As the year comes to a close, it is undeniably true that criminal justice reform is in the air. The federal First Step Act, even with critics on the left and right, heralds a less punitive approach than the “get tough on crime” policies of the past several decades. Recent elections yielded a number of prosecutors swept into office on platforms focused on confronting racial disparities and rethinking approaches to low-level offenses.
Over the last two decades, the juvenile justice system has been celebrated for driving a decline in the use of confinement as lawmakers and practitioners changed policies and practices to move away from costly and ineffective use of secure facilities. This has resulted in a halving of the confined population and historic declines in youth crime rates. All of which are rightfully considered a success story.
A groundbreaking new study by researchers at RAND and the University of Pennsylvania Law School finds that by adopting an innovative holistic approach to defending poor clients in criminal cases, jurisdictions can significantly reduce incarceration and save taxpayer dollars, without harming public safety.
Judicious Imprisonment: Does Current Sentencing for Non-Violent Offenses Promote Political Legitimacy?Gregory Jay Hall
Starting August 21, 2018, Americans incarcerated across the United States have been striking back — non-violently. Inmates with jobs are protesting slave-like wages through worker strikes and sit-ins. Inmates also call for an end to racial disparities and an increase in rehabilitation programs.
In theory, at least, many subscribe to the belief that it is better to let 10 or 100 guilty persons go free rather than convict an innocent person.
This report examines the experience of five states – Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and South Carolina – that have achieved prison population reductions of 14-25%. This produced a cumulative total of 23,646 fewer people in prison with no adverse effects on public safety.
The enormous misdemeanor system is an increasingly important and fertile area of criminal justice reform. With over 10 million cases filed each year, vastly outnumbering felonies, the petty-offense process is how most Americans experience the criminal justice system.
One of the most remarkable stories in criminal law is the recent rise of corporate prosecutions across the world. In the past, even in countries that permitted corporations to be prosecuted for crimes, such prosecutions were not a common practice and any fines were minimal.
Do you believe in second chances? To be more specific do you believe in second chances for convicted felons, even those sentenced to life in prison or life without the possibility of parole?
The assessment of an offender’s risk of recidivism is emerging as a key consideration in sentencing policy in many American jurisdictions. However, little information is available on how actual sentencing judges view this development.