September 2011

Sep 26, 2011 Sixteen-year-olds can’t vote, join the military, or buy alcohol or cigarettes. In New York State, however, it’s routine—and the law—to treat 16-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system. Federal guidelines listed in the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act suggest that youth under 18 should be sent to Juvenile Court, yet New York State—along with only one other state, North Carolina—continues to send children as young as 16 to the adult system regardless of the...
Sep 23, 2011 Yesterday’s coverage of a Brooklyn, New York residential placement alternative for homeless mothers who committed felonies draws attention to an issue that is gaining traction during this difficult fiscal climate: the value of keeping families together. Research shows that families provide emotional and material support to their loved ones who are incarcerated or sentenced. People who maintain relationships during incarceration do better while in prison as well as once they return...
Sep 14, 2011 The New York Times published a letter from Margaret diZerega, director of Vera's Family Justice Program. In response to an article about a new law in Arizona, she writes that it is counterproductive to charge people a fee to visit their family members in prison. [view_node]
Sep 9, 2011 When we speak of the economy, the discussion often centers on the continued loss of resources. Budget cuts, foreclosures, unemployment, and underemployment are pervasive and have become the signature trends in the new U.S. economy. These affect not only everyday spending but also indispensable services, such as those that law enforcement provides and on which society relies. Regardless of the economic climate, we depend on law enforcement to protect and serve our communities....
Sep 7, 2011 Twelve years after Vera’s pretrial services demonstration project in South Africa concluded, the situation regarding remand detainees—persons held in jail awaiting trial and/or sentencing—has finally made it back on the government’s official radar. Action by the South African government was overdue. From 1995 to 2000, the number of remand detainees skyrocketed by 164 percent, to 64,000 people. Since 2000 this population has remained relatively stable, but still high, at...

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