Policing the Police: How to Tackle the Crisis of Legitimacy

Every major police agency in the U.S. has an Office of Internal Affairs to identify corrupt or abusive officers. But by the time investigators step in, the damage is often done. Here’s one way to get ahead of the problem, suggested by a TCR columnist.


DAs Warn Anti-Fraud Voting Laws Threaten Public Safety  

Over 90 criminal justice leaders have issued a joint statement warning that “voter suppression” laws introduced around the nation will strain limited law enforcement resources and “erode the trust that is integral to keeping communities safe.”

pith helmets

The Perils of Justice ‘Colonialism’

A recent account of life in a Washington, DC precinct uncomfortably reminds TCR’s legal columnist of the “adventure travel” books that once filled bookshelves about the British Raj. Purporting to be sympathetic to the plight of inhabitants, they were factual, without being quite true—and in our current age of reform there are many more like them.

barbed wire

Why Lockdowns Can’t Protect People in Prison From Deadly Viruses

When the pandemic started, many prisons and jails responded by locking people down in their cells, and by using solitary confinement cells as quarantine units. The measure may actually have increased the spread of COVID, says a new report which argues the best way to protect inmates from infectious diseases is ending mass incarceration.


The Youngest Traffickers: How Drug Cartels Exploit Children

The recruitment of children as drug couriers by organized crime gangs has become a major global problem. The strategies used by the British Transport Police and their partners could serve as a model of enforcement and prevention for other countries, writes a former UK detective superintendent.

prison wire

Medical Neglect, Violence Lead Complaints of Misconduct by Prison Staff: Study

In a forthcoming study of recently released incarcerees, 95 percent of respondents said they experienced one or more acts of prison staff misconduct. While most correctional officers are dedicated professionals, a minority who abuse their authority undermine the legitimacy of the system, write the three criminologists who conducted the study.


Break-out Shots: Three Concepts That Could Change Justice

When reformers and critics start bickering again at your first post-pandemic social event, try mentioning three unconventional ideas introduced recently by thought leaders in criminology that could get the reform conversation moving again.

Don’t Defund Police, Spend More on Training

When law enforcement budgets are cut, one of the first things to suffer is an agency’s training program. Considering the already reduced time devoted to educating U.S. cops compared to other democracies, that will make reform even less likely, writes an R Street Fellow.

supreme court

Does Science Still Matter at the Supreme Court?

An April High Court decision allowing judges to ignore research into adolescent brain development will contribute to further inequity, writes a group of developmental scientists. Race and geography, they warn, will now become prime factors in determining life without parole for young people.