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.

Jails, Justice and Mental Health

Documentary filmmaker Gabriel London speaks with The Crime Report about his recently released project, “The Definition of Insanity,” now streaming on PBS. The film follows participants and the team who carry out the Miami-Dade Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP) in Florida.

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.

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.

drugs

Why Drug Courts Fail

Over the last few decades, drug courts have emerged as a significant policy tool in the nation’s efforts to combat addiction, but how effective are they? In a conversation with TCR, Kerwin Kaye says the findings of his new book show they are subject to the same biases that have marred other much-touted justice reforms.

michael segal

‘Conviction at Any Cost’: The Tangled Case of Michael Segal

When multi-millionaire Chicago insurance broker Michael Segal was convicted in a $30 million fraud case, it was widely celebrated as the downfall of a notorious white-collar criminal. In a forthcoming book, however, he claims to be the victim of prosecutorial overreach. Author Maurice Possley tells TCR why he has a legitimate case.

crack

Rocks and Riches: How Crack Cocaine Affected America

It was no coincidence that the crack cocaine epidemic exploded during a time of dramatic transformation in the U.S. economy, says David Farber, author of a new book. In a conversation with TCR, he argues that, even as it destroyed lives and fueled mass incarceration, it provided a passport for some young men into the prevailing 1980s lifestyle of greed and amorality. 

MLK

Written Into Law: The Legacy of African-American Subjugation

A new book offers a timely look at the ugly history of race-based laws. In “Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law In Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana” professors Ariela J. Gross, of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and Alejandro de la Fuente, of Harvard University, trace how colonial-era laws used to subjugate people of color still resonate in our justice system.