Police enforcement of minor crimes contributes to clogged courts and may exacerbate racial tensions, write John Jay President Jeremy Travis and associate professor of psychology Preeti Chauhan. Last Friday, John Jay College announced the creation of a data-driven research network aimed at helping policymakers and law enforcement authorities explore different approaches.
Journalist and author Tina Rosenberg says even broad ideological agreement on prison and sentencing reforms “is no guarantee of progress in Washington.” She writes, “President Trump’s policies on crime are whatever slogans get the crowd roaring.”
Senate Bill 120 would help inmates obtain professional licenses for jobs such as nursing and would allow them to earn wages from private employers while incarcerated. The proposal appears to have bipartisan support, including both Gov. Matt Bevin and the ACLU.
New York’s City Council is revising a law used by police to target households with one or more members accused of low-level drug charges, and immigrant-owned shops accused of selling alcohol to underage auxiliary cops. The targets were almost exclusively located in communities of color.
A national group led by police chiefs and prosecutors has called on President Donald Trump to adopt policies the organization says can reduce both crime and incarceration and also save taxpayer dollars.
Last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a measure barring forfeitures under $15,000 without a criminal conviction. Between 2010 and 2012, proceeds from civil forfeiture in the state totaled nearly $26 million. Most forfeitures fall well below the $15,000 threshold.
Supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, several groups combine to form a network to promote collaboration on using data. A survey found 22 percent of justice agencies doing no data analysis at all.
Foundation president Julia Stasch cited the number, diversity, and creativity of state and local applications the foundation got, saying the momentum was encouraging “as the federal justice reform landscape evolves and shifts.”
Innocent citizens who have experienced the violent impact of systemic failures in criminal justice deserve better than analyses that focus “blame” on individual players. As the medical and aviation fields have long known, “who” failed is less important than “why” things failed.
Some lawmakers want police to know that the state has their backs by equipping them with stronger bulletproof vests and passing hate crime legislation that would recognize law enforcement as a protected class.