Topic: Crime and Justice

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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Aging behind bars

By KiDeuk Kim and Bryce Peterson  ::  September 8th, 2014

Did you know that people who have spent time behind bars can experience “accelerated aging” so that the physiological age of some older prisoners is up to 15 years greater than their chronological age? While this may be caused by a host of related factors—including histories of unhealthy behaviors and inadequate healthcare—there is little doubt […]

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The costs of gun violence go beyond the hospital price tag

By Embry Howell and Sam Bieler  ::  August 29th, 2014

Our new study on the consequences of gun violence in six states has gotten a lot of attention for its findings about the cost of hospital care and who pays for it. And with good reason—the financial costs of gun violence are enormous. In 2010, national costs totaled nearly $670 million, most of which is […]

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Here's how can maximize their innovative effort to collect police shooting data

By Zach McDade and John Roman  ::  August 21st, 2014

    In the wake of the recent deaths at police hands of Michael Brown, Kajieme Powell, and so many others, people have rightly called for a thorough empirical analysis of how often and under what circumstances the police shoot civilians. Unfortunately, to our knowledge, the data don’t exist for that analysis. This is likely […]

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Attempting to end rape culture, one community at a time

By Sade Adeeyo  ::  August 19th, 2014

A lot of people are talking about rape culture. In news outlets, classrooms, magazines, and feminist blogs, pundits are discussing what actually contributes to rape culture—the concept that sexual violence and harassment is normal, expected, and acceptable—and the damage it has on different communities. In recent years, several incidents have made headlines. Viral videos and […]

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Should we arm citizens and let them police themselves?

By Sam Bieler and John Roman  ::  August 18th, 2014

    A city with limited resources and stubbornly high crime rates, Detroit is ripe for justice system innovation. Police Chief James Craig has seized on this opportunity, implementing a broad range of changes to the department. These reforms appear to be making an impact. In the past year, Detroit has experienced significant declines in […]

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Could risk assessment contribute to racial disparity in the justice system?

By Jesse Jannetta and Justin Breaux and Helen Ho  ::  August 11th, 2014

    We can’t know who will commit crimes, but statistical models can give us an idea of who is more likely to offend. It’s not quite Minority Report—rather than seeing crime before it happens, the justice system uses risk assessment tools to gauge the probability of future offending based on factors like age, gender, […]

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Eric Garner's death is about much more than a police choke hold

By Laudan Aron  ::  August 8th, 2014

    Last week, the New York City Medical Examiner ruled that Eric Garner died on July 17 as a result of a choke hold by a police officer. In other words, Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, even though his health conditions—including asthma, heart disease, and obesity—were found to be “contributing factors.” The confrontation with […]

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To protect domestic abuse victims from gun violence, we need better data

By Sam Bieler and Darakshan Raja  ::  July 30th, 2014

    Today, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to discuss how the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) can protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence. Developing and funding research on effective interventions and policies is essential to moving this conversation beyond rhetoric and into effective action. What we know about domestic […]

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