The legal market has removed the threat of arrest, but brought with it a whole new set of challenges.
Los Angeles is the latest city where criminal justice reformers are running against traditional law-and-order incumbents.
Tennessee’s capital is taking steps to reimagine justice for people living on the street.
Former jail and prison inmates say they have been charged excessive amounts for the cost of probation, which they can never repay.
Co-published by the American Prospect
Prisons have been called universities of crime. What if they became, instead, actual universities?
Los Angeles’ district attorney has had the violent deaths of Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin under review for 477 days and counting.
L.A. County deputies shot and killed Anthony Weber during a foot chase on Feb 4, 2018. They said they spotted a handgun tucked into his pants, but investigators never recovered a weapon.
“The current cash bail system is the modern equivalent of a debtor’s prison,” says California State Senator Bob Hertzberg. “It criminalizes poverty, pure and simple.” BY JIM CROGAN
Almost 120,000 misdemeanor crimes are reviewed for criminal filing by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office each year. This high volume of cases, coupled with reductions in court resources, make it nearly impossible to consider each person’s situation individually.
Remember when maggots were found in potatoes about to be served at a Michigan prison? That was just the tip of the iceberg.
A new report released this week details widespread cost-cutting by the food service company Aramark, whose contract was terminated by that state last year. Kitchens were not only unsanitary but dangerous. The company hired inexperienced staff, allowing prisoners to steal makeshift weapons and control the lunch line. Food shortages were especially common.
Michigan eventually replaced Aramark with a new contractor, but the report comes to an unambiguous conclusion: The underlying problems that ended the contract are “likely to resurface under any contract relationship.”
This is because, in a drive for profits, private corrections companies like Aramark routinely cut corners to lower costs. In private prisons, this drive often leads to more prison violence, lawsuits and staff turnover.
For most people, the end of last year signaled a time for goodwill, reflection and family. But for many, the holiday season was marked by murder and mayhem, forensics and frustration. Released stealthily by Netflix, as if the doc series itself was a smoking gun planted for viewers to stumble across, Making a Murderer is a gift which when unwrapped is all at once fascinating, frightful and infuriating.
Making a Murderer follows in the vein of such true-crime masterworks as Joe Berlinger and Bruce Bruce Sinofsky’s groundbreaking 1996 doc, Paradise Lost, and 2004’s lesser known Death on the Staircase, as well as last year’s killer Serial podcast and the lauded HBO series The Jinx. Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi’s 10-hour opus retraces the twists and turns of a horrific series of events, while at the same time illuminating many of the dark flaws lurking in our justice system.