The California prison system is overwhelmed after adopting tough-on-crime laws with no improvement. New York adopted more tolerant policies and has decreased the state's crime rate and its prison population.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
Veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder number about one-fourth of military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, roughly 500,000 veterans so far. Inmates in prisons nationwide train dogs as companions for these war veterans, providing a sense of healing for all.Read More
The militarization of police forces in cases such as Ferguson, Missouri’s riots has led the state of Utah to question what can be done to prevent such an overuse of force from happening. Utah expanded upon a law passed by Democratic legislature in Maryland, which Utah’s ACLU reworked with some libertarians, to require the police to provide data about SWAT team usage. Utah’s success demonstrates that demilitarization bills passed with bipartisan support are not impossible.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
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
Felons get out of jail owing hundreds or thousands of dollars in court and parole fees, acting as an often insurmountable barrier preventing them from reintegrating into society and staying out of jail. What's worse, these fees often end up costing the state more than they produce. Two columns on a program called the Clapham Set, which erases or reduces debts for felons who take classes and job training.Read More
A positive transformation in a Mississippi prison has become a focal point for a growing number of states rethinking the use of long-term isolation. Humanitarian groups have long argued that solitary confinement has devastating psychological effects, but a central driver in the recent shift is economics. Some officials have also been persuaded by research suggesting that isolation is vastly overused and that it does little to reduce overall prison violence.Read More
More women are being incarcerated around the United States and that has spurred more institutions to create prison nurseries, which allow women to be with their newborns. It's not a new idea, but it's finding support among prison advocates as well as budget hawks because research shows nurseries can lower recidivism rates among mothers. The idea of children in prison remains controversial however.Read More
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