On any given day, there are about 450,000 people in jail who haven’t been convicted of anything–at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $38 million a day. These men and women sit in jail because they don’t have the money to get out. It’s time to change the system.
Confronted with people clearly in need of treatment and social services, law enforcement officers need a way to respond, because they know they’ll see them again. A new approach gaining traction across the country offers “a public health approach to better public safety.”
The murder rate in 2016 was up nationally. But that’s not the worst of it. The unsolved rate of homicides is also on the rise, and that means every year, there are more people who get away with murder than the year before.
Criminal justice reform has not helped women to the same extent that it has benefited men, says a study from the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College. Drawing from women’s experience at Rikers Island, the report argues that reform should be trauma-informed and gender-responsive to account for women’s unique needs.
A significant majority of Americans believe putting people behind bars for non-violent offenses is wrong—and almost three-quarters favor “rehabilitation” over jail when such offenses are committed by those who suffer from mental illness, according to a Zogby Analytics/RTI International poll.
If adopted by Gov. John Bel Edwards and the state legislature, a draft proposal could save taxpayers $305 million over the next 10 years and reduce the state’s prison population by 13 percent, about 4,800 inmates.
In November, Oklahomans voted to downgrade virtually all drug possession cases into misdemeanors. The state House voted yesterday to reinstate felony-level charges for drug possession near schools. Supporters of the change said voters weren’t told the state proposition eliminated what they described as drug-free school zones.
The 18-month commission would review practices “ranging from overburdened courts and unsustainable incarceration costs to strained relationships between law enforcement and communities,” according to Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), one of the sponsors. It would be the first comprehensive review of the justice system in 50 years.