Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law Wednesday what she called a landmark corrections bill that will significantly change how the state deals with nonviolent offenders and relieve prison overcrowding.
Conservatives have long seen reduced sentences and extensive rehabilitation programs as distractions from the essential questions of deterrence and prevention of crime. But recently, a strategy advertised as “conservative criminal justice reform” has gained ground in right-leaning states that are dealing with budget-busting corrections costs.
The legal scholar Derrick A. Bell foresaw that mass incarceration, like earlier systems of racial control, would continue to exist as long as it served the perceived interests of white elites.
Police officers following a suspect into an apartment complex in Lexington, Ky., don’t know which apartment their man has entered. But wafting through one of the closed apartment doors is the familiar odor of marijuana. The smell provides reason to believe criminal activity is afoot, probable cause for a warrant to search the apartment.
My driving instructor used to be a member of a South L.A. gang, but business dried up in the 1990s, and he was forced to get a job instead. He’s about five feet tall, but everyone calls him “Big.” “It was pretty sweet round here in the Nineties,” Big tells me as we navigate the barren streets between the Westside and South Central.
Roughly 2,000 students have to decide by Sunday whether to accept a spot at Harvard. Here’s some advice: Forget Harvard. If you want to earn big bucks and retire young, you’re better off becoming a California prison guard.
More than 160,000 inmates are serving time in California prisons. Two-thirds of released state prisoners return to prison within three years – contributing to the high cost of incarceration. Our state currently spends nearly $9 billion annually on corrections.
Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.
According to a recent report from the Houston Chronicle, Texas lawmakers took a significant step in the right direction when Governor Rick Perry signed the Texas Youth Commission reform bill. It passed unanimously in the state senate, and with only two dissenting votes in the house, showing a unified sentiment by both parties that criminal justice reform is a priority.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a tall order to the state of California Monday: The state must reduce its prison population by releasing about 40,000 prisoners over the next two years.