police

Is There a Right of Self-Defense Against Police?

A 2013 case in which an individual used a “self-defense” argument to justify shooting an officer who entered his home on a “no-knock warrant” was upheld by a jury. A TCR columnist says such cases illustrate the difficulty of assessing civilian responses in police use-of-force scenarios.

juvenile

Why the ‘Culture’ of Juvenile Justice Needs to Change

In several California counties, courts are keeping young people behind bars even when risk assessment tools suggest they can be released. A former public defender argues this illustrates a worrying tendency to put the system’s fears of making an embarrassing mistake ahead of the needs of justice-involved youth.

angola

How a 13th Amendment Loophole Created America’s Carceral State

The 1865 amendment ended slavery, but it also contained a clause that condemned millions of African Americans to a different form of servitude— in a prison system that robbed them of their rights as citizens, writes a former Black Panther. He calls on the 2020 presidential candidates to endorse a campaign to “amend” the amendment.

florida

Can Big Data Fix Florida’s Criminal Justice System?

Florida now requires the collection of massive amounts of personal information that can be used to determine justice decisions. Proponents argue it will not only save money, but provide for fairer treatment. One legal analyst, however, is skeptical.

juvenile justice

Juveniles’ Access to Counsel: Can Arizona Again Point the Way?

Although the Supreme Court in 1967 established the principle that young people are entitled to due process in juvenile court, the promise remains unfulfilled in many states. But in the state that triggered the landmark “In re Gault” decision, there are positive signs of change.

prison

Jim Crow: Alive and Well in U.S. Prisons

If you’re black, incarcerated, and have made an effort to improve your mind in prison, you’re likely to be considered dangerously arrogant by guards—and even fellow inmates—who think you’re getting ahead of “your station.” TCR’s columnist can speak from experience.

tabloids

Why We Need a Code of Ethics in U.S. Crime Reporting

The American style of crime reporting— featuring sensational cases with the most odious details, printing mug shots and full names, and not providing contextual information on criminology and statistics in stories—is overdue for an overhaul, writes a communications specialist.