This week in the news: Read about historic bail reform in Texas, how New York homelessness reform might not be what it seems, a public defender who has worked nearly 4,000 cases in the last five years, an opinion piece on how the justice system mistreats survivors of trafficking, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 2, 2019”
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.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: July 26, 2019”
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).
Continue reading ““Small Threats” to the Right to Counsel Are a Big Deal”
On 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.
Continue reading “Three Takeaways from the Jeffrey Epstein Sex Trafficking Scandal”
This week in the news: Read about the alarming rates of LGBTQ people of color who are being incarcerated, Sen. Cory Booker’s latest reform proposal, new developments in the opioid crisis, a case of wrongful conviction, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: July 19, 2019”
This week in the news: Read two human interest stories of people who were previously incarcerated who now hold or are pursuing college degrees, about the newest legislation in criminal justice reform, the wave of banks exiting the private prison industry, a District Attorney’s out-of-the-ordinary reverse on a tough-on-crime stance, and so much more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: July 12, 2019”
The first drug court was established in 1989 in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and was designed to tackle the cocaine epidemic that had overtaken the region. This first drug court provided an alternative response to mass incarceration and added a facet to American justice that hadn’t yet been seen. Miami-Dade’s model imparted the idea that offending rates could be reduced without the severe punishment of jail or prison. In addition, it emphasized the notion that treating the root causes of crime, including mental health and addiction issues, could not only achieve the same results as traditional justice, but could actually surpass them.
Continue reading “Global Recovery: Where International Justice Meets the Drug Court Model”
This week in the news: Read about the push for free phone calls while in jail, how the BOP withdrew its plans to construct a US Penitentiary in Kentucky, 2020 presidential contenders take on criminal justice reform, the call to deconstruct private, for-profit prisons, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: June 28, 2019”
Last month, California congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris introduced the Ensuring Quality Access to Legal Defense (EQUAL Defense) Act. If passed, the bill would create a $250 million grant program aiming to establish workload limits for public defenders and pay parity between public defenders and prosecutors. The bill would also authorize $5 million to provide training to public defenders.
Continue reading “Investing in Equal Access to Quality Public Defense”
This week in the news: Read more on the study that shed light on current and retired police officers’ Facebook posts, Booker’s (D-NJ) promise of clemency for thousands of nonviolent drug offenders if he becomes president, how the First Step Act continues to play out, the newly established pro bono effort, the Compassionate Release Clearinghouse, and much more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: June 21, 2019”