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lawbooks

Tackling Overcriminalization in 2021: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Overcriminalization is as much a cause of America’s incarceration addiction as it is a symptom, writes a resident fellow of the R Street Institute. States are making some progress in reducing the number of statutes and regulations on the lawbooks, but there’s still a long way to go.

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court

Texas Study Shows Diversion Curbs Recidivism, Strengthens Job Prospects

A study of Texas’ court-managed diversion program by two economists is welcome news for those who argue that helping individuals steer clear of a first criminal conviction can reduce recidivism and increase the likelihood of securing―and retaining―legitimate employment.

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corona

Why is COVID Spreading in Connecticut Prisons?

The most likely reason for an upsurge in the rate of coronavirus infections appears to the correctional staff’s refusal to obey a state mandate to wear masks, claims a former Connecticut inmate.

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package

Are Your Packages Safe from ‘Porch Pirates’?

 A recent survey of 1,000 Americans found nearly one-fifth experienced the theft of an item ordered online since last March, when the onset of coronavirus confined most consumers to their homes. That’s likely to rise unless authorities and retailers find ways to address it, write the survey authors.

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police

Law Enforcement Officers and Trauma: The Next Public Health Crisis?  

Police and corrections officers suffer higher rates of depression, PTSD, burnout and other anxiety-related mental health conditions than the general population. They should not have to suffer in silence, write three experts in trauma therapy and research.

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police

Why Cops Don’t Talk About Suicide

While there are encouraging signs that the “epidemic” of police suicides has eased, it remains a an issue that is too often swept under the rug, writes one California officer. Unlike COVID-19, “we don’t need to put on masks; we need to remove them,” he adds.

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bus depot

How Mass Transit Puts the Brakes on Human Trafficking  

According to a 2018 survey, 63 percent of trafficking victims were transported on trains, trucks, buses, taxis, and other modes of land travel. That has put the men and women who operate the nation’s public and private mass transit systems on the front lines of the struggle against traffickers, writes a former rail police officer.

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FBI

The FBI’s Diversity Problem

Despite a public commitment to racial diversity, less than 5 percent of Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents are African American, according to the most recent statistics. Creating a more racially diverse force is not just good PR; it’s critical to developing a smarter and more effective 21st century agency, writes a security and human rights expert.

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death penalty

Virginia: Reconciling with Racism by Ending the Death Penalty

In the next few days, Virginia will be the 11th state to abolish capital punishment since 2007. That’s a demarcation point for the modern abolition movement―and it should be a signal for other states to take similar steps, writes Sarah Craft, who directs anti-death penalty advocacy for Equal Justice USA.