William Edwards, released from jail with a GPS tracking device that he has to pay for, is one of thousands of poor defendants left at the mercy of an ‘E-carceration” system increasingly run by for-profit services, writes an attorney who is leading a class action lawsuit combating the practice.
The “piecemeal” approach by state and federal court approach to addressing trial-level errors fails to account for the complex ways that seemingly independent errors interact with one another, writes a professor at the Northeastern University School of Law.
A Brooklyn, N.Y,-based grassroots group is teaching people with substance abuse disorder how to avoid getting ensnared in the criminal justice system. Organizer Jason Del Aguila says the first step is empowering individuals in their encounters with the courts and police.
President Trump held a second meeting within two weeks to discuss prison and sentencing reform. His aides are working with Congress on a compromise bill that would reduce some federal mandatory minimum sentences and attack recidivism. “People I would least suspect are behind it, 100 percent,” Trump said.
While there are good constitutional reasons for barring prosecutors from speaking directly with defendants without their attorneys’ permission, it shouldn’t prevent them from trying to understand the lives and perspectives of those most affected by what they do, writes a former assistant district attorney.
The American Bar Association urges courts to adopt a set of 10 guidelines aimed at stopping the incarceration of people solely because they can’t pay fines and fees. “This criminalization of poverty must end,” said one attorney.
For some Americans, health care and criminal justice are not two separate systems, but components of one big system that too often fails them. Frustrated cops call them “frequent fliers” because they regularly cycle between jail and hospital, so why do we think we can fix one without the other?
“These are things that unfortunately happen,” says Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc. Despite arrests of released inmates on various offenses, state officials say the reform effort has been successful and saved $12.2 million.
A recent national poll of 1,400 voters shows nearly one in five respondents want to scrap the current money bail system. That should send a message to policymakers that voters are willing to accept alternatives that limit arrests and incarceration for nonviolent offenses, writes the CEO of the Pretrial Justice Institute.