Will Pandemic Be ‘Tipping Point’ For Justice Reform?

The release of older, vulnerable federal inmates as a protective health measure, with no discernible impact on crime rates, should be a sign that “the sky’s not going to fall” if the releases continue after the crisis, say reformers. They hope it can pave the way for a more evidence-based approach to crime and punishment.

prisoners

Anatomy of the ‘Prisoner Trade’: A Stealth Danger During COVID-19

The practice of transferring prisoners to other states was once illegal.  Today, it’s practiced by several state corrections systems—and it raises moral and humanitarian questions, particularly in the time of coronavirus, says NYU law professor Emma Kaufman in a Q&A with Journalist’s Resource.

protest

Will COVID-19 Produce Bail Reform?

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the nationwide drive for eliminating money bail and fixing the inequities of pretrial detention. But it’s also strengthening opposition from the bail industry and tough-on-crime advocates,. such as San Diego’s DA, who objected to some jail releases in his city.

courtroom

Frozen-in-Place Courts Worry Defense Lawyers

Efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus have forced courts around the country to suspend proceedings, but they also threaten the constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial. “We’re in real danger of a total breakdown of the system.” warns Nina Ginsberg. president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

garlic

Fearing Disease, Some Inmates Fall Back on ‘Unconventional’ Measures

With COVID-19 threatening to ravage incarcerated populations, homeopathic remedies like eating garlic and onion have become part of their last line of defense, says Yusef Salaam, one of the wrongfully convicted “Central Park 5,” who is now working as a prisoner advocate in Mississippi.

Don’t Have Your ‘Felon Card’? In Alabama, That’s a Crime

More than 300 Alabamans have been charged since 2014 under state law requiring people with more than two felony convictions to register with local sheriff’s offices and carry cards identifying them as repeat felons. One legal expert compared it to the ID cards Jews were required to have in Nazi Germany.