Topic: Crime and Justice


There's more than one way to measure recidivism

By Ryan King  ::  October 17th, 2014

As long as Californians are footing the bill for public safety, it is critical that state corrections leaders track the success of public safety programs in the most precise and accurate way. The state is currently engaged in an important conversation about how it measures rates of reoffending for people who have been in the […]

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What you should know about victims who get billed for rape exams

By Janine Zweig  ::  October 17th, 2014

Last month, Times-Picayune reporter Rebecca Catalanello revealed that rape victims in Louisiana often are faced with large bills after undergoing medical forensic exams. Since then, I’ve received many inquiries from media outlets and policy advocates: Why are rape victims on the hook for paying for these exams? Is the practice in Louisiana legal? Is it […]

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What can we learn from stop and frisk?

By Nancy La Vigne and Shebani Rao  ::  October 15th, 2014

Perspectives on policing vary considerably. It’s like the parable about the group of blindfolded people in a room who all touch different parts of the elephant and have distinctly different notions of what it is. Depending on who you are and where you sit, you have a different perception of where the field of policing […]

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When the numbers lie, policy suffers

By Ryan King  ::  October 1st, 2014

In 1999, Washington State passed the Offender Accountability Act (OAA) to make changes to how the state classifies and supervises individuals released from prison. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) was charged with assessing whether the policy was having its intended effect of reducing recidivism by targeting supervision resources to those most likely […]

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“Elevate the debate”: Marking the next step in Urban’s evolution

By Sarah Rosen Wartell  ::  September 29th, 2014

    In recent months, you may have noticed Urban has begun to use data visualization, video, graphics, multimedia, and magazine-style features to convey insights from research. Today, we bring you another change: a new logo and look. Evolution has always been a part of Urban’s identity. Urban was founded to assess the War on […]

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Is housing assistance a safety net or a springboard?

By Taz George  ::  September 22nd, 2014

Roughly 4.6 million households* in the United States receive federal housing assistance. That may sound like a large number, but demand far exceeds supply. Unlike entitlement programs such as Social Security or food stamps, housing assistance does not reach the vast majority of those who are eligible. As the Urban Institute has illustrated, while the number […]

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Google and Apple aren’t letting police into your phone. What does that mean in the fight against crime?

By Dave McClure and John Roman  ::  September 19th, 2014

On Wednesday night, Apple announced that its new operating system won’t allow the company to get past your password on a protected device, even if it is to help law enforcement. “On devices running iOS 8, your personal data… is placed under the protection of your passcode,” Apple’s new privacy policy states. “…Apple cannot bypass […]

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Domestic Abuse

The NFL sparks a national conversation about violence against women

By Janine Zweig  ::  September 19th, 2014

Much has already been said about Ray Rice’s assault against his then-fiancé, Janay Rice; the NFL’s repeated fumbling in reaction to the case; and the league’s recent handling of domestic violence and child abuse allegations against other players. NFL sponsors have now joined in the outrage, putting greater pressure on the NFL to deal with […]

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prison crowding

Why the increasing state prison population should not have come as a surprise

By Ryan King and Brian Elderbroom  ::  September 18th, 2014

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced on Tuesday that the national prison population increased during 2013, breaking a streak of three straight years of decline. This sudden about-face caught many off guard. However, a deeper dive into the data suggests that maybe we should have been prepared for this sobering news. Particularly noteworthy is […]

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