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justice

Do The Nation’s Prosecutors Need Help?

As national attention focuses on prosecutors’ role in the justice system, and as more reform DAs win office, they could benefit from up-to-date research to help them make decisions, especially on many lower-level criminal cases that don’t necessarily warrant a prison term, a Washington DC panel was told this month.

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crime tape

Violent Crime Rate Dropped Slightly Last Year, FBI Says

Murders also dropped slightly from 2016. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has spoken frequently about reports of rising crime numbers and has warned that the crime decline had “ominously reversed,” said that the crime decline indicated in the FBI report “is something that we all should celebrate.”

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justice

Justice Reformers, ‘Fueled by Sense of Urgency,’ Vow to End Status Quo

Jeremy Travis and Bruce Western, leaders of the so-called Square One Project, say their project consists of two primary segments—an executive session on the future of justice policy that will help generate “a new narrative of justice in America,” and a series of roundtables across the nation, with the first one scheduled this month in North Carolina. According to Travis, the status quo in criminal justice is “profoundly unacceptable.”

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Iowan Dummermuth Heads DOJ Justice Programs Agency

The Trump administration names Matt Dummermuth, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, to head the Justice Department branch that includes six agencies, including the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and National Institute of Justice.

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prison

A New Way to Forecast State Prison Populations

The Urban Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union have developed companion tools aimed at helping states understand the factors that drive their prison populations, and fashion policies that can reduce them without affecting public safety. The ACLU says its tool can help produce “transformational change” in the nation’s prison system.

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Department of Justice

DOJ Backs Down on Justice Reinvestment

The Justice Department had announced a new direction for the justice reinvestment program that encourages states to cut prison populations. The proposal has been withdrawn after advocates of reinvestment sought support from key members of Congress.

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justice

50-State Report Offers ‘Playbook’ on Meeting Public Safety Challenges

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG) has issued what it calls a first-of-its-kind, web-based resource combining data analyses, case studies and recommended strategies for all 50 states to help policymakers address public safety challenges. Among its major points: violent crime rates decreased in 32 states between 2006 and 2016, and the number of drug overdose deaths is now almost four times higher than the number of homicides.

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