Current Thinking

a forum for ideas, opinions, and strategies on justice policy and practice

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Mar 30, 2015 For the past six months, we’ve used an anniversary—the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, better known as the Crime Bill—as an inflection point to examine our criminal justice system. The Justice in Focus: Crime Bill @ 20 multimedia initiative brought together nearly 30 distinct voices—from the White House to Sesame Street—to reflect on how we arrived at our current system, and where to go from here to...

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Mar 27, 2015 */ “Breaking Point: New York’s Mental Health Crisis” is a powerful broadcast series about the intersection of poverty, mental health, and the criminal justice system by Cindy Rodriguez, of New York City’s public radio station WNYC. The Vera Institute of Justice is pleased to complement the broadcasts with a blog series that features the voices of experts from a range of fields as they examine how the intersection of poverty, mental health, and the...

Mar 24, 2015 Juan Bello is a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property manager for the Jonathan Williams Plaza Houses in Brooklyn. In this blog post, Bello—who has been working at NYCHA for 28 years and has been a property manager for the past 18 years—discussed his thoughts and experiences with the Family Reentry Pilot Program with Vera’s Family Justice Program.   What are your thoughts about the Family Reentry Pilot Program and what do you see as its biggest...

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Mar 20, 2015 */ The Police Perspectives: Building Community Trust blog series is part of Vera’s Police Connecting with Communities of Color project. The series explores the importance of—and provides guidance on how to build and enhance—positive relationships between law enforcement agencies and the diverse communities they serve. Altovise Love-Craighead is a co-victim of homicide, having lost her brother to murder in 1997. She is the co-founder of the EMIR Healing...

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Mar 19, 2015 */ “Breaking Point: New York’s Mental Health Crisis” is a powerful broadcast series about the intersection of poverty, mental health, and the criminal justice system by Cindy Rodriguez, of New York City’s public radio station WNYC. The Vera Institute of Justice is pleased to complement the broadcasts with a blog series that features the voices of experts from a range of fields as they examine how the intersection of poverty, mental health, and the...

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Mar 17, 2015 For more years than we care to remember, politicians had just one choice when it came to criminal justice issues: they had to be “tough on crime.” The “faces” of that tough-on-crime era included both criminals who committed heinous crimes (such as Willie Horton) and victims of violent, often sexual crimes (such as seven-year-old Megan Kanka, whose murder prompted states to pass Megan’s laws, which established sex offender registries). The framing of crime...
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Mar 13, 2015 */ The Police Perspectives: Building Community Trust blog series is part of Vera’s Police Connecting with Communities of Color project. The series explores the importance of—and provides guidance on how to build and enhance—positive relationships between law enforcement agencies and the diverse communities they serve. Lisa Thurau is the founder of Strategies for Youth, a national policy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth...
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