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Will Trump Use Science to Fight Crime?

Leading criminologists told a conference at George Mason University yesterday they believe President Trump will embrace evidence-based practices in his administration’s war on crime. Officials “on the front line have to know what works, and how to pay for it,” said Laurie Robinson, a former Obama justice official.

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Looking Beyond the ‘White Bears’ in Criminal Justice

Preventing wrongful convictions and misconduct means fixing mistakes and flaws before they happen. That’s only possible if justice agencies (and the media) stop focusing exclusively on whom to blame for an error, and look at the circumstances that make errors possible.

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The GOP’s Justice Dilemma

With Donald Trump a self-declared ‘law and order’ candidate, where will that leave Republican advocates for criminal justice reform at this week’s convention?

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Sentencing Reform: Lessons from 10 Counties

As states begin to implement criminal justice reforms, judges and prosecutors will likely start to use risk and needs assessment (RNA) information during sentencing on a routine basis, according to a report published by the National Center for State Courts' Center for Sentencing Initiatives. In the report titled “Using Risk andNeeds Assessment Information at Sentencing: Observations from Ten Jurisdictions,” the authors analyzed initiatives in 10 jurisdictions nationwide, including behavioral treatment programs, evidence-based supervision programs and partnerships between probation departments and […]

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Want to Change the System? Elect a Better Prosecutor

Changes in the behavior of police and prosecutors are as critical to reducing U.S. jail and prison populations as legislative changes, the American Society of Criminology (ASC) was told yesterday. “If you care about justice reform, pay attention to who is going to be your District Attorney,” said Marie Gottschalk of the University of Pennsylvania. Speaking at the ASC's annual convention in Washington, DC, Gottschalk said that prosecutorial elections in many jurisdictions around the nation are becoming “hot” spots in […]

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'We Agree on the Bigger Issue'

The Charles Koch Institute is led by one of the richest men in the nation. Perhaps that's why its criminal justice reform summit in New Orleans this week defied conventions for gatherings of its kind. The three-day conference, called “Advancing Justice: An Agenda for Human Dignity & Public Safety,” was billed by one of its organizers as “transideological.” The two governors who spoke at the conference – Democrat Jack Markell from Delaware and Republican Asa Hutchinson from Arkansas – did […]

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Criminal Justice Reform Without Borders

Some 500 people gathered in New Orleans today for a meeting aimed at exploring what one of its organizers called a “transideological” approach to criminal justice reform. The meeting, called “Advancing Justice: An Agenda for Human Dignity and Public Safety,” was sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute, an educational group created by the billionaire who has been one of the country's prominent supporters of ultra-conservative causes. Will Ruger, the Institute's vice president for research, said the gathering hoped to go […]