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Criminal Justice Reform

Obama Just Had A Private Meeting With Key Republicans On Criminal Justice

The Huffington Post | Zach Carter | Posted 02.04.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama recently held a private meeting on criminal justice reform with two key Republicans -- a sign that efforts to re...

Governor Jerry Brown's Latest Criminal Justice Reform Ballot Measure for California: Real Violence Called 'Non-Violent' Offenses

Burke E. Strunsky | Posted 02.03.2016 | Crime
Burke E. Strunsky

In the legal lexicon, words take on meanings that are both specific and even counterintuitive. The legislators who drafted the California Penal Code knew this well and specifically defined a "violent" felony under California law.

Elizabeth Warren: American Justice Is 'Rigged' In Favor Of The Rich

The Huffington Post | Zach Carter | Posted 02.03.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- In a scorching speech from the Senate floor on Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said the American criminal justice system is ...

Time for Drug Treatment Courts to Come Clean

Elaine Pawlowski | Posted 02.02.2016 | Politics
Elaine Pawlowski

Drug treatment courts are a feel good innovation for advocates of criminal justice reform that is misleading the public into believing that judges are wiser than doctors concerning the treatment of those with substance use disorder.

Following President Obama's Lead and Rethinking Justice for Youth

Robert Ross | Posted 02.02.2016 | Black Voices
Robert Ross

We've been heading in the wrong direction and depriving our young people of the chance to reach their full potential, and too often we are punishing children for symptoms of health problems. We should reconsider how we work with adolescents who are crying out for help even as they make youthful mistakes.

Heroin Crisis Forces Lawmakers To Move On Criminal Justice Reform

The Huffington Post | Laura Barron-Lopez | Posted 01.31.2016 | Politics

BALTIMORE -- The first words Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) spoke at the Democrats' annual issues conference here addressed the death of Freddie Gray ...

Friday Talking Points -- One No Trump

Chris Weigant | Posted 01.29.2016 | Politics
Chris Weigant

We have serious doubts that we'll see Trump at any future debates -- after all, if he can blow them off with impunity, why would he subject himself to them in the first place?

Governor Wants To Reform Bail System That Pushes Poor, Innocent People Into Jail

The Huffington Post | Nick Wing | Posted 01.29.2016 | Politics

The principle that defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty stands at the core of the U.S. criminal justice system. Yet in jails around...

There Was Something Missing From The GOP's 'Debate' On Criminal Justice Reform

The Huffington Post | Nick Wing | Posted 01.29.2016 | Politics

The first YouTube question at the GOP debate Thursday night went to Mark Watson, an Army veteran who typically video-blogs about technology. He press...

Federal Prisons Are In Crisis. Congress And The President Need To Step Up.

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 01.26.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- U.S. policymakers need to grab this "defining moment" and dramatically change the way America's overcrowded federal prisons operat...

"Black Lives Matter" (the "Too" Is Silent)

Rick Horowitz | Posted 01.23.2016 | Politics
Rick Horowitz

It's pretty easy to understand. Unless you're trying not to.

Decision Points: Substantive Programming Can Improve Reentry at Little Cost

Michael Hafemann | Posted 01.21.2016 | Crime
Michael Hafemann

Providing programs in jail that teach job skills and prepare inmates for employment will reduce the chance that they will return after they are released--saving money in the long run and improving public safety. However, meaningful inmate programming can be costly.

Our Judicial System: Ignoring Injustice or Colluding in It?

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 01.18.2016 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Prosecutors have the power to prevent almost all wrongful convictions by seeking the truth, not just a conviction. If the pursuit of justice were the only goal, innocent men and women would not find themselves collateral casualties.

Black Lives Matter Would Like A Little More Help From Congressional Black Caucus

The Huffington Post | Tyler Tynes | Posted 01.18.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- It's no secret that many Black Lives Matter and other African-American activists feel disconnected from members of the Congressional Bl...

Republicans See Room To Wed Heroin Epidemic To Criminal Justice Reform

The Huffington Post | Laura Barron-Lopez | Posted 01.16.2016 | Politics

BALTIMORE -- There have been heroin and criminal justice problems here for decades. But lawmakers took little notice until the drug soaked into highe...

5 Takeaways From The GOP's 'Congress of Tomorrow' Retreat

The Huffington Post | Matt Fuller | Posted 01.15.2016 | Politics

BALTIMORE -- The GOP retreat was a chance for House and Senate Republicans to get on the same page, to skip the Republican debate, see the movie "13 ...

Justice Has a Waiting List in New Orleans

Brandon Buskey | Posted 01.15.2016 | Politics
Brandon Buskey

Louisiana is extraordinary in that the primary source for public defense funding comes from fees defendants must pay if found guilty of a crime. That means public defenders can only guarantee their salary if enough of their clients are convicted of crimes. Acquittals are bad for business.

Obama Raises Criminal Justice Reform Stakes in State of the Union

Michael Collins | Posted 01.14.2016 | Politics
Michael Collins

It was the big "will he or won't he" question on the minds of criminal justice reformers last night. Would Obama mention criminal justice reform in his final State of the Union?

Heroin Epidemic Is Another Reason To Move On Criminal Justice Reform: White House

The Huffington Post | Jennifer Bendery | Posted 01.13.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The nation's heroin epidemic has risen to the top of President Barack Obama's list of priorities -- it made it into the second paragrap...

Forging a Path to True Criminal Justice Reform in New York

JoAnne Page | Posted 01.13.2016 | New York
JoAnne Page

In 2016, our leaders in City Hall and the State Capital can take affirmative steps to reduce the number of incarcerated New Yorkers, while increasing services to those who are behind bars.

Criminal Justice Reform May Be The One Thing Congress Can Get Done In Obama’s Last Year

The Huffington Post | Laura Barron-Lopez | Posted 01.12.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his last State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, lawmakers discussed what...

Paul Ryan Could Take The Easy Road On Criminal Justice Reform. He Shouldn't

David Dagan | Posted 01.12.2016 | Politics
David Dagan

Paul Ryan took the speakership vowing to decentralize power and re-energize House committees. It's a noble cause, but it's fair to ask that in return, the committees serve as open forums that do serious policy analysis, not just legislative sausage-making. On criminal justice, Ryan has a chance to establish that principle.

Things I Did While Watching 'Making a Murderer'

Tom Mitchell | Posted 01.12.2016 | Entertainment
Tom Mitchell

Read about how gripping Making a Murderer is. Checked how much running time episodes had left. Tweeted about how gripping Making a Murderer is. Googled the definition of "deposition." Tutted, shook my head, said "sh*t."

Kendrick Lamar And Barack Obama Shared A Powerful Moment At The White House

The Huffington Post | Robert Baldwin III | Posted 01.11.2016 | Politics

When President Barack Obama and rap superstar Kendrick Lamar met last week in the White House, they shared a moment of amazement. "Can you believe th...

Treat Her Like A Lady: Civil Forfeiture's Lack of Chivalry

Chandra Bozelko | Posted 01.06.2016 | Crime
Chandra Bozelko

At first blush, it may seem like civil forfeiture is different than the usual methods of justice: targeting poor people who have nothing and placing them in jail. As hard as state and federal governments may try, you can't take nothing from nothing so indigent populations are impervious to forfeiture schemes.