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, …

Criminal Justice: An Election Agenda for Candidates, Activists, and Legislators

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Executive Summary From The Brennan Center for Justice This report sets forth an affirmative agenda to end mass incarceration in America. The task requires efforts from both federal and state lawmakers. Today, criminal justice reform stands on a knife’s edge. After decades of rising incarceration and ever more obvious consequences, a powerful bipartisan movement has emerged. It recognizes that harsh …

Report to the United Nations on Racial Disparities in the U.S. Criminal Justice System (The Sentencing Project)

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The United States criminal justice system is the largest in the world. At yearend 2015, over 6.7 million individuals1) were under some form of correctional control in the United States, including 2.2 million incarcerated in federal, state, or local prisons and jails.2) The U.S. is a world leader in its rate of incarceration, dwarfing the rate of nearly every other nation.3) Such …

More States Forcing Prosecutors to Hand Over Evidence — Even When It Hurts Their Case

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Since a 1963 Supreme Court ruling, prosecutors have been required to hand over evidence they uncover even when it might help the defendant. Failure to disclose such “exculpatory evidence” — or “Brady material,” named for the Supreme Court case — is considered a violation of the defendant’s constitutionally protected right to due process. Despite the legal requirement to turn over …

The Catalyst: Thelton Henderson transformed California’s criminal justice system. Now comes the backlash.

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Thelton Henderson, 84, became a lawyer during the civil rights era, and that moral framework and activist energy guided his work. When he joined the federal bench, he presided over a series of prison cases that ultimately forced radical changes in the system. Creating change wasn’t always easy, and in the beginning Henderson fought an uphill battle. “I think the …