Fordham law professor John Pfaff argues in a new book that traditional explanations for America’s mass incarceration crisis distract from the central challenge of rethinking how we punish violent offenders. In part one of a chat with TCR contributing editor David Krajicek, he offers some solutions.
The National Criminal Justice Association says President Trump’s budget proposal to Congress would harm state and local law enforcement by making another big cut in Byrne JAG grants, which help fund state and local innovations in crime-fighting. In the last seven years, funding for Byrne JAG already has been cut by one-third.
Louisiana legislators are backing lighter sentences for nonviolent convicts, but sheriffs and prosecutors lobbied against benefits for those serving time for violent offenses. “We can’t just open the floodgates,” said East Feliciana Sheriff Jeff Travis.
Does shrinking the size of prison populations save taxpayers money? Not always, says a study released May 23 by the Vera Institute of Justice. The study found that 25 states increased their spending on prisons even though the nation’s overall prison population has declined.
A free data tool launched by Measures for Justice (MFJ) is aimed at providing policymakers, practitioners and journalists with a county-level view at how criminal cases are handled from arrest to post-conviction.
Louisiana leads the nation in incarceration rates, with most of those imprisoned African Americans. One reason is the state’s post-Civil War practice of allowing non-unanimous jury verdicts—but some reformers are pressing for change.
A free data portal to be launched next week will provide the first–ever window into how justice is done (or not done) at the county level. Founder Amy Bach tells TCR how it can be used by anyone who intersects with the criminal justice system, from prosecutors and journalists to ordinary Americans.
A veteran private eye argues that if the services of criminal investigators were made available to poor defendants during trial, it would save the time and money spent in fighting to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.