Bill Bratton on Police Reform: ‘Let’s Do It Right This Time’

Few figures have been as transformative in U.S. policing as Bill Bratton. In a wide-ranging conversation with TCR about his new book, the former chief of the Los Angeles and New York police departments offers some hard-won insights from his own career at a time when the very fundamentals of policing are being called into question―and when U.S. cities are facing a post-pandemic rise in violent crime.

unabomber

How the FBI Caught the Unabomber

On the 25th anniversary of the arrest of Ted Kazcynski, who eluded justice during a nearly two-decade string of bombings that terrified the nation, the three FBI agents who led the investigation have written a book with new details of the case. In a conversation with TCR, Donald Noel, one of the agents, draws some lessons for the pursuit of today’s high-tech criminals.

death pernalty

Why the Death Penalty Lingers On in America

Support for capital punishment has declined in the U.S. to its lowest level in 50 years, yet a majority of states retain the practice. In a chat with TCR, Marc Bookman, a former public defender and author of a new book, explores the systemic, political and emotional factors that keep the death penalty alive.

police

Law Stretched Sideways: The Politics of Police Misconduct

What happens when an ex-cop finds himself caught in a tangled web involving allegations of misconduct and political interference? Former federal prosecutor Caleb Mason explores the angles in a new work of fiction whose resemblance to real-life challenges of the justice system, he tells TCR, is not coincidental.

police

Analyzing Police Misconduct: The Data Behind Racial Profiling

Many police agencies collect data, but few chiefs actually use the data to inform policing strategies in their communities, says Alejandro Del Carmen, a criminologist who is a veteran police trainer. In a discussion with TCR’s Isidoro Rodriguez about his new book, Del Carmen says the failure to take data seriously has created a climate where excessive force and endemic racism continue to prevail in American policing.

gangs

From Gang Member to PhD: Defying the Odds

At the age of 14, Christian L. Bolden was a gang member in San Antonio, Tx. Several decades later, he had crossed apparently insurmountable barriers to become a university professor studying gang sociology. In a conversation with TCR about his new book, he discusses how the hurdles have gotten even higher for young men today who are trying to navigate a system bent on punishing, rather than rehabilitating, them.

prison

‘The Madness of Incarceration’: The Corrosive Effect of U.S. Jails and Prisons

Anyone who has experienced the dehumanizing environment of most U.S. prisons would not be surprised by the high levels of recidivism in our corrections system, says psychiatrist Dr. Christine Montross. In a conversation with TCR about her new book, Dr. Montross argues nothing will change until we treat incarcerated people with “humanity.”

justice

Is U.S. Legal System ‘Stacked Against Poor’?

Why do courts prosecute people for crimes that never happened? The answer, former New York City public defender Jessica Henry says in a conversation with TCR about her new book on U.S. legal practices, lies in the system’s reluctance to correct errors.

death row

Capital Punishment and the ‘Culture’ of Revenge

While opposition to the death penalty is growing across the country, the justice system is still skewed towards the maximum punishment, Jodie Sinclair says in a new book about her successful 25-year struggle to free her husband from prison. But in a conversation with TCR, she suggests that the huge cost of mass incarceration, together with crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, have improved the climate for reform.