Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón’s effort to push through sweeping criminal justice reforms has sparked an unprecedented revolt. Rank-and-file Los Angeles prosecutors have sought to block their new boss in court and district attorneys elsewhere in California have said they will not share cases with him.
The Pre-trial Fairness Act, approved earlier this month by the state legislature and awaiting the governor’s signature, significantly limits the types of charges eligible for pre-trial detention at the first court date.
The implementation of the law, which says 17-year-olds will no longer be automatically charged as adults after committing a crime, is being delayed because of a lack of funding, according to the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association.
As the nation honors Martin Luther King Jr., a study of the impact of New York’s controversial 2020 bail reform by the Data Collaborative for Justice at John Jay College concluded that more than 12,000 individuals—most of them Black or brown New Yorkers—could likely have avoided pretrial detention if the legislation had been in effect a year earlier.
A bill introduced by Rep. Tarra Simmons (D-Bremerton), the first former incarceree to win statewide office, would affect an estimated 10,000 people. Simmons contended that the current process for restoring voting privileges to returning citizens is too complicated and often leaves those with felony convictions confused as to their eligibility status.
The appointment of Tom Ross, who headed the Bountiful, Utah force for 14 years, is a first in the nearly 40-year history of the state’s Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. It comes after repeated calls for police reform in the state, part of a national reckoning on racial justice.
In a unique conversation, singer-songwriter John Legend and Central Park Five member Yusef Salaam asserted that there is a “better way” to approach criminal justice — one that involves defunding the police, electing progressive prosecutors, and humanizing defendants.
Illinois lawmakers have introduced a major criminal justice reform bill that includes ending cash bail and qualified immunity for police officers, and allows anonymous complaints against officers. Law enforcement critics say it will eliminate “policing as we know it.”
Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission have voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation stripping all mandatory minimum sentences from the state’s criminal code. Lawmakers will decide this week on the recommendation, which affects about 4,000 inmates.