jail

Why Jail is No Place for the Mentally Troubled

For lack of alternatives, thousands of mentally ill individuals are trapped in the justice system. In a conversation with TCR, Alisa Roth, author of “Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness,” says change will only happen when we reexamine our attitudes towards mental illness.

AIDS protest

How State Laws Criminalize People With HIV

Some 28 states require individuals to disclose HIV status to their sexual partners or face criminal penalties. Author Trevor Hoppe tells TCR that such laws are largely the result of fear and discrimination towards victims of diseases considered socially unacceptable–a punitive approach that he says continues today in the face of public health crises such as the opioid epidemic.

evelyn nesbit

Sex, Murder and Madness: Lessons From a Gilded Age Trial

The murder of notable New York architect Sanford White by a jealous husband in 1906 thrust young actress and model Evelyn Nesbit into the center of the first so-called “trial of the century.” Simon Baatz, author of a new book about the case, explains why it still matters today.

Charlie Beck

The LAPD’s Charlie Beck: How to Reform a Police Department

After eight years heading one of the nation’s largest police agencies, retiring Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck gives TCR a frank assessment of the challenges of being a big-city reform chief, what it takes to change the culture of American policing today, and some key lessons he learned.

gangs

Life in a Rural Gang: Little Future, Less Hope

Big-city gangs may be more violent and newsworthy, but smaller and less violent versions are a worrying presence in many poor, rural communities. University of Arkansas sociologist Timothy Brown tells TCR what he learned while interviewing gang members in a Clarksdale, Ms., jail.

don't tread on me

Why Our Flawed Justice System Breeds ‘Shadow’ Vigilantes

What do Three Strikes laws, mandatory-minimums for drug offenders, the Stop Snitching campaign, and private police have in common? According to Paul H. Robinson, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, they are all expressions of a “shadow” vigilantism that has spread in the contemporary U.S.—usually in response to perceived failures in the justice system.