The Fortune Society News Of The Week — the week of January 4, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A wide-ranging collection of news and opinion from the previous week focusing on criminal justice policy, advocacy, and reform.

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Anxiety Aside, New York Sees Drop In Crime

Homeless encampments proliferated. Two officers were shot and killed. And many New Yorkers said they felt less safe. But fears that, in 2015, New York City was slipping back to a more dangerous time contrasted with reality …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/27/nyregion/anxiety-aside-new-york-sees-drop-in-crime.html

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Opinion: New York City Policing, By The Numbers

new report released by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice provides the most comprehensive analysis yet of the numbers behind the rise and fall of police “enforcement actions” over the past decade. Between 2011 and 2014 …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/28/opinion/new-york-city-policing-by-the-numbers.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

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Opinion: Put Reforms Into State Prison Guards’ Contract

In NYS, some prison guards may well feel free to beat prisoners nearly to death because their union contract protects them from being fired, or moved into jobs where they could do less harm. Gov. Cuomo has an opportunity to remedy …

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/26/opinion/put-reforms-into-state-prison-guards-contract.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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NYC Investigator Says Jail Guards Aid With Smuggling At Rikers Island

A top city investigator says the flow of Rikers Island contraband was abetted by the very people charged with its halt — city correction officials and the jail’s guards. A Department of Investigation inspector general revealed her frustration with …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/nyc-investigator-guards-aide-smuggling-rikers-article-1.2478314

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National:
A Disproportionate Number Of Black Victims In Fatal Traffic Stops

Over 100 people were shot and killed by police after a traffic stop this year, according to a Washington Post database tracking deadly police shootings. One in three of them was black, making the roadside interaction one of the most common …

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/a-disproportionate-number-of-black-victims-in-fatal-traffic-stops/2015/12/24/c29717e2-a344-11e5-9c4e-be37f66848bb_story.html

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National:
Opinion: In The End, 2015 Saw No “War On Cops” And No “National Crime Wave”

At various times over the past 12 months, we heard dire predictions of a “nationwide crime wave.” We’ve also heard chatter about a “war on cops.” We’re now at the end of the year. So how do all of those claims stack up? Not well …

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/12/22/in-the-end-2015-saw-no-war-on-cops-and-no-national-crime-wave/

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National:
Criminal Justice Reform In 2015: Year-End Review

Criminal justice reform continued to build momentum this year within the inner sanctum of the Beltway and across the nation in a handful of states. It emerged as a significant issue in the presidential campaign, and looks likely to stay …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurenbrooke-eisen/criminal-justice-reform-i_b_8885572.html

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National:
Opinion: It’s Time For Obama To Go Big On Pardons

President Obama is starting to come around on pardons, or at least on commutations. In seven years, he has issued 184 commutations, more than his last six predecessors combined, but only 61 pardons, which is far less than …

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/its-time-for-obama-to-go-big-on-pardons?platform=hootsuite

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National:
Here’s What The World Will Look Like After Mass Incarceration

So what will a future America — one that doesn’t have the highest prison population on Earth, like it does now — actually look like? One little talked about practice might be one of the most important methods for criminals of the future …

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/27/here-s-what-the-world-will-look-like-after-mass-incarceration.html

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Chicago:
Judge Who Has Heard High-Profile Cases Could Decide Officer Van Dyke’s Fate

The Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment. He was indicted earlier this month on six counts of first-degree murder and …

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-jason-van-dyke-laquan-mcdonald-arraignment-20151229-story.html

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Colorado:
Report: Less Segregation Working Well

Colorado prisons have been on the cutting edge of administrative segregation reform and practices designed to phase out long-term isolation seem to be working. A new report reveals there were no suicides, and assaults on staff were …

http://www.chieftain.com/mobile/msearch/4263220-123/report-inmates-prisons-Colorado

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Georgia:
Georgia Aims To Do Even More To Help Inmates Re-Enter Society

Georgia’s ambitious criminal justice reforms are now in their fifth year, and advocates will ask lawmakers in the upcoming General Assembly to enact more measures that give offenders re-entering society a better chance to …

http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local/georgia-aims-to-do-even-more-to-help-inmates-re-en/npr4d/

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Oregon:
Opinion: Inmates Deserve Better Shot At Reform

The underlying message of Christmas is one of redemption, which makes this a most appropriate time to consider a group of individuals who are in great need of society’s forgiveness and help. People released from Oregon’s prisons don’t …

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/10-opinion/286799-163055-inmates-deserve-better-shot-at-reform

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Vermont:
Vermont Prison System Out of Step With The Rest Of New England

Of the six New England states, Vermont is the only one that doesn’t award “good time.” “Good time is an incentive for people in prison to take advantage of programs and other opportunities. If you’re trying to transform prisoners’ lives …

http://www.vnews.com/home/20079635-95/good-time-a-political-casualty

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Categories: News

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