June 2012

Jun 21, 2012 By David Cloud, program associate, Substance Use and Mental Health Program There are significant legal, practical, and ethical barriers that prevent health and justice agencies from sharing information about the treatment needs of a large and underserved population: people with serious mental health and substance use needs who are involved in the criminal justice system. These communication barriers severely compromise the ability of agencies to coordinate services for people with...
Jun 20, 2012 In the face of bloated prison populations and shrinking budgets, the call for more alternatives to incarceration has become increasingly common. One such alternative—the community service order—first took root in Africa nearly two decades ago in what may seem an unlikely place: Zimbabwe.  Admittedly, Zimbabwe is not a place people think of when discussing innovations in justice delivery. Over the last decade, Zimbabwe has been engulfed in political and economic crisis,...
Jun 15, 2012 Judge John Gleeson recently made a bold statement about mandatory minimum sentencing as he reluctantly applied the law to defendant Jamel Dossie [United States v. Dossie, 11-CR-237 (JG) (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2012)]. Citing the mandatory minimum sentencing provision of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act 1986 (ADAA), Judge Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York sentenced Dossie to a five-year prison term for selling 88.1 grams of crack cocaine. Judge Gleeson’s...
Jun 8, 2012 By Nick Wical, research analyst, Center on Youth Justice Eighty-seven percent of schools have some form of zero-tolerance policy in place for responding to alcohol- and drug-related behaviors, for example, and 91 percent use the policies in cases of weapons possession on campus, according to a 1998 report by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. Moreover, these policies are increasingly being used to respond to less severe behaviors—those that,...
Jun 4, 2012 Cassia Spohn, professor and director of the doctoral program at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, talks about research on race and prosecution with Alice Chasan of Vera’s Communications Department. AC: Why is research on race and prosecution so important and timely now? CS: We’ve had several decades of research on race and sentencing that has demonstrated that blacks—and more recently research has shown that Hispanics—are treated more harshly...

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