Sentencing Policy

News Article The Arizona Republic February 2, 2011

Arizona defense lawyers urge sentencing reforms

Defense attorneys on Tuesday called for a raft of sentencing reforms they said would save money and put Arizona in line with other states that have reduced prison populations and lowered crime rates.

But the group likely will have a tough time convincing a majority of lawmakers.

News Article Pheonix New Times February 1, 2011

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice Release New Report on Sentencing Reform

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ) held a press conference this morning to announce the release of a report highlighting the need for sentencing reform. The study, conducted by Judith Greene of Justice Strategies, notes that the state's criminal justice policies have "been among the harshest in the nation for many years" -- and are no longer fiscally viable.

JS Publication February 7, 2011

Turning the Corner: Opportunities for Effective Sentencing and Correctional Practices in Arizona

On February 1, 2011, http://www.aacj.org/">Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a statewide not-for-profit membership organization of criminal defense lawyers, law students and associated professionals, released Turning the Corner: Opportunities for Effective Sentencing and Correctional Practices in Arizona a report prepared by Justice Strategies' Director Judy Greene. Read more »

JS Publication May 6, 2009

Positive Trends and Best Practices in Criminal Justice Reform: A National Overview

This report reviews more than a decade of drug sentencing reform efforts in the states of Washington, Kansas, Michigan and New York. The positive impact of reducing reliance on incarceration in these states shows the way towards increasing opportunities for effective drug treatment, and safer, healthier communities. The report also includes a brief example of how Kansas produced a net savings to taxpayers of $7.5 million, from FY 2004 to FY2008, through reductions in prison population levels. Read more »

News Article Washington Post July 18, 2007

Washington Post on Gangs and Public Safety

When it comes to fighting gangs, there's the New York City approach, and there's the Los Angeles approach, according to the Justice Policy Institute. And one statistic dramatizes the difference:

Two years ago, Los Angeles police reported 11,402 gang-related crimes; New York police, 520. Read more »

News Article thestar.com July 18, 2007

U.S. gang crackdowns called a 'tragic failure'

More police, more prisons and more punitive measures aren't the answer to reducing gang activity, concludes a new U.S. study that experts here say underscores the need for Canada to reject that approach in favour of investing in jobs, schools and programs for disenfranchised youth.

The study, released today by the Washington, D.C.-based Justice Policy Institute, says popular suppression approaches to gang violence are a "tragic failure" in Los Angeles and Chicago, while promoting jobs, education and healthy communities draws youth away from gangs and violence. Read more »

JS Publication July 19, 2007

Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies

Youth crime in the United States remains near the lowest levels seen in the past three decades, yet public concern and media coverage of gang activity has skyrocketed since 2000. Fear has spread from neighborhoods with longstanding gang problems to communities with historically low levels of crime, and some policy makers have declared the arrival of a national gang “crisis.” Yet many questions remain unanswered. Read more »

News Article New York Times July 19, 2007

The Wrong Approach to Gangs

No city has failed to control its street gangs more spectacularly than Los Angeles. The region has six times as many gangs and double the number of gang members as a quarter-century ago, even after spending countless billions on the problem. But unless Congress changes course quickly, the policies that seem to have made the gang problem worse in Los Angeles could become enshrined as national doctrine in a so-called gang control bill making its way through both the House and Senate. Read more »

JS Publication September 19, 2006

Progress and Challenges: An analysis of drug treatment and imprisonment in Maryland

Maryland is making slow progress toward the goal of providing "treatment, not incarceration" to nonviolent substance abusers. The number of criminal justice-referred drug treatment admissions grew by 28 percent between 2000 and 2004, while drug imprisonment dropped by seven percent. Read more »

News Article The Stamford Advocate March 25, 2006

Supporters Urge Change to Laws on Drug-free School Zones (CT)

HARTFORD -- Calling current law racist, activists yesterday pushed for a bill that would shrink the size of zones around schools, day-care centers and public housing that carry stiffer penalties for drug offenses.

The bill would reduce the current 1,500 foot "drug free" radius around those facilities to 200 feet, within which additional mandatory three-year sentences are tacked on to drug offenses, including possession, sale and intent to sell drugs. Read more »

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