Matthew Charles

The First Step Act:  It’s Only a ‘First Step’

Congress shouldn’t rest on its laurels following the landmark sentencing overhaul bill signed into law in December, writes one of the original advocates of the legislation. He argues the changes should be part of a major ongoing effort to reform the U.S. justice system.

hawk

The Superpredator Myth: It’s Still Alive Behind Bars

Drug addicts whose violent crimes once earned them the sobriquet of superpredators still languish in prison for years, with little hope of mercy, in defiance of contemporary thinking that treats opioid abuse as a disease that should be handled outside the justice system, writes TCR’s columnist from a Washington State penitentiary.

keyboard

Let’s Train Inmates for Success in the High-Tech Economy

Most experts agree that in-prison training increases post-release employment opportunities. But unless we train inmates for today’s tech-heavy workplaces, they’ll be condemned to low-wage, unskilled jobs that provide no financial security, argue two justice advocates.

mass bailout

Will the Mass Bail Out Movement Prod Reforms?

Last October’s well-publicized bailout of 105 New Yorkers who were awaiting trial is now history. But a volunteer who participated says it underlines why changing America’s pretrial detention system should be a high priority.

gavel

Wrongful Convictions: What Really Matters?

As a debate about the number of wrongful convictions, sparked by Prof. Paul Cassell of Utah, quietly percolates among U.S. scholars, a TCR columnist suggests the argument misses the point entirely: the numbers are less important than making sure they don’t happen.

Do We Really Need Probation and Parole?

As initiatives like the REFORM Alliance surge forward, it is important that they take an elemental, rather than incremental, approach to reforming probation and parole.  Activists should ask how much, if at all, we need to employ government workers to watch those who have broken the law, writes a former  New York probation commissioner.

police protest

Why Police Reform isn’t Dead: The Case for Optimism

When then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions shut down the Justice Department’s efforts to end bias in U.S. police departments, many police reformers lapsed into despair. But reform is alive and well across the country, if you look in the right places, says a policing scholar.

gavin newsom

California and the Death Penalty

The nation’s most populous state has been a trailblazer in justice reform, but it lags behind others in its failure to abolish capital punishment. Gavin Newsom, sworn in this month as the new governor, could change that, writes a reform advocate.