Addiction is both a personal health crisis and a public health concern; it wreaks havoc on individual lives and can damage entire communities. The opioid crisis, for example, has led to the deaths of thousands of people, devastated families, and left cities and towns struggling financially from the loss of a workforce. How we understand addiction, therefore, has significant policy implications. The trouble is, addiction is difficult to treat, relapse is common, and there is no scientific rule to explain why any given drinker, user of prescription drugs, or recreational marijuana user becomes dependent or addicted.
Continue reading “The Dangerous Oversimplification of Addiction”
A veterans treatment court in Arizona gets a $2 million grant, Montgomery County funds public defenders to represent indigent clients, and a nonprofit organization in Virginia spearheads a movement to help incarcerated youth with proactive coping strategies. All of these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: September 7, 2018”
This month is full of new beginnings for JPO and for me. JPO is packing up and cleaning out, preparing for an office reconfiguration. We’ve grown and changed over the last two years and so have our needs. We’re losing our library and conference room to create more office space to house our growing team of experts and leaders—but isn’t everything online now, anyway, and, really, who meets in person anymore? Continue reading “New Beginnings – Fun and Stressful at the Same Time”
California historically puts an end to cash bail, North Carolina passes the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act, and Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center in Brooklyn is recognized for its emphasis on therapy and rehabilitation over punishment as New York’s raise the age law fast approaches. All of these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 31, 2018”
I’ve been working for a little over a year as a student associate at the Justice Programs Office (JPO). Most of my time is taken up by being graduate student at American University’s School of International Service but being a student associate at JPO has been a very rewarding part-time job. As an international affairs student, the daily legal issues I study are very different from those most students who focus on domestic government study. During our studies, we international affairs students observe whether a country adheres to the rule of law or we compare the philosophical underpinnings that countries use in designing legal or governmental systems. Rarely do we take a deep look at the American legal system or the American criminal justice system. My time here at JPO has built on my personal thoughts about the American criminal justice system and brought them into sharper focus.
Continue reading “Working in Criminal Justice as an International Affairs Student: Understanding the Challenges at Home”
California bail reform heads to the governor’s desk, prison strikes spread across the nation, and the Department of Justice intensifies its fight against the American opioid epidemic. All of these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 24, 2018”
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of perception is “a result of perceiving,” “a mental image,” “awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation,” “quick, acute, and intuitive cognition,” or “a capacity for comprehension.” Perceptions are the way that we understand something and are often based on our knowledge of real events or our own life experiences. When it comes to our understanding of crime, our perceptions of crime can be based on experiencing crime as a victim ourselves, what we know about the criminal activity in our community from local news or conversations with neighbors, listening to political conversations about crime, or reading stories about criminal activity on social media.
Continue reading “Perceptions of Crime”
West Virginia’s House of Delegates votes to impeach all four Supreme Court justices, indigent families must pay for their child’s attorney in most states, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court becomes the first jurisdiction in the South to end the assessment and collection of discretionary juvenile fees, and L.A. County hasn’t had a public defender in two years and just appointed one. These stories and much more below in the latest Friday News Roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 17, 2018”
Since a peak in the mid-nineties, the number of juveniles placed into secure detention has fallen dramatically, in part to due to a decrease in juvenile crime, and in part due to an increase in pre-trial diversion programs and post-adjudication alternatives to incarceration. These programs, such as the juvenile drug treatment courts (JDTCs) I work with, seek to bring about behavior change and ensure public safety, without the iatrogenic consequences of incarceration.
Continue reading “Unlocking Alternatives to Juvenile Detention”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signs bill into law making jail phone calls free, Kendall County graduates first class of drug court participants, and a Louisiana judge rules Orleans Parish bail structure is unconstitutional. All these stories and much more below in the latest Friday News Roundup.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: August 10, 2018”