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News items related to Criminal Justice

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Bearing Witness: Baltimore City’s Residents Give Voice

Bearing Witness is the culmination of interviews with people from Baltimore City about their experiences with the criminal justice system. Compared to the rest of Maryland, Baltimore City faces a concentrated impact of the criminal justice system.

The Release Valve: Parole in Maryland

In the current difficult economic situation, states are searching for ways to reduce spending while maintaining safe communities. With a $68 billion prison system holding over 2.3 million people in prisons and jails across the country—with no clear public safety gains—policymakers are looking to prison systems as a place to cut budgets.

Fact Sheet: Response to 2008 FBI Uniform Crime Report

The FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report was released Monday, January 12th with the news that the United States experienced a 3.5 percent decline in the number of reported violent offenses and a 2.5 percent decline in the number of reported property offenses in the first half of 2008.

Moving Target: A Decade of Resistance to the Prison Industrial Complex

For the past 10 years, Critical Resistance has helped advocates imagine the possibility of a world without bars. If our country is to truly reclaim its communities, the criminal justice system must be dismantled.

Factsheet: Response to 2007 FBI Uniform Crime Report

The FBI Uniform Crime Report was released Monday, September 15th with the news that the United States experienced a 1.4 percent decline in the violent crime rate and a 2.1 percent decline in the property crime rate in 2007. This drop in crime came at a time when the prison and jail growth rates fell from previous years.

Jailing Communities: The Impact of Jail Expansion and Effective Jail Expansion and Public Safety Strategies

Communities are bearing the cost of a massive explosion in the jail population which has nearly doubled in less than two decades. The research found that jails are now warehousing more people--who have not been found guilty of any crime--for longer periods of time than ever before.

Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety

Community-based substance abuse treatment reduces crime rates and helps states reduce corrections costs. The sooner substance abuse is treated, the bigger the cost savings and increases in public safety.

Public Safety Brief: Housing and Public Safety

Studies found that substandard housing—particularly where exposure to lead hazards is more likely to occur—is associated with higher violent crime rates.

Employment, Wages and Public Safety

Increased employment is associated with positive public safety outcomes. Researchers have found that from 1992 to 1997, a time when the unemployment rate dropped 33 percent, "slightly more than 40 percent of the decline [in overall property crime rate] can be attributed to the decline in unemployment."

Education and Public Safety Policy Brief

Graduation rates were associated with positive public safety outcomes. Researchers have found that a 5 percent increase in male high school graduation rates would produce an annual savings of almost $5 billion in crime-related expenses.

Maryland's Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentencing Laws: Their Impact on Incarceration, State Resources and Communities of Color

Mandatory minimum drug sentences fall hardest on communities of color, with nearly nine out of ten people sent to prison for a mandatory minimum drug sentence in Maryland being African American.

Effective Investments in Public Safety: Mass Incarceration and Longer Sentences Fail to Make Us Safer

Places that did not increase their use of incarceration as much as others experienced bigger drops in crime.

Progress and Challenges: An Analysis of Drug Treatment and Imprisonment in Maryland from 2000 to 2005

In 2004, Maryland lawmakers enacted a set of reforms designed to expand the options available to judges, prosecutors, and the state’s parole commission for placing addicted defendants in community-based treatment rather than prison.

Proposition 36: Five Years Later

While the United States still carries the dubious distinction of leading the world in imprisonment, recent changes to sentencing in a number of states may signal that the country is turning the corner.

2005 Crime Rise in Context

This factsheet includes bindings based on a longer timeline as context for policy choices that may impact crime and public safety.

Cutting Correctly in Maryland

State officials across the nation are struggling to come to terms with the largest state budget shortfall in 50 years.

Returning Adult Offenders in DC: A Road Map to Neighborhood Based Reentry

This report seeks to determine the extent to which D.C. residents and criminal justice policymakers favor deepening and expanding the pool of community-based services for the supervision and treatment of D.C. offenders.

Cutting Correctly: New Prison Policies for Times of Fiscal Crisis

It cost nearly $40 billion to imprison approximately two million state and local inmates in 2000, up from $5billion in 1978. Twenty-four billion of that was spent on incarceration for non-violent offenders.  

Studies on Halfway Houses

As housing value trends show, actual sale prices have continued to rise in neighborhoods within the District where halfway houses operate.

Too Little Too Late: President Clinton's Prison Legacy

The latest criminal justice statistics show that it was actually Democratic President Bill Clinton who implemented arguably the most punitive platform on crime in the last two decades.

Texas Tough: An Analysis of Incarceration and Crime Trends in The Lone Star State

Since 1990, nearly one in five new prisoners added to the nation’s prisons (18%) was in Texas.

The Punishing Decade: Prison and Jail Estimates at the Millennium

As the century draws to a close, we can safely predict that America will end the 1990s by having put more people behind bars than in any other decade in our history.

Striking Out: The Failure of California’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” Law

The law was dubbed “three-strikes and you’re out” because of its provision requiring 25 to life prison terms for defendants convicted of any felony who were already convicted of two “serious” or “violent” felonies.

Half-Truths:The Complicated Story of D.C.'s Halfway House "Escapees"

In an analysis of escapees from DC halfway housesm, we discovered a mixture of legitimate concerns, crossed lines of authority, and scanty data. However, we also found errors that undermine the picture painted of what is happening in our halfway houses.

America's One Million Nonviolent Prisoners

Most of the growth in America’s prisons since 1978 is accounted for by nonviolent offenders and 1998 is the first year in which America’s prisons and jails incarcerated more than 1 million nonviolent offenders.

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