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Jul 22, 2014 On June 30th, the White House honored 16 people who have worked to expand employment and reentry opportunities for individuals who were previously involved in the criminal justice system. The event, part of the White House’s Champions of Change series, featured remarks from Piper Kerman, author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who presented each honoree with their award.   Award...

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Jul 17, 2014 Evaluating the professional standards and ethics of security and justice institutions globally is daunting. Working with a myriad of government structures and social dynamics poses significant challenges to any non-governmental organization (NGO) working on criminal justice reform, yet global partnerships that share best practices can serve as valuable catalysts for social change. The Altus Global Alliance (Altus), established in 2004, is composed of six...

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Jul 15, 2014 This blog post is the second in a two-part series about Vera’s recently-released Trafficking Victim Identification Tool, a questionnaire designed to make it easier for victim service providers and law enforcement to identify victims of human trafficking. Words matter. This is especially true when trying to provide services to possible victims of crime and others seeking assistance. During Vera’s two-year Improving Trafficking Victim Identification Study...

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Jul 14, 2014 This blog post is the first in a two-part series about Vera’s recently-released Trafficking Victim Identification Tool, a questionnaire designed to make it easier for victim service providers and law enforcement to identify victims of human trafficking. The fact that something as brutalizing and cruel as human trafficking occurs right under our noses—in local businesses and residential communities—is deeply unsettling, yet countless trafficking victims...

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Jul 10, 2014 A local politician swallows one kilogram of cocaine to smuggle to Europe in order to fund his electoral campaign….a president’s reelection campaign is lavishly funded by drug cartels….a Boeing 727 transporting nearly 11 tons of cocaine crashes during takeoff at a makeshift airport in the middle of the Sahara desert…the emergence of narco-terrorist organizations threaten newly minted, still fragile democracies… In West Africa, the global reach of the...

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Jul 8, 2014 Nationwide, state correctional health care spending totaled $7.7 billion in 2011—an amount that comprises 20 percent of overall prison expenditures, according to a new report from the State Health Care Spending Project, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Inmate health care costs make up a larger share of state prison budgets than in 2001, but these expenses have leveled off since 2009, a trend...

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Jul 7, 2014 As director of public housing supportive services at HUD, Ron Ashford is an expert on a wide range of issues related to the reintegration of formerly incarcerated people back into society. Mr. Ashford discusses with Vera’s Family Justice Program efforts by HUD to disseminate research on recidivism and to highlight initiatives by a growing number of local public housing authorities around the country that are opening their doors to individuals with criminal...

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