Casualties of the ‘Crack’ Era: Today’s Aging Prisoners

A new study traces the aging of America’s prison population to the harsh criminal sentencing of the 1980s “crack” era, when an entire generation in its early 20s was locked away for drug crimes that earned lighter terms just a decade later.

justice scales

What’s the Opposite of Punishment?

A new study proposes a system offering a “path to redemption” for offenders willing to make hard choices about reforming their behavior. Two University of Pennsylvania law researchers argue it’s time to experiment with alternatives to a punitive system.  

Why Justice Still Eludes Crack Offenders

The First Step Act, passed in 2018, was intended to remedy the disproportional racial impact of America’s drug laws with sentencing reductions for nonviolent crack offenses. But many circuit judges have ignored Congress’ intent, making them “complicit in a decades-old mass incarceration scheme,” writes a legal scholar from Wesleyan University.


How to Prevent the Justice ‘Meat-Grinder’ From Making Juries Extinct

The Supreme Court recently held that jury verdicts in state criminal cases must be unanimous.  The remarkable fact, argues TCR’s legal columnist, is not that unanimous juries are required; it is that virtually nothing is decided by jurors, unanimously or otherwise—and no one seems to care.