When prosecutors and judges are turned into vote-seekers, efforts to develop more humane approaches to punishment and law enforcement suffer, the veteran TV journalist said in an interview aired on CUNY’s “Criminal Justice Matters” program Tuesday. He charged that the Trump administration’s “tough on crime” rhetoric has made things worse.
“While ‘Close Rikers’ has become a convenient moniker, it masks the seismic system change that must happen in order to achieve that one goal,” said Elizabeth Glazer of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
The number of women in Texas county jails has jumped by 48 percent since 2011, far higher than the male population has risen. Failing to meet probation conditions is a primary reason, the Dallas Morning News finds.
An independent monitoring group says staff at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex “relish confrontation” with inmates. The head of the corrections officers union disagrees, saying guards should be “getting a medal from the monitor, as opposed to saying there’s excessive use of force.”
Like many other cities, New York wants to reduce its jail population and repeated lock-ups of low-level offenders. The latest attempt to address that goal centers around a bold idea that could be modeled nationwide: Do away with all jail sentences of less than a month.
The standards followed by jailers across Utah and in 18 other states help counties provide a legally sound level of inmate care , says their author, Gary DeLand. Most of the standards must remain secret for what he called “selfish” reasons. “Coca-Cola doesn’t tell Pepsi-Cola what goes in the damn drink,” he said.
Efforts to close facilities like the Rikers Island jail complex in New York won’t work unless authorities find alternative ways to deal with seriously mentally ill individuals who run afoul of the justice system, says New York’s former chief judge.