Blogs

Current Thinking

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

RSS Feed

Apr 17, 2014 For more than 40 years—since Richard Nixon declared drugs the enemy in the early 1970s and continuing through the “War on Drugs” of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s—state and federal governments have zeroed in on drug enforcement, treating drug offenders in an increasingly harsh manner. In a new report—Drug War Détente? A Review of State-level Drug Law Reform, 2009-2013—Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections reveals that states have begun to scale back...

Apr 15, 2014 A few years ago, I met a young girl, “Denise,” who told me that her uncle had repeatedly raped her since she was eight. To stop the endless abuse, Denise said, she deliberately got pregnant by another man. Her plan worked. The uncle did stop raping her, but by that time, she was a mother at 15. Sadly, I did not meet Denise at a support group for incest survivors or a special high school program for teen mothers. I met Denise in a Delaware detention center...

  • Staff profile

    History

Apr 11, 2014 Analysis of new data from the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights—collected from each of the nation’s 97,000 public schools—paints a troubling picture of unequal access to preschool, disparate teacher pay and quality, and students unprepared for college and a career. For far too many students, success in school is still out of reach. Further, and most relevant to Vera’s work, children and youth of color are more likely to be...

  • Staff profile

    History

Apr 9, 2014 On Tuesday night, Vera held its eight annual benefit, Our Youth – Our Future, and honored Bryan Stevenson and David Fein for their significant contributions to improving our justice systems. Following opening remarks by Vera Board Chairman John Savarese, Vera President Nick Turner asked the audience to imagine what the room would look like if a third of its occupants were absent. If current incarceration rates continue, he said, that is the future in...

  • Staff profile

    History

Apr 4, 2014 It’s been more than ten years since Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), and in February, the Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center became the first juvenile facility—and one of the first correctional facilities of any kind—to be certified as PREA compliant. On April 17, Vera will deliver a webinar on the Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center’s audit experience. The webinar will feature PREA Resource Center Co-Director (and Vera...

  • Staff profile

    History

Apr 4, 2014 When friends and family who work in different fields ask me to describe Vera’s work in youth justice, they are inevitably perplexed when I first mention our status offense reform efforts. “Status offenses? Never heard of them.” But if I go on to describe what falls under that heading, the conversation gets interesting. People are shocked to learn how frequently children are locked in secure detention facilities for skipping school, running away, or...

  • Expert profile

    Staff profile

    History

Apr 1, 2014 The Obama administration released its budget for fiscal year 2015 earlier this month, and as reported by the National Council on Aging, it contains several changes to how programs affecting seniors are funded, ranging from Medicare adjustments to cuts in Social Security wait times. Many of these initiatives are welcome: a proposed $56.5 million increase to Section 202 housing and a $15 million increase to programs that offer home finance-related counseling...

Pages

Bloggers