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 …

Giving Patients a Voice in Their Mental Health Care Before They’re Too Ill to Have a Say

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Increasingly, patients, advocates and doctors believe psychiatric advance directives (called PADs), a legal document declaring what treatment a patient does and doesn’t want, could help transform the mental health system by allowing patients to shape their care even when they lose touch with reality. Hospitals must put them in patients’ medical records and doctors are expected to follow them unless they …

Dallas leverages data to address behavioral health needs of inmates

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In Dallas, the technology and clinical services company HarrisLogic is attempting to solve this problem using data-driven tools to determine the appropriate behavioral health services for prisoners. By pooling information from jails, police departments, emergency services, mental health and social services, courts, and hospitals, the company has saved Dallas County $30 million over the course of four years. The majority …

Teaching police to holster their emotions

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When Washington trains police, it teaches them not to see their role only as “warriors,” but as “guardians.” That’s just one change, along with de-escalation training, to help police more safely interact with people exhibiting signs of mental illness. “They’re going into communities, not war zones,” says the director. “This is a tough time to be a cop,” a police officer …

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Police encounter many people with mental-health crises. Could psychiatrists help?

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Police departments have become a de facto arm of the American mental-health system. Research suggests that about 2 million people with serious mental illness are booked into jails in the United States each year. A 2016 review of studies estimated that 1 in 4 people with mental illness has a history of police arrest. The Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit that studies topics related …

Infamous Pizza Hut break-in shines light on mental illness

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When Richard Lee Quintero called 911 and told the dispatcher he was Jesus Christ — and then confessed that he’d just broken into a High Point Pizza Hut, eaten a pizza and drunk a Mountain Dew — the story went viral almost immediately. Ironically, the incident happened four days before Palm Sunday — the date was March 21 — and …

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 …

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 …