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Oct 28, 2013 Someone was empowered to speak up. In New York City, home to what many claim to be the most opinionated voices in the country, we often take for granted that people will talk—that they’ll share their stories, scream out during an emergency, and tell it like it is. But in the case of “Baby Hope,” it took two decades for someone, an anonymous tipster, to speak up about a horrendous crime. Now that there’s finally an arrest in the 22-year-old cold case, law...

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Oct 3, 2013 The current moment of government shut-down might seem the antithesis to bipartisanship. But one area in which bipartisanship is in evidence might offer some hope: criminal justice reform. As demonstrated in a speech last August by Attorney General Eric Holder to the American Bar Association, there is real and growing bipartisan support for justice reform at the state and federal level. As General Holder observed, 17 states are already leading the charge as...

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Sep 25, 2013 In his speech to the American Bar Association last month, Attorney General Eric Holder described a broken American criminal justice system that jails low-level offenders at enormous financial and human costs, with little or no deterrent effect, and at the expense of focusing resources on violent crime and threats to our national security. Holder pointed out that “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law...

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Sep 24, 2013 A recent issue of the Lancet reports on findings from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2010—a large-scale, epidemiological analysis that provides a snapshot of the health profiles of populations living in different regions of the world. Two separate analyses, conducted by Australian epidemiologists, reveal that mental health and drug dependency are the leading causes of non-fatal illness worldwide. Researchers...

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Sep 16, 2013 Each year, more than 700,000 people are released from our nation’s prisons, but within three years of release, four out of 10 of them end up back in prison because they’ve committed new crimes or violated the terms of their release. One strategy for closing this revolving door is to provide education to inmates while incarcerated so they have the knowledge, training, and skills to support a successful return to their communities. Preparing individuals...

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Sep 11, 2013 In Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent speech to the American Bar Association, he spoke of bipartisan support for sensible sentencing practices and other strategies that stand to “save our country billions of dollars while keeping us safe,” suggesting that we no longer have to choose between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to criminal justice. But that may not be the biggest zero sum game we can put behind us. The choice we no longer have to...

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Sep 9, 2013 Last year, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Family Justice Program wrapped up a multi-year project to develop and pilot family engagement standards for the Performance-based Standards Learning Institute. All juvenile corrections facilities participating in PbS are now collecting information related to family engagement—including a survey of family members twice a year. There are currently 48 facilities across 15 states collecting family surveys with a total...
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