By George Gascon
Recently, our country has been engaged in heated debate over the crisis involving thousands of mostly unaccompanied Central American children showing up at our southern border. Anti-immigration groups have seized the opportunity to reignite the cry for more border security, quicker deportations and stiffer sanctions for those crossing the border without authority.
Alternatively, others argue that these young children are refugees, running away from violence, and should therefore be afforded humanitarian aid and protection.
By Marc Schindler and Jasper Burroughs
The latest information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)— the leading crime and prison data sources for the country—shows that locking more people up does not lead to safer communities.
The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) compared the UCR crime rate and the BJS incarceration rate from 2002 and 2012. The data reveals a nation divided.
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.
By Greg Berman
In recent weeks, the public debate in New York City over “broken windows” has become almost deafening. According to the New York Times and the Nation, the commitment of the New York Police Department (NYPD) to low-level law enforcement is a broken policy that has “exacerbated discrimination, not improved safety (Nation).”
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.
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.
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?
By Liz Ryan
An August 4, 2014 article in The New York Times details the horrific abuses of youth by staff at the adult jails where youth under 18 are held pending trial in adult criminal court—abuses confirmed in a lengthy federal investigation led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
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.
By Matthew T. Mangino
Carrying out an execution today is as freakishly arbitrary as imposing the death penalty was in 1972. There are about 742 inmates on California’s death row, a state that has not carried out an execution in more than eight years.