U.S. courts are offering war veterans who face jail time the choice of rehabilitation. This helps them adjust to civilian life and reduces repeat offences.Read More
In Vermont, a judge and a family services organization created RapidReferal – a process which offers addicts treatment immediately and has lowered recidivism. Funded by Medicaid, the program has had demonstrable impact, namely, a decrease in recidivism.Read More
For first-time youth criminal offenders, the traditional American jury falls short in encouraging behavioral change and may even set the juvenile on a course for repeated crimes. Washington, DC’s Youth Court is a jury that tries juveniles for minor non-violent offenses and offers peer pressure to prompt positive behavioral change. The DC Youth Court is one of many in the United States that reduces crime and future court costs.Read More
Two Iranian brothers worked as doctors to reform how Iran tackles HIV, moving the country toward the harm reduction approach. By providing clean needles and methadone, the doctors were able to lower infection rates, even in prisons.Read More
Millions of families of arrested individuals do not know what to do to help, how to obtain a lawyer, or what the process entails in the court system. Created by Albert Cobarrubius Justice Project, participatory defense is a type of community organizing that teaches and empowers people who face criminal charges. Individuals know how to work with attorneys in order to navigate the system and ultimately feel equipped to become drivers of their own change.Read More
Across the country, jails hold 10 times as many people with serious mental illness as state hospitals do, according to a recent report from the Treatment Advocacy Center. To deal with the problem, San Antonio and Bexar County have transformed their mental health system into a program considered a model for the rest of the nation - the effort has focused on an idea called "smart justice" — basically, diverting people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead.Read More
Prisons in the United States are overcrowded with many non-violent offenders and the cost to keep them in jail consumes public budgets. Criminal justice reform has attracted bipartisan interest with diverse proposals to aid adjust the incarceration rate. The Urban Institute has developed an interactive “prison population forecaster,” which helps citizens to assess the impact of different policies.Read More
Many offenders get out of jail owing hundreds or thousands of dollars in court and parole fees but face barriers to financing and job acquisition, sticking them in a punitive, vicious cycle of debt and arrest. A program called the Clapham Set, perhaps paired with conditional cash transfers - may be a solution, as it erases fees for felons who complete rehab and job training upon release.Read More
Rampant misconduct by judicial systems across the country brought to light a crippling practice of debtors' prisons—where disadvantaged individuals unable to pay fines and fees were continually and wrongfully imprisoned, creating a vicious cycle. The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in to work with governments and private companies to increase transparency, eliminate abuse, and reeducate law enforcement officials. The state of Ohio has emerged as a leader in reforming debtors' prisons, though there is still work to do.Read More
South Dakota’s “24/7 Sobriety” initiative breathalyzers tens of thousands of people every day in an effort to curb drunk driving. Rather than legislation that takes penalizes offenders by taking away their license, the state addresses the behavioral issue instead. In counties that use the “24/7 Sobriety,” they’ve seen a 12% decrease in repeat drunken-driving arrests.Read More
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