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Seek Justice

Seek Justice

Author: Erik Rasmussen and Dennis Schrantz

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A weekly deep dive into Criminal Justice with Erik Rasmussen and Dennis Schrantz
16 Episodes
Follow Roger Przybylski’s work at:RKC GroupImplementing Evidence-Based Practices (PDF)What Works - Effective Recidivism Reduction and Risk-Focused Prevention Programs (PDF)Special Issue on Evidence-Based Policy and Practice – Introduction (PDF)LinksNational Criminal Justice Reform Project (NCJA)National Governors Association (Wikipedia)Formative Evalutation (Wikipedia)Summative Evaluation (Wikipedia)Types of summative assessment and formative assessment (ResourceEd)“When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative [evaluation]. When the guests taste the soup, that’s summative [evaluation].”– Robert E. Stake, Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Illinois
Follow Marc Mauer’s work at:The Sentencing ProjectEnd Life ImprisonmentThe Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences (Amazon)LinksSentator Gerald Malloy (South Carolina State House)Charles “Joe” Heinz (Wikipedia)Vera Institute of Justice (Wikipedia)Racial Impact Statements: Changing Policies to Address Disparities (The Sentencing Project)In reaction to a study that found Iowa topped the nation in racial disparity in its prison population, Iowa Governor Chet Culver in April 2008 made history by signing into law the nation’s first piece of legislation to require policy makers to prepare racial impact statements for proposed legislation that affects sentencing, probation, or parole policies. In signing the bill, Gov. Culver noted that “I am committed to making sure government at all levels reflects our shared values of fairness and justice.” In the following months Connecticut and Wisconsin took similar action.James Bell (Burns Institute)Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: A Manual for Practitioners and Policymakers (National Criminal Justice Reference Service)Life Without Redemption (US News)“One in every seven prisoners is serving some type of life sentence.”– Marc MauerLouisiana Amendment 2, Unanimous Jury Verdict for Felony Trials Amendment (2018) (BallotPedia)ResultVotesPercentage✅ Yes938,18264.35%❌ No519,73135.65%Louisiana Court Declares State’s Non-unanimous Jury Verdict Scheme Unconstitutional, Motivated by Racial Discrimination (Shadow Proof)The Angolite is the inmate-edited and published magazine of the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. (Wikipedia)Cory Booker aims to give aging prisoners ‘a second look’ (NBC News)Hillary Clinton Calls for an End to ‘Mass Incarceration’ (Time)Marc’s Recommendations for organizations to support:ACLU - Smart JusticeJust Leadership USADrop LWOP
LinksDecarceration Strategies – How 5 States Achieved Substantial Prison Population Reductions (PDF, The Sentencing Project)Connecticut: Declined 25%, 2007-2016Focused on reducing young people’s contact with the justice system through reducing school suspensions, changing criteria for detention, and raising the age of adult jurisdiction from 16 to 18.Michigan: Declined 20%, 2006-2016Increased parole grants by expanding capacity of the parole board, and reduced returns to prison by establishing Technical Rule Violator centers for enhanced programming and services.Mississippi: Declined 17.5%, 2008-2016Reduced time served in prison by scaling back the “truth in sentencing” policy from 85% time served to 25%, and applied changes retroactively; adopted a risk assessment instrument that contributed to doubling of parole approval rate.Rhode Island: Declined 23%, 2008-2016Reduced time served in prison by establishing earned-time credits of 10 days per month, and eliminated mandatory sentences for drug crimes.South Carolina: Declined 14%, 2008-2016Reduced parole violator revocations to prison through diversion to alternative sanctions and reduced returns of 17-25 year-olds through enhanced job-related prison programming and Intensive Aftercare reentry services.Gina Raimondo (Wikipedia)Racial Disparity Map (The Sentencing Project)Rhode Island exceeds the national disparity index (8 to 1, Blacks to Whites incarcerated in Rhode Island versus 5 to 1 nationally)A Review of the Jail Function Within State Unified Corrections Systems (PDF, National Institute of Corrections)Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: A Manual for Practitioners and Policymakers, by Dennis Schrantz and Jerry McElroy (The Sentencing Project)Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s Jobs Video (YouTube, 2016)The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander (Amazon)Cornel West (Wikipedia)13th (Netflix Documentary)The New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action (Amazon)“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right”– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “A Proper Sense of Priorities”, February 6, 1968Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (Wikipedia)Why Your Brain Wants To Help One Child In Need — But Not Millions (NPR, Hidden Brain)We Followed Obama During His Visit To A Federal Prison | HBO Special Report (YouTube, Vice)
LinksEconomic Impact of Sentencing Reform Act Initiatives on the Economy, David Hughes, Ph.D, Clemson University, Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, 2.28.14 (PDF, South Carolina State House)Based on a 2011 report conducted by the United States (U.S.) Government Accountability Office,and on data taken from a factsheet produced by the Children’s Defense Fund for South Carolina(2011), we estimated that 25 children are not in foster care and three children were not adopted outof foster care because of SRA initiatives.When we examine impacts of SRA initiatives implemented by the South Carolina Department of Probation,Parole and Pardon Services for the three year period, the cumulative impact on the South Carolinaeconomy is $50.896 million.Sandhill Research and Education Center (Clemson)Ep. 10 - Trust the Methodology, in which we discussed the Koch BrothersSenator Gerald MalloyKwame Kilpatrick (Wikipedia)Ep. 8 - Unemployment, Before and After Prison, in which we discussed the importance of employment after prisonIncarceration and Race in Michigan: Grounding the National Debate in State Practice (Amazon)
LinksCriminal Defense Lawyer (Wikipedia)Judges are more lenient after taking a break, study finds (The Guardian)Failure to Appear (Wikipedia)Economic Impact of Sentencing Reform Act Initiatives on the Economy, David Hughes, Ph.D, Clemson University, Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, 2.28.14 (PDF, South Carolina State House)Victim offender reconciliation (National Institute of Corrections)‘Close to a breaking point’: Public defenders walk off job over high caseloads (KATU)Law school was insanely expensive. I have colleagues who came out of law school with a quarter-million dollars in educational debt. Every year that I’ve been a public defender, I have taken on more cases than I had the year before. … I had 531 new cases last year, which is 131 more than the ABA recommends.
LinksMichigan spending one-fifth of its general fund budget on prisoners (USA Today)It cost the state — and by extension, taxpayers — an average of $36,106 to incarcerate a single person in Michigan in 2017.You can buy a new Ford Explorer for that, according to Kelley Blue Book.At that rate, a single prisoner sentenced to 30 or more years would cost Michigan taxpayers more than $1 million to incarcerate.Budget Briefing: Corrections (pdf) (Michigan House of Representatives)FY 2018-19 MDOC Budget$2,019,056,200 – Total spending authority from all revenue sources“Fix the damn roads” - Gretchen WhitmerThe Second Chance Act of 2007 (Wikipedia)
LinksEp. 5 – How do we know what works?, in which we discussed Jennifer Doleac’s work previously.Jennifer Doleac’s thread on TwitterWorking on criminal justice topics gives me a very different perspective on the Kochs than my equally-liberal friends & family have. Charles Koch Foundation & Charles Kock Institute are perhaps the most important funders of research related to criminal justice policy & reform.They also frequently host conferences that bring top-notch researchers and practitioners together in one room — a chance to meet everyone else who’s working in this space. In other words, they throw great parties — sounds trivial but this is super important & helpful!Charles Koch Foundation has funded my own work related to prisoner reentry and I am deeply grateful for that as well as their broader support of my research. My contacts there & Charles Kock Institute are the first I call if I’m looking for practioner contacts. They know everyone!As funders they are extremely hands-off — to a degree that is almost funny. I think they know people are watching them closely for missteps so are super careful. But most funders in this space have strong opinions abt what you should study & what you should find. They don’t.Koch Industries for a long time was a major proponent of Ban the Box policies. When my research on BTB (which they did not fund) came out, showing detrimental effects, they were eager to hear about it & engage w the results. I really appreciated that.To my fellow liberals that love to hate the Koch brothers, I simply say: the story is more complicated (as always, right?). Charles Koch in particular is enabling & supporting evidence-based CJ reform in red & blue states alike, and that is something we should all appreciate.“Ban the Box” does more harm than good, by Jennifer Doleac, May 31, 2016 (Brookings)Arnold FoundationLaura Arnold’s Podcast (Apple Podcasts)The Replication Crisis (Wikipedia)The File Drawer Problem (Wikipedia)Academic Tenure (Wikipedia)Example of Correlation-Causation EscalationPeriodontal Disease Bacteria Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease (American Academy of Periodontology)The study, published in the journal Science Advances, uncovered a potential link between P. gingivalis, the bacteria associated with periodontal disease (commonly known as gum disease) and Alzheimer’s.Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors (Science Advances)Infectious agents have been found in the brain and postulated to be involved with AD, but robust evidence of causation has not been established.
LinksBroken promises and lost funding: how Mississippi prison reform failed (The Guardian)Between 1993 and 2013, Mississippi’s prison population more than quadrupled, thanks largely to mandatory minimum sentences, with the population peaking in the past decade at more than 23,000. The state had a higher per capita rate of incarceration than countries such as China or Russia.By the time the bill became law in July 2014, the Mississippi Parole Board was paroling more offenders and had already reduced the prison population by about 2,000 inmates. Within six months, it fell even more, to below 19,000.Miss. locks up more per capita than China and Russia (Clarion Ledger)Pew predicted that by 2024 Mississippi would save $266 million (PDF) (Pew Charitable Trusts)Assessment platforms, discussed in detail on Ep 4 – Racial Disparity:Northpointe’s COMPAS (Equivalent)Ohio Risk Assessment System (NICIC)Level of Service Inventory - Revised (MHS)Build vs. Buy (Wikipedia)Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR)Judge Keith Starrett (Wikipedia)Miss. prison chief accused of bribery, money laundering (USA Today)Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps was indicted Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, on charges of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering conspiracy and wire fraud. Epps resigned from his post Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014.The Pew Charitable Trusts (Wikipedia)Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP)Downscaling Prisons – Lessons From Four States, 2010, by Judith Greene and Marc MauerBrad Bogue, director of J-SAT (LinkedIn)Pew Charitable Trusts – Washington, D.C. Headquarters
LinksUnemployment benefits in Denmark (Wikipedia)Soft Skills (Wikipedia)Center for Employment Opportunities, in New York CityNew Orleans Business AllianceUnited Way Prosperity Center, South Eastern Louisiana (United Way)Work and opportunity before and after incarceration (Brookings)Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)Annie E. Casey FoundationIntegrated Reentry and Employment Strategies – Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness (PDF) (BJA)
LinksJudith Greene, Director of Justice Strategies (Justice Strategies)Bailing Out Private Jails, by Judith Greene (The American Prospect)Michael Jordan has NOT invested in prisons (Earth The Necklace)Marc Mauer, of the Sentencing Project (Wikipedia)Ankle Monitor (Wikipedia)
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