At the Hands of Police

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Cook County Illinois’s public defender and Equitas National Advisor Amy Campanelli describes her work providing “a voice for the voiceless.” Adapted from Progressive.org Public defenders serve as a voice for people in these communities. We hear their stories, we see the excessive use of force by police. We experience the system as it processes human beings into prison inmates. As public …

Help can’t wait for imprisoned mentally ill

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From Equitas National Advisor Cheryl Roberts with The Greenburger Center. From start to finish, the criminal justice system is no place to make treatment and housing decisions about the vast majority of people with serious mental illness. Not only are defense attorneys, DAs and corrections officials not meant to make treatment decisions; jails and prisons are not equipped, nor should …

US Needs Bail Reform to Protect Constitutional Rights & Public Safety

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By Equitas National Advisor Marc Levin. Excerpted from Real Clear Policy. Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist stated: “In our society, liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception.” This presumption of innocence is not just a theory. Unfortunately, about 20 percent of those booked into jail are never charged or have their cases …

Davis resident graduates Mental Health Court

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Yolo County, California District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on Monday, June 11, 28-year-old Davis resident Jessie Tessler graduated from Mental Health Court in Department Six of the Yolo County Superior Court. Mental Health Court is a minimum 18-month court-based treatment and monitoring system for adult offenders with serious mental illness. Mental Health Court is designed to increase the treatment …

Our 2 Kinds of Criminal Justice, and How to Reconcile Them

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What is justice? Center for Court Innovation’s Greg Berman says: Micro justice focuses on individual people and asks, “What is an appropriate response to the circumstances presented by this specific case?” Macro justice looks at the bigger picture, examining social impacts, both positive and negative, and tries to determine whether they have been distributed in a way that conforms to …

Meet Your DA: From FreeAmerica

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The title of the elected prosecutor in your state may vary across states — district attorney, state attorney, county attorney, commonwealth attorney — but their responsibility to uphold justice remains the same. The power of prosecutors reaches across communities, into the courtroom, and all the way up to the State Capitol and ballot box. They have the power to decide …

Twice a week, these Texas students circle up and talk about their feelings. It’s lowering suspensions and preventing violence.

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“Sometimes those behaviors we see as discipline problems really are because the student is struggling with their academics,” Principal La’Quesha Grigsby said. “We’re in a situation where we have to do something drastic … because what we’ve been doing is not working.” Over the past decade, schools across the country have looked to restorative justice — also referred to as …

How should we deal with wrongdoing? And you can’t say ‘prison.’

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How should a kid who commits increasingly worse crimes be sentenced? How, more generally, should we respond to wrongdoing? Here’s my challenge to you: In my thought experiment, you can’t answer “prison.” Given that constraint, what punishment should this kid receive? Here are our goals: We want to respond to wrongdoing so as to ensure that victims are made whole, …