Many incarcerated individuals develop a cultural or racial consciousness they ignored when they were free—and prison authorities encourage it as a healthy way to build character. But there’s a dark underside, says a Washington State inmate.
A year after signing the most comprehensive justice reform law in state history, Louisiana is now gearing up for the first year of “justice reinvestment,” fueled by savings that almost doubled those predicted a year ago. But members of the governor’s Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council have raised concerns about the limits of their watchdog power, and question whether community-based funds will actually reach the grassroots organizations as originally intended.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced legislation that would end money bail on the federal level and incentivize states to do the same. Federal bail reform seems likely to stall; meanwhile, Robin Steinberg of the Bronx Defenders has set up a national bail project to help poor clients win pretrial release.
Some commentators argue that Brett Kavanaugh will shift the Supreme Court to the right, based on metrics that show him more conservative than retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. But a close look at how Kennedy voted in more than a dozen cases reveals he was far from a “moderate” on criminal procedure—which suggests Kavanaugh might actually move the court towards the center on those issues, writes a former federal prosecutor.
Even though a majority of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, it remains on the federal government’s list of the most harmful drugs, alongside heroin. That makes little sense, according to an addiction expert, if we hope to regulate its use to protect health and public safety.
Miami soon will open the nation’s first “forensic diversion” center for mentally ill people who otherwise would be destined for the criminal justice system, says Judge Steven Leifman, who has long advocated for defendants with mental problems. Leifman addressed the annual forum of the National Criminal Justice Association in Fort Worth, Texas.
Alan Hanson, the top Trump administration official at the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, is moving to the Transportation Department. He’ll be replaced by Laura Rogers, a former San Diego prosecutor who now directs DOJ’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office).