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The Path to Prison: Can It Be Blocked?

Approximately one-third of inmates serving first-time prison sentences in New York had repeated contact with the criminal justice system in the 10 years preceding their incarceration—suggesting the system had potential opportunities to curtail their criminal activity via diversion programs—according to a study published in the American Society of Criminology journal Criminology & Public Policy. By contrast, nearly a quarter of the inmates had had very little contact with the system prior to incarceration. The authors of “Pathways to Prison in […]


“Coming Home:” Recidivism Rates Lower for Harlem Reentry Court Parolees

Ex-offenders assigned to the Harlem Parole Reentry Court upon their release from prison had lower recidivism rates than peers who were assigned to traditional parole, according to a study published by the Center for Court Innovation. In “Coming Home to Harlem: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court,” authors Lama Hassoun Ayoub and Tia Pooler measured the court's impact on parolees' employment, school enrollment, interpersonal relationships and criminal activity within 18 months of release, among other outcomes. […]

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Experts Blast Federal Approach To Juvenile Crime

The federal agency that deals with juvenile crime issues needs better leadership and more money, says an expert panel of the National Research Council (NRC), part of the National Academy of Sciences. After suffering from years of declining appropriations from Congress, the committee says in a report issued this week that the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is viewed as “being in a state of limited capacity and stature.” It was not until President Barack […]


Cleaning Up the ‘Ecosystem’ of American Justice

Justice professionals are “deceiving” themselves if they believe their decisions and actions are infallible, Attorney General Eric Holder warns in a volume of essays released today analyzing flaws in America’s criminal justice system.


The Criminal Justice Debt Penalty

Contact with the criminal justice system can lead to severe long-term financial consequences for offenders, according to a new paper from the Center for Research and Evaluation at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The paper's author, Douglas Evans, catalogues the myriad ways that “mere contact with the criminal justice system often results in fees and fines that increase with progression through the system.” Court fees, restitution, child support, arrest fees and other incarceration-related charges […]


After Crime, A Lifetime of Consequences Impossible to Flee

Sixty-five million people in the United States have a criminal record, and the consequences of their actions–no matter how small or far in the past–follow them for life with little relief, says the NACDL, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which details the restrictions in a new report. Ex-offenders can loose voting rights, access to housing, jobs and schools, greatly affecting their ability to re-enter society as a contributing member, with a patchwork of laws and oversight on how […]