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Jul 7, 2015 After decades of mass incarceration, policymakers around the country are realizing the unintended consequences of using the criminal justice system to deal with the social and public health problems of homelessness, drug use, mental illness, and poverty. Despite the advances of criminal justice reform, however, there are increasing efforts to criminalize pregnant women who are at risk for negative birth outcomes, particularly targeting women who use drugs...
Jul 6, 2015 The amount of money we spend to incarcerate aging and infirm people is staggering: In 2009, California spent more than $42 million in one year on medical care and continued incarceration of just 32 aging and infirm people who were chronically ill. Of these, 21 were receiving treatment in outside hospitals at an annual average cost of almost $2 million each, and 11 were housed in a Correctional Treatment Center bed at an...
Jun 29, 2015 Earlier this month, I joined a group of leaders on the International Sentencing and Corrections Exchange study tour to view and learn about the German criminal justice system and German prisons. I lead a project, Safe Alternatives to Segregation, that works around the...
Jun 24, 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...
Jun 23, 2015 Lisa Simpson, who previously directed the New Orleans Pretrial Services demonstration project out of Vera’s New Orleans office, currently works with a team in the Public Safety Division of Bernalillo County. More information about Bernalillo County can be found in Vera’s recently released report, The Price of Jails: Measuring the Taxpayer Cost of Local Incarceration.   By the fall of...
Jun 19, 2015 No country incarcerates more women than the United States. Although American women comprise just five percent of the total global female population, we represent nearly a third of the world’s female prisoners—a rate that outstrips even America’s unprecedented incarceration of men.   Shocking as that may be, our drive to incarcerate doesn...

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