- Showing 10 posts filed under: Country:USA [–], Region: North America and Caribbean [–], Politics [–] [Show all]
Criminal justice reform: A revolution on the American right
....Conservatives have diagnosed our justice system as being very ill, and they have prescribed new policies to restore its health:
- Reserve costly prison space for dangerous offenders
- Focus on reducing future harm
- Fill each inmate’s day with productive activities
- Facilitate victim–offender dialogue
- Match offenders with mentors
- Provide opportunities for community service and r eparation
- Punish parole violations immediately
- Coordinate re-entry supervision and services.
Research shows that each of these policies is effective and keeps the public safe. Although these policies embody conservative principles, they enjoy broad bipartisan support across ideological, theological and racial lines....
Who will pay? Restorative justice in Texas
from the entry by Cyntia Alkon on ADR Prof Blog:
I recently learned of a proposed bill that involves restorative justice, which has some interesting pieces to it. This bill, S.B. 1237 , expressly authorizes the state to refer criminal cases to an “alternative dispute resolution system” if one already exists in the county. This can happen “regardless of whether the defendant in the criminal case has been formally charged.” However, “the state must obtain the consent of the victim to the referral.”
How the 2012 GOP platform tackles criminal justice
This week, during its quadrennial national convention, the Republican Party released its 2012 platform. The platform is yet another indicator of how conservative leaders are reapplying basic conservative principles to criminal justice. For example, the new platform contains language explicitly emphasizing the importance of prisoner reentry, a notable change from the 2008 platform which contained none. The new platform urges that “[p]risons should do more than punish; they should attempt to rehabilitate and institute proven prisoner reentry systems to reduce recidivism and future victimization.”
2012 party platforms on criminal justice policy (US)
from the report by the Sentencing Project:
The Washington Post recently reported that the gulf between Republicans and Democrats has never been wider. On issue after issue, the two major political parties often disagree in substantial ways. But in the area of criminal justice policy, we have seen in recent years the potential for a bipartisan consensus. A plurality of American voters say that too many people are in prison, and an overwhelming majority -- including voters across political, generational, and racial lines -- want policies that would exchange prisons for more effective alternatives. After nearly four decades of unprecedented expansion, a number of states have reduced prison capacity, even closing prisons, in recent years, thanks to innovative public policy. These advances suggest real momentum for reform.
Marin grand jury calls for more alternative justice programs
The Marin County Civil Grand Jury is calling for broader use of "restorative justice," a law enforcement philosophy that emphasizes reconciliation over punitive retribution.
In a new report, "Restorative Justice: Its Time Has Come in Marin County," the grand jury acknowledged that the practice strikes some as "soft on crime."
Crime and entertainment at Franklin High
When outrage-inducing incidents become media sensations, the authorities respond with the tools they have available. Educators point to politically popular “zero tolerance” policies.
....Police charge the thugs with whatever laws they can find — even unlawful wire tapping — and set the wheels of justice turning. There will be lawyers and hearings and plea bargains, fines and probably time behind bars.
Smart on crime: Why reforming criminal justice is now a Conservative issue
from the article in The Economist:
....It is not only in Britain that criminal-justice reform has become a right-wing issue. The Right on Crime initiative, a creation of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think-tank, counts leading Republicans such as Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush among the fans of its campaign to divert more offenders from prisons to non-custodial sentences. Half of all American states voted to reduce the use of custody last year.
There is plenty of room for relaxation in punitive America, which locks up almost one in 100 people (England and Wales put away fewer than one in 500). But similar forces are at work in both places. Fiscal pressure is mounting. Overall crime rates are falling. And stubborn reoffending rates suggest that some things are not working.
Prisons are one of them.
Restorative Justice: Differences between the US and UK
This is one more area where the UK and the US are miles apart. In the United States prosecutors often go into politics as a career so being strong on crime and talking the rhetoric helps in their campaigns. To have any chance of moving forward all political parties need to be targeted at the same time, there is little point in persuading one politician or political party to be more understanding as this will just leave the door open for his or her opposition to jump in with the policy they are stronger on crime and sentencing.
They also need to be tackled at the right time; your political system seems to run on a four year cycle. There is very little point in lobbying any politicians to be more compassionate towards offenders in the final 2 years of any administration as they will not want to seem weak on the crime ticket and also be already campaigning for the next elections. The day after any vote is the day to start.
from the transcript on Religion & Ethics:
POTTER: More than two million Americans are now imprisoned, four times as many as 30 years ago. The major reason: mandatory sentencing for non-violent crimes and drug charges. But the war on drugs, declared in the 1980s, has not had the effect its backers predicted. Arkansas Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has seen the results.
JUDGE WENDELL GRIFFEN (Arkansas Circuit Court): Drug use has not declined. All it has done has produced an explosion on our prison population. The whole mandatory sentencing guideline mantra was sort of like the Kool-Aid that we should never have drunk.
How victim rights became a juggernaut shaping spending, laws and the future of punishment
Newly elected as a state representative, Pete Lee hit the Capitol last January fired up with big ideas. The biggest of them all was the restorative-justice bill he introduced shortly after the session began.