Prosecutors can play the critical role in reforming the justice system—if they’re willing to go beyond their traditional roles as tough law enforcers. In a TCR Special Report, two former prosecutors explain in separate commentaries how that can happen.
A former prosecutor says he is making amends for courtroom actions that “harmed” individuals by working for justice reform. He calls on his former colleagues to join him by changing their focus from getting convictions to achieving fair and humane outcomes.
The proposal by Democrat Kamala Harris and Republican Rand Paul would authorize total spending of $10 million a year for states that replace cash bail with a system that considers community risk, not a defendant’s ability to pay. New Jersey has already moved forward with a system that some call a model for the nation.
Over 4.7 million Americans are under “community corrections” supervision today—more than twice the number of individuals behind bars. Rethinking that 19th-century approach is crucial if we want to end mass incarceration, say the authors of a Harvard Kennedy School paper released today.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make asset forfeiture easier for local police to use under federal rules, but will impose new restrictions aimed at preventing the controversial practice from being abused, the Associated Press reports.
Sheriff Patrick Firman attributed the population drop to collaboration among his department, the police department, the District Attorney’s Office, judges and the Denver Crime Prevention and Control Commission.
The authors of a study of police-civilian interactions in two cities in New York State say their findings challenge assumptions in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing that simply treating citizens with fairness and respect is sufficient to restore trust and confidence in law enforcement.
Texas criminologist William Kelly’s new book calls for a top-to-bottom transformation of a justice system that recycles thousands of Americans without offering them a way to change the behavior that sent them behind bars. He explains his recipe for “disruptive innovation” in a conversation with TCR.