Public defenders are heroes. That message rang loud and clear throughout the third annual Smart on Crime Innovations Conference. From opening remarks by John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Karol Mason who explicitly highlighted defenders as criminal justice reform leaders to the plenary session on day two when Mark Holden and Justice Programs Office Director Kim Ball had a passionate conversation about why the Sixth Amendment matters.
Continue reading “Public Defenders are Heroes”
This week in the news: The shockingly high number of warrants in New Orleans, how drug-related violence can complicate justice reform, an indigenous drug treatment court in Montana presents its first graduates, tenant representation approved by voters but where will the money come from, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: September 27, 2019”
This week in the news: “How do you find your place in the world as an old man when you’ve never lived in it as an adult?” Read Haywood Fennel’s story of release after spending his adult life in prison, the call for federal leadership on civil justice reform from the Center for American Progress and the Justice Programs Office’s own Karen Lash, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: September 20, 2019”
September marks the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA) 30th Recovery Month! In these past 30 years we have witnessed the expansion of evidence-based clinical drug treatment and a shift towards addressing substance use as a public health issue rather than an individual moral failing. With new evidence and approaches, policy makers, medical professionals, and social workers are combating a decades-rise of drug related deaths: due to the often cited opioid-crisis. But one group is often left out of the conversation: young people.
Continue reading “Four Themes in Youth Recovery”
This week in the news: A Texas woman is sentenced to 5 years for voting while on supervision, Senator Kamala Harris proposes reform said to “overhaul the criminal justice system,” the resources states provide upon reentry are few and far between, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: September 13, 2019”
The upcoming presidential election, the 25th anniversary of the federal 1994 crime bill, and the enactment of the First Step Act, have rekindled the national debate on the urgent need for criminal justice reform at the federal level.
But much of the work to reform the criminal justice system is happening at the state and local level. State prisons house 1.3 million of the 2.3 million people confined nationwide (88% at the state level and 12% at the federal level); and that population is disproportionately people of color. However, state courts are finding that the mass incarceration model is expensive and does little to enhance public safety or reduce crime.
Continue reading “New Assessment Tool Aims to Help Treatment Courts Identify Racial Bias”
This week in the news: Read about elderly people who are incarcerated, how it can be difficult to find employment or housing after being released from prison, what Ben & Jerry’s is doing for justice reform, new defense spending in Austin, Texas, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: September 6, 2019”
This week in the news: Read what one woman is doing to help the drug and family wellness court community, how Seattle is addressing the ‘war on drugs’, how two overworked public defenders and six judges ending up giving a life sentence and more top headlines in criminal justice.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 30, 2019”
This week in the news: Read the latest headlines about the dire need for public defense reform, justice proposals from 2020 presidential candidates, life inside a prison plagued by violence, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 23, 2019”
I 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.
Continue reading “Effective Counsel Leading to Procedural Fairness”