Art, Science and the Challenge of Justice Reform

By Greg Berman and Julian Alder

Published on The Crime Report on May 24, 2016

Excerpt:

“Experience teaches us that reforming the justice system is both an art and a science. If we are to do this right, we need to be nerds. We need to be clear thinkers who look at data and consult the latest social science and statistical techniques. …  And we need to be patient: It took us years to get into this mess, and we should expect that it will take us years to get out of it.

But we are optimistic that by marrying good ideas to careful implementation, it is possible to change the culture of local justice systems, and help them become fairer, more effective, and more humane.”

Read More:  Art, Science and the Challenge of Justice Reform

Spokane County Jail receives an additional $1.75 million from MacArthur Foundation to reduce overcrowding

By Kip Hill

Published in The Spokesman Review on April 13, 2016

Excerpt:

“Spokane County’s efforts to reduce overcrowding and racial disparities at its aging jail have earned an additional investment of $1.75 million from the MacArthur Foundation.

Jacqueline van Wormer, the county’s criminal justice administrator, announced the decision Wednesday afternoon.

‘I think we can spend the day sort of celebrating,’ van Wormer said in an interview before the meeting. ‘But then the really hard work begins.’”

Read More:  Spokane County Jail receives an additional $1.75 million from MacArthur Foundation to reduce overcrowding

Spokane receives MacArthur Foundation Safety + Challenge Grant over two years to reduce its jail populations and address racial and ethnic disparities in our justice systems.

Published on safetyandjusticechallenge.org on April 13, 2016

Excerpt:

“20 DIVERSE COMMUNITIES RECEIVE MACARTHUR SUPPORT TO REDUCE JAIL POPULATIONS, IMPROVE LOCAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, AND MODEL REFORMS FOR THE NATION

Chicago, IL, April 13, 2016 – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today announced nearly $25 million in support for ambitious plans to create fairer, more effective local justice systems across the country. The Foundation is awarding 11 jurisdictions grants between $1.5M and $3.5M over two years to reduce their jail populations and address racial and ethnic disparities in their justice systems. An additional nine jurisdictions will be given $150,000 grants to continue their reform work and to participate in a growing, collaborative network of cities, counties, and states driving local justice reform.”

Read More: Spokane receives MacArthur Foundation Safety + Challenge Grant

Right to an Attorney? Not Always in Some States

By Sarah Breitenbach

Published on pewtrusts.org on April 11, 2016

Excerpt:

“Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called insufficient criminal defense for indigent people a national crisis, and the Justice Department has investigated constitutional violations in representation.

There is a lack of funding for public defense in every state, according to Colette Tvedt of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; and people charged with low-level misdemeanors, often poor minorities, suffer the most.”

Read More: Right to an Attorney? Not Always in Some States

Justice Department: States Should Not Jail Poor People Over Fine Nonpayment

By the Associated Press

Published on nbcnews.com on March 14, 2016

Excerpt:

“WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is discouraging state court systems from jailing defendants who fail to pay fines or fees, warning against practices that it says run afoul of the Constitution and erode community trust.

A letter being sent Monday by the federal government to state court administrators makes clear that judges should consider alternatives to jail for poor defendants who don’t pay their fines.”

Read More:  Justice Department: States Should Not Jail Poor People Over Fine Nonpayment

Spokane parents get alternative to jail, but victims feel slighted

By Kip Hill

Published in The Spokesman Review on March 13, 2016

Excerpt:

“Bryan Morales learned of the birth of his daughter, Alyseia, clutching her black-and-white photo in his prison cell.

‘It was a wake-up call,’ said Morales, 36, sitting at the Liberty Lake home where he was arrested nearly three years ago on charges of theft and forgery. Morales’ girlfriend, Sara Borgman, had checked herself into a drug clinic in Seattle a few days prior to Morales learning he was a father. When Morales was arrested, Borgman was pregnant, and Alyseia was born addicted to opiates.”

Read More:  Spokane parents get alternative to jail, but victims feel slighted

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