Over 4.7 million Americans are under “community corrections” supervision today—more than twice the number of individuals behind bars. Rethinking that 19th-century approach is crucial if we want to end mass incarceration, say the authors of a Harvard Kennedy School paper released today.
Two briefing papers by the Vera Institute of Justice contend that criminal justice policy “is too often swayed by political rhetoric and unfounded assumptions.” According to Vera, assertions that “violent crime increases in a few cities equal a sweeping national problem” are not based on facts.
In a farewell interview before stepping down after 13 years as president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Jeremy Travis predicts the fear-mongering rhetoric about crime from the current administration won’t slow down reforms at the state and local levels. “The American people are smarter than that,” he says.
A study released June 22 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) revealed that 14 percent of state and federal prisoners and 26 percent of jail inmates reported experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD).
The growth in U.S. prison populations is expected to be a boon to private prison companies, which are stepping up lobbying efforts for housing thousands of new inmates and immigrant detainees, reports the Wall Street Journal. About 19 percent of federal inmates are in private prisons or re-entry centers.
In his forthcoming book, former Dallas Chief David Brown ponders the lessons learned over a 33-year career in law enforcement, capped by the July 2016 shooting tragedy that left five Dallas officers dead. In a chat with TCR, he discusses the need to change the “culture of policing” in order to bridge the divide between communities and law enforcement around the country.
Fordham law professor John Pfaff says the country needs to re-examine the way “politics and punishment interact.” In part 2 of an extended conversation with TCR about his book, “Locked In,” Pfaff focuses on what he believes is local prosecutors’ aggressively punitive approach to people convicted of violence.
Fordham law professor John Pfaff argues in a new book that traditional explanations for America’s mass incarceration crisis distract from the central challenge of rethinking how we punish violent offenders. In part one of a chat with TCR contributing editor David Krajicek, he offers some solutions.