The Ordeal of Gay and Transgender Prisoners

In most prisons in America, LGBTI inmates face systematic discrimination and cruelty. But the Stafford Creek facility in Washington state has implemented model policies that address their special needs.

How to Tackle the Nation’s Missing Persons Challenge

A federally funded database called NamUs provides free forensic and analytical resources for missing, unidentified and unclaimed person cases. But unless all states make it mandatory for use by local authorities, its full potential won’t be realized, say three Florida researchers.

Risk Assessment: The Devil’s in the Details

In Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report,” criminals could be identified before they committed a crime. Computer-generated risk algorithms used by courts to determine whether individuals should be released ahead of trial have brought us a step closer to that world–and our challenge is to use them responsibly, says a George Mason University professor.

Breaking Good: How to Heal a Life Spent Behind Bars

Most prisoners on the verge of release focus on how to get back on their feet. But finding ways to contribute to the community matters much more—and ensures that they will never return to prison, writes a Washington State inmate as he awaits the outcome of his parole hearing.

Bail Reform: Why Judges Should Reject ‘Risk Assessment’

Tools that use algorithms to determine whether to detain accused individuals before a trial are increasingly being used across the country as an alternative to the bail system. But the vice president of the Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys argues that the tools also lead to tragedies.

Do Criminal Defendants Have Web Rights?

A Supreme Court ruling in June overruled the conviction of a sex offender for violating his probation after posting on Facebook. But that opens up a new legal minefield over limitations on internet access for anyone convicted of a crime, warns a Washington, DC attorney.

Should We Legislate a Duty to Rescue?

Some countries have “Good Samaritan” laws in place that penalize individuals who fail to provide assistance to strangers in trouble, and at least one state—Minnesota—has a similar statute. Our legal affairs columnist wonders whether such laws are practical, and enforceable.

How Uruguay Left Pot ‘Prohibitionism’ Behind

The South American nation last month became the first in the world to legalize the production and sale of recreational marijuana.  But a Uruguayan writer says some of his compatriots, including the president, are still skeptical.