his own home. He was arrested in March 2020 after federal prosecutors said that, between July 27, 2019, and Feb. 13, 2020, he made…

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  • Exchange Student

    Foreign exchange student coordinator sentenced to prison for coercing sexual activity | Crime

    Nonpareil graphic A Council Bluffs man who worked as a foreign exchange student coordinator has been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for sexual coercion and enticement of minors. Thomas D. Boatright, 52, was sentenced last week in federal court to 327 months in prison for coercion and enticement of minor foreign exchange students., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa. Support Local Journalism Your subscription makes our reporting possible. {{featured_button_text}} According to the office, Boatright worked as a foreign exchange student coordinator and host parent for a program where students from other countries enrolled in a year of high school in the…

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  • Exchange Student

    When a Student Couldn’t Pay Tuition Fees, Prison Inmates Rallied to Raise $32k to Help

    In the prison system, crime and punishment go hand in hand. Rehabilitation—while often cited as a goal of correctional facilities—is usually more elusive. But, maybe if you add a book club to the mix? Palma School Not long ago, inmates at California’s Soledad Prison pooled their resources—earned over the course of three years—and actually paid the $32,000 tuition so that a student in need could stay in school. The gesture was the culmination of a process set in motion by Jim Micheletti, an English and theology teacher/director of campus ministry and admissions assistant Mia Mirassou at the Palma School in Salinas. Seven years ago, when the pair launched the Exercises…

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  • Education

    A Hasidic man faces prison for money laundering. His lack of education is being used in a plea for leniency.

    (JTA) — Advocates for improving secular studies in Hasidic yeshivas are getting an assist from an unlikely place: the federal case of a Hasidic man who has pleaded guilty to laundering drug money. Zalman Zirkind of Montreal, but currently on house arrest in Brooklyn, is due to be sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in New York. Last summer he pleaded guilty to charges that carry a possible sentence of 11 to 14 years in prison. Supporters of Zirkind, also known as Zalmund, have submitted letters testifying to his character and asking for a lenient sentence. Among the 24 letters submitted to the judge in the case was one from…

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  • Education

    Hasidic man faces prison, lack of education used as leniency plea

    (JTA) — Advocates for improving secular studies in Hasidic yeshivas are getting an assist from an unlikely place: the federal case of a Hasidic man who has pleaded guilty to laundering drug money. Zalman Zirkind of Montreal, but currently on house arrest in Brooklyn, is due to be sentenced Friday in US District Court in New York. Last summer he pleaded guilty to charges that carry a possible sentence of 11 to 14 years in prison. Supporters of Zirkind, also known as Zalmund, have submitted letters testifying to his character and asking for a lenient sentence. Among the 24 letters submitted to the judge in the case was one from…

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  • Jobs

    Leaving prison without a government ID can block access to housing, jobs and help

    Each week when about 10,000 people are released from state and federal prisons around the country, their successful reintegration into civilian life may depend on how quickly they can get valid government-issued photo identification. It can be a major hurdle, and the process to get an ID has become even more cumbersome in some communities during the pandemic. When people are incarcerated, especially for long periods of time, the government ID they had when entering prison — like a driver’s license — may no longer be valid when they are released. Yet this small piece of plastic is needed for many of life’s basic necessities like housing, employment, medical care,…

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