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Eddie Ellis: Legacy of a Prison Reformer

By Curtis Stephen

The first thing you noticed about Edwin (“Eddie”) Benjamin Ellis Jr. was his husky, low-pitched voice. But for more than two decades, it was his very presence inside the public policy arena that marked the sonic equivalent of an ear-splitting roar.

As a New York-based activist, Ellis—who died of cancer last month at the age of 72—was the host and executive producer of “On The Count!,” the groundbreaking weekly series that airs on WBAI-FM in New York, and covers a broad range of criminal justice issues.

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The Real Story of Ferguson

By Joe Domanick

What we’re seeing in Ferguson, Mo. --with its stunningly provocative, potentially deadly, militarized response to citizen protest-marches and a minor civil disturbance -- is really the story of American policing circa 2014.

It’s been a time of police abuses that was foreshadowed in 2011. That year —after an almost decade-long record of misuse of its stop-question-and-frisk policy, the New York City Police Department engaged in so many stops of young black men aged 14-24 that the number exceeded the entire city population of young black men in the city. That is, a 106 percent of this group were stopped and frisked.

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The Lessons of Homicide Watch

By Laura Amico

I built Homicide Watch D.C.  at the intersection of community memorial, criminal justice, and journalism to meet these needs. The response was instantaneous. Five hundred page views in the first month. Then 5,000 another. Then 500,000 another.

It has been an honor for the past four years to do this work. As I prepare for my next challenge-- an editor position with the Boston Globe—I’ve gathered seven of my lessons learned from starting Homicide Watch to share.

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Fantasy v. Crime: Where’s the Line?

By Robin L. Barton

Have you ever have a really bad day at work and indulged yourself in a detailed daydream of how you’d torture and maybe even kill your awful boss á la the movie “Horrible Bosses”? Maybe you even shared this fantasy with a like-minded co-worker over drinks. Based on your daydream, should you be arrested for planning or conspiring to commit a crime? Or are such fantasies a harmless way to deal with job frustrations, sexual desires and other feelings?

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Can We Reduce The Prison Population By 25%?

By Marc Mauer and Nazgol Ghandnoosh

While some proponents of continued high rates of incarceration warn of the prospect of a “crime wave” if populations are reduced, we found no evidence for such an outcome in these states. During this time frame, a period in which crime rates were declining nationally, these three states generally achieved greater reductions in violent and property crimes than national averages.

Our findings suggest that it is possible to achieve substantial prison population reductions – much greater than the very modest 4% reduction that state prisons have achieved since their 2009 peak – without adverse effects on public safety.

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TCR at a Glance

Can Homicide Be Predicted?

new & notable October 22, 2014

A new study in the journal Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice aims to isolate risk factors associated with youths who commit homicide