Effective Counsel Leading to Procedural Fairness

an unbalanced scaleI first learned about the concept of procedural fairness within justice systems in the early 2000s while working at the Department of Justice. The concept seems quite intuitive to me yet when observing court practices, I was struck by how many courts don’t naturally incorporate the elements of procedural fairness into their daily work.

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The Right to Graduate Treatment Court: How Gender-Specific Treatment Plans Are Necessary to Address Graduation Disparities

woman with a pink hat and the text gender equalityOn August 26th Women’s Equality Day is celebrated. Initially chosen in commemoration of the passing of the 19th Amendment that enshrined a woman’s right to vote, Women’s Equality Day has become a yearly celebration of the history of woman’s suffrage as well as a “pledge to continue fighting for equality for women and girls.”[i] In respect of that, this month’s blog post covers some of the issues women face in their experiences within treatment courts.

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Friday News Roundup: July 26, 2019

Friday News Roundup

This week in the news: Read human pieces like the story of Gloria Williams, one of Louisiana’s longest serving females in prison and Dauras Cyprian, one of tens of thousands of Californians who has been released from prison yet is shut out of two of the most basic civic institutions, a new justice reform proposal from presidential candidate Joe Biden, a slate of policy changes to Oregon’s juvenile justice system, and more. 

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“Small Threats” to the Right to Counsel Are a Big Deal


This month marks 45 years since the passing of Chief Justice Earl Warren, who is remembered for promoting fairness in the justice system, including the Gideon v. Wainwright decision in 1963 requiring states to provide counsel for those who could not afford it. This decision bolstered the importance of effective counsel as part of our Sixth Amendment right to representation. Today, legal representation remains inadequate due to attorney shortages, a lack of funding, and no workload limits. The quality of public defense often suffers, forcing public defenders to decide between caseload efficiency and meaningful representation (see a recent blog post on this subject here).

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Three Takeaways from the Jeffrey Epstein Sex Trafficking Scandal

DecorativeOn July 6, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and taken into federal custody on multiple sex trafficking charges. In some ways, the Epstein saga runs the risk of reinforcing dangerous stereotypes about human trafficking in the US: If we expect all trafficking victims to be blond haired, blue eyed girls under the age of 18, we will overlook the vast majority of survivors. Survivors of human trafficking (meaning both labor and sex trafficking) are migrant laborers, restaurant workers, and housekeepers. They are men, women, transgender, and gender non-conforming. They are all ages and all races. And their stories are complex.

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