so-called criminals -- and
I use this word because it's
handy, it means nothing to
me -- I speak of the criminals
who get caught as distinguished
from the criminals who catch
them--some of these so-called
criminals are in jail for their
first offenses, but nine tenths
of you are in jail because
you did not have a good lawyer
and, of course, you did not
have a good lawyer because
you did not have enough money
to pay a good lawyer. There
is no very great danger of
a rich man going to jail."-- Clarence
S. Darrow, Speech to inmates at Cook
County Jail, 1902
The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 7.2 million men and women under correctional supervision; including five million on probation or parole and 2.3 million people are currently incarcerated in prisons or jails -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years. These trends have resulted in prison overcrowding and state governments being overwhelmed by the burden of funding a rapidly expanding penal system, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not the most effective means of achieving public safety. -- The Sentencing Project
Prison Count 2010: State population declines for the first time in 38 years, the number of US state prisoners declined, according to the Pew Center on the States. As of January 2010, there were 1,404,053* persons under the jurisdiction of state prison authorities, 4,777* fewer than on December 31, 2008.
Bipartisan Justice-- Fixing America's punitive penal system has politicians crossing party lines
Our moral and ethical duty to end mass incarceration -- $68 billion is spent annually on local, state, and federal corrections systems. This has transformed American society by removing a disproportionate number of nonviolent minority offenders from their communities while diverting taxpayer money from critical social programs.
Mental health professionals or advocates use "jail diversion" when the criminal justice system refers an individual for mental health system treatment, even under the supervision of the criminal justice system. For criminal justice professionals, diversion can be an exemption from criminal justice supervision in exchange for participation in a community-based treatment program. Some prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officials are concerned a policy shift focused on jail diversion may have on public safety (andpolitical risks) and may be wary of anything labeled "jail diversion."
The Fair Sentencing Act is expected to benefit 3,000 defendants a year, with an average sentence reduction of twenty-seven months. Defendants convicted of possessing five grams of crack or less—the weight of two pennies—will no longer receive a mandatory five years in prison.
justice is based on the belief
that offenders can be rehabilitated
and re-enter society as productive
citizens. It gives justice back
to the victims by involving them
in the process.
Is Restorative Justice? Restorative
justice is holding offenders accountable
to victims and the community. Victim-offender
mediation is restorative justice.
Restorative justice emphasizes healing
the victims, offenders, and communities
caused by criminal behavior. Practices
(a) identify and take steps to repair
harm, (b) involve all stakeholders,
and (c) transform the traditional
relationship between communities
and their governments.
Anyone convicted of a felony loses the right to vote — while behind bars or even for life. 23 states have revised their laws to let more one-time criminals vote. Expanding the Vote State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform, 1997-2010.
A Sort of Homecoming: Incarceration and the housing security of urban men--While individuals returning from prison face many barriers to successful re-entry, among the most serious are the challenges they face in securing housing. Housing is a prerequisite for stable employment, access to social services, and individual and family functioning. The formerly incarcerated face administrative restrictions on housing options.Social Science Research
Punishment, and Reform in Europe by
Louis A. Knafla -- Essays on the history of crime, punishment,
and reform in Europe from the 18th century.
It contains 22 book reviews on major works
from the mid-1990s.
and Social Structure by George
Rusche, Otto Kirchheimer --The history
of crime in 3 primary eras - early
Middle Ages with emphasis on penance
and fines, Middle Ages corporal
and capital punishment, and the
17th century development of the