The “family assistance program” approved by the county board of supervisors this month will provide financial assistance and counselling. Board members said the program aimed to help those who had received “incomplete or contradictory information about the death of their loved ones.”
More proactive efforts, such as explicitly telling eyewitnesses at a police lineup that a perpetrator may not be present, targets the kinds of practices that have led to wrongful convictions, says a Stanford University researcher.
Which is more powerful: a good story, or a telling statistic? The success of the recent documentary on the Central Park 5 suggests effective storytelling can change public attitudes, but that might not be enough to change public policy, according to two scholars.
Why do innocent people go to jail? Two Texas State University professors argue that procedural mistakes like eyewitness misidentification and flawed forensic evidence are compounded by a common human failing: once we come to a conclusion about an issue, we rarely pay attention to evidence that might contradict it.
Boston’s DA is under fire from critics, including the local press, for decisions that allegedly let “criminals off the hook.” In fact, she’s pursuing the vision of justice that won her election as a “progressive” prosecutor—and threatens defenders of the status quo, argues TCR’s legal columnist.
“We see the transformation in front of our eyes,” says a member of the team operating out of the rural courtroom where Judge Michelle Anderson offers substance abusers the chance to drop charges if they participate in a rigorous 13-month treatment program.
Individuals who have successfully rehabilitated themselves in prison deserve to be recognized by authorities—and rewarded accordingly, argues a Georgetown law professor. “Character is not static, and the law must recognize this reality,” he writes.
After being a leader in prison population, Missouri is moving away from locking up non-violent offenders to serve long sentences, Gov. Mike Parson signed measures to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for some nonviolent offenses and to prohibit added prison time as punishment for people who can’t pay jail board bills.
ByKatherine Fernandez Rundle and Stephen K. Talpins |
The success of a program aimed at making it easier for individuals to seal or expunge their criminal records is worth a closer look by skeptics in other jurisdictions, Miami-Dade’s state attorney and her chief of staff write in a joint essay.
The nationwide movement to help the formerly incarcerated restore their rights and re-integrate with civilian society spread to 36 states in the first six months of 2019, underlining the growing bipartisan support for justice reforms.