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National Prison Count Declined 1 Percent in 2016

It was the third consecutive year that the total of state and federal prisoners dropped. Much of the change was due to a major drop during the Obama administration of 7,300 federal prisoners. The federal system remains the nation’s largest, with about 60,000 more than are behind bars in California.

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High Court Orders Review In Capital Case Alleging Bias

The Supreme Court, voting 6 to 3, ordered a lower court review of an appeal by Georgia death row inmate Keith Tharpe because a juror said Tharpe “wasn’t in the ‘good’ black folks category in my book, should get the electric chair for what he did.” Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said the review was unwarranted and “callously delays justice” for the victim.

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crime scene

U.S. Crime Rate is Stable, Victimization Survey Says

The national crime rate last year remained about the same as the 2015 total, the U.S. Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reported Thursday. Residents aged 12 or older experienced 5.7 million violent victimizations, a rate of 21.1 per 1,000 persons in 2016.

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protest

Public Safety Summit Draws Officials From 50 States

Pennsylvania corrections chief John Wetzel launched the two-day Washington meeting with an appeal to legislators, corrections administrators, police chiefs and health officials to work together on evidence-based solutions. Another speaker said the White House would back unspecified reforms.

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police

‘Proactive Policing’ Credited With Crime Reductions

A National Academy of Sciences panel praises such tactics as “hot spots policing,” problem-oriented policing and “focused deterrence.” There were mixed results for “stop-question-frisk” tactics and broken-windows policing, and “the lack of data on the role of racial bias in proactive policing was startling.”

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