Justice Reformers Launch Scorecard on Progress in a ‘Watershed’ Year

A national prison justice advocacy and research group has launched a project that tracks significant traits and developments in prison justice all over the state, concentrating on 12 critical areas of the justice technique.

The Condition of Justice Report, unveiled by the Vera Institute of Justice, also friends at the technique by a amount of distinctive “lenses,” spotlighting bipartisan coalitions, racial justice, incapacity rights, and general public overall health problems.

Vera, calling 2017 a “watershed 12 months for prison justice,” details to New Jersey’s guide on bail reform below a Republican governor, as perfectly as other states that handed legislation limiting cash bail and/or pretrial detention, this sort of as Kentucky, Connecticut, New Mexico, and California. Domestically, New Orleans handed a bail reform ordinance and the two Philadelphia and San Francisco problems experiences on the effect of money bail, signalling that leaders are getting a serious glance at revising the technique.

In accordance to Vera, final 12 months brought a expanding recognition of the relationship concerning domestic abuse and gun violence. Even though there has lengthy been a preponderance of info linking intimate companion homicides and guns, “gaps in regulations, guidelines, and methods in numerous jurisdictions go on to enable folks topic to domestic violence protection orders or who have been billed with domestic violence crimes to have firearms,” the authors produce.

Previous 12 months, a bipartisan coalition of federal lawmakers released legislation to fortify background checks on gun house owners. And “eight states (Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington) adopted regulations proscribing gun possession for folks convicted of domestic violence or topic to a restraining order, bringing the total amount of states with this sort of regulations to 27.”

Other bipartisan endeavours that built development final 12 months were enhancements to how sexual assault evidence is processed (SAFER Act of 2017), as perfectly as point out-stage reforms in Louisiana and Massachusetts. Last but not least, states Vera, Democrats and Republicans about the state are pushing again towards the Trump administration’s “tough on crime” agenda.

Vera Institute’s chapters on opioids, policing, bail, prosecutions, general public protection, jails, youth justice, immigration justice, victims, sentencing and decriminalization, prisons, and reentry can be explored on their internet site.

This summary was geared up by TCR Deputy Editor Victoria Mckenzie. Readers’ opinions are welcome.

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