colombo

A Detective’s Worst Foe: ‘Flawed Thinking’

Fictional detectives like Peter Falk’s Columbo can solve mysteries on a hunch. Real-life investigators who do the same are often responsible for wrongful arrests that undermine the legitimacy of the justice system–and let the real wrongdoers escape, according to criminologists.

courtroom embrace

Can Restorative Justice Go Mainstream?

The widely reported courtroom hug last month between the Dallas cop convicted of murdering Botham Jean, an unarmed civilian, and his brother received national attention and has been called an example of how “restorative justice” can heal harm created by tragedy. TCR asked experts in the field to weigh in.

detective

My Weekend as an Amateur Cold Case Detective

Nearly 300 amateur investigators joined law enforcement authorities in Seattle for a groundbreaking effort to “crowd solve” two crimes—one of them a murder—that have defeated detectives’ efforts for decades. Our reporter was there.

College Behind Bars

Some of America’s ‘Most Terrific’ Students are Behind Bars

The Bard Prison Initiative, one of several programs that attempted to fill the void in prison education created when Congress stopped Pell grants for the incarcerated, is the subject of a new PBS documentary. TCR talks to the producers and some of the students who participated in the New York program.

Michael Stovall

Race, Land and Justice: ‘This War Isn’t Over’

Black farmers charge they have been blocked from receiving Department of Agriculture funds awarded in a class-action lawsuit because of the machinations of local agriculture officials and sometimes the courts who back up those officials. That, according to advocates, has perpetuated a pattern of eroding black land ownership and systemic rural racism.