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Annie E. Casey Foundation;
This Casey Foundation report explores the Foundation's deep-end effort, which is helping juvenile justice jurisdictions safely and significantly reduce youth confinement — especially for young people of color. It highlights a troublesome practice: the use of correctional confinement for youth who have violated the conditions of their probation — but not the law — and argues for eliminating confinement as a response to probation rule violations.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center;
Harris County (Texas), home to approximately 1.2 million immigrants, is one of the largest and most diverse counties in the United States. Unfortunately, it also operates an expansive jail system and is an epicenter of immigration enforcement. This report looks at criminal case outcomes before Harris County courts and highlights disparities between U.S. citizens and non-citizens in arrests, charges, bail, case disposition, and sentencing. Through this report, we seek to raise awareness about how non-citizens are unjustly treated in Harris County, and we provide key policy recommendations for stakeholders to take immediate action to address such inequities.
Measures for Justice;
Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.
Washington State Institue for Public Policy;
In 2019, WSIPP updated the full portfolio of juvenile justice meta-analyses, benefit-cost analyses, and the resulting evidence classifications. This work aligned with WSIPP's ninth update of the Children's Services Inventory ("the inventory"), published in December 2019. The inventory describes the research evidence and benefit-cost findings for a variety of programs in the areas of juvenile justice, child welfare, and children's mental health, and classifies each program according to its level of evidence and benefit-cost findings. WSIPP's update to the inventory led to changes in the evidence classification for several juvenile justice programs operating in Washington State. Four programs previously classified as either evidence-based or research-based are now promising or null. This resource guide serves as a companion document to the inventory and as a resource for Washington State policymakers and practitioners to understand how changes in the meta-analyses and benefit-cost analyses of juvenile justice programs resulted in changes to evidence classifications. In the guide, WSIPP explains the specific changes made to all meta-analyses and benefit-cost analyses of juvenile justice programs in 2019. Then, the guide provides details for several programs eligible for Washington State funding for youth involved in the juvenile courts or committed to a Juvenile Rehabilitation facility. For each eligible program, the guide reviews relevant changes to the content in the specific meta-analysis, changes to the calculations of meta-analytic results, changes made to the costs of the program, and changes made to WSIPP's standard benefit-cost model. While WSIPP classifies a broad array of programs, and these evidence classifications are subject to change over time, this guide focuses specifically on changes to classifications for juvenile justice programs eligible for state dollars.
Center for Court Innovation;
New York City's promise to shutter its notorious Rikers Island jail complex hinges on reducing the number of people in city jails. This new report from the Independent Commission that called for Rikers' closure in 2017 and the Center for Court Innovation lays out a series of concrete, data-driven strategies to produce sizable jail reductions while prioritizing public safety.The annual cost of detaining someone on Rikers has soared to $447,000. As the report emphasizes, that is money that could be more productively used on a range of interventions to foster safer neighborhoods. Increasingly, research is finding stays in jail increase the likelihood of future criminal activity once someone is released, making us all less, not more, safe.The report recommends numerous policy changes, covering everything from improving case processing times—85 percent of the population on Rikers is presumed innocent and waiting, generally for months, for their day in court—to ensuring people's ability to pay bail is properly assessed, as is required by law. In combination, these changes can lastingly remake New York City's approach to incarceration.
This report outlines key areas of focus for public and private sector efforts to build the science of gun violence prevention with actionable findings for policy makers and practitioners over the next five years. The report was written in collaboration with an advisory panel of scientific experts and includes input from dozens of researchers in the field.Against the backdrop of a national surge of gun violence and gun purchasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the report arrives at a moment of optimism for gun violence research efforts. Congress recently renewed $25 million in funding for those efforts, and the incoming federal administration has committed to comprehensively addressing gun violence as a public health epidemic.The renewed federal funding into gun violence research is a good start, but there is much more to learn about reducing gun deaths and injuries in the U.S. The report identifies key questions in 10 dimensions of gun violence:1) Firearm suicide 2) Community-based gun violence 3) Intimate partner violence 4) Shootings by law enforcement 5) Mass shootings 6) Unintentional shootings 7) Impacts of lawful gun ownership 8) Gun access during high-risk periods 9) Racial disparities and the criminal justice system 10) Firearm-related technology.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund;
Money bail continues to divide New York States' criminal legal system into two tiers: one for those who can pay, and one for those who can't. Unfortunately, this means if you can't afford to pay bail, you go to jail.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund;
In 2019, New York enacted historic pretrial reforms that will result in a dramatic reduction in pretrial detention populations across the state by eliminating bail and pretrial detention for most misdemeanors and non-violentfelonies. That means, in most cases, a person's liberty will not depend on how much money they have.
The history of slavery in America shapes the experience of incarceration for Black people and must therefore inform strategies to remediate institutional harms. This brief sets forth guiding values and recommendations for grounding prison research in principles of racial equity. These values are intended to help researchers more accurately capture and measure racial biases, and design and conduct research that can elevate and disrupt systemic biases. This brief is part of a larger research agenda for the Prison Research and Innovation Initiative—a five-year effort to leverage research and evidence to shine a much-needed light on prison conditions and pilot strategies to promote the well-being of people who live and work behind bars.
Each year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains over 100,000 immigrants, including people who have lived in the U.S. for decades, parents of U.S. citizens and individuals who come to the country seeking safety. ICE subjects people in detention to dangerous conditions and substandard medical care. Detention facilities are often located in rural, hard to reach areas, inaccessible to families and legal counsel. The unprecedented scale of immigration detention has been driven in large part by private prison companies that capture the lion's share of the over one billion dollars spent every year to lock up immigrants.This policy brief describes the harms and racial injustices that have resulted from U.S. laws requiring the detention of certain categories of individuals based on past involvement in the criminal legal systems, as well as recommendations for steps Congress can take to address these injustices.
This brief report outlines why the Mayor and City Council must act immediately to cut DOC's inflated budget, for the safety of people in their custody, and for the good of our communities.
Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP);
The purpose of the redistricting process should be to create districts that accurately reflect the communities they represent and to distribute political power across those communities. But counting incarcerated individuals at the facility where they are incarcerated, rather than their home addresses, artificially bolsters the political power of certain communities on the backs of individuals who are not truly part of those communities, while simultaneously reducing the political voices of their home communities. In Texas, there are dramatic implications, with a handful of rural regions gaining a disproportionate share of the political power over other rural regions and diminishing the true population count in certain urban areas. This under-representation only exacerbates existing problems with Census undercounts and socio economic disparities which have a root in racial discrimination. It also deviates from how Texas law treats incarcerated populations in every other context, creating a conflict with the Texas constitution that needs to be addressed.Traditionally, the United States Census Bureau has counted incarcerated individuals at the facility where they are housed, but the Bureau has made clear that this historical practice has persisted only for administrative reasons, not for legal or policy ones. Recently, the Census Bureau has evolved in its treatment of incarcerated populations, and, for the first time, will make it practical for states on tight timelines to assign incarcerated individuals to their home communities. Many states across the nation are taking advantage of this opportunity to correct for the distortions created by prison gerrymandering. In order to more accurately reflect the state's population, Texas legislators should take advantage of the Census Bureau's new tools and work with state agencies to identify those prisoners who, rightfully, should be counted at an address in their permanent community.