Topic: Crime and Justice


Local win-wins: How homegrown solutions can reduce incarceration and improve public safety

By Samantha Harvell  ::  November 6th, 2014

How can the trend of mass incarceration in the United States be reversed? Increasingly, policymakers and the public are debating this question. US Attorney General Eric Holder has made it a cornerstone of his legacy, the National Research Council released a landmark report on the topic earlier this year, and the Department of Justice recently […]

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California’s Prop 47 passed. Now what?

By Brian Elderbroom and Ryan King  ::  November 5th, 2014

Californians overwhelmingly chose less punitive criminal sentencing policies yesterday, with nearly 60 percent of voters approving Proposition 47, a ballot initiative that reclassifies certain nonviolent drug and property crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. Persons convicted of these offenses will now face shorter stays in jail or community supervision. This should be a familiar […]

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#GamerGate, victimization, and the role of the FBI

By John Roman  ::  October 28th, 2014

Few events are more disturbing to decent people than a wolf pack’s anonymous attack on an individual. In the age of the internet, this happens when one person is descended upon by a huge volume of threats or action perpetrated by many. Usually the attackers remain anonymous. The anonymity is comforting to the attackers and […]

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Hidden in plain sight: labor trafficking in the United States

By Matthew Johnson  ::  October 21st, 2014

Below is an excerpt from an interactive feature about a comprehensive new study on labor trafficking in the United States, led by Colleen Owens and Meredith Dank of the Urban Institute, and Amy Farrell of Northeastern University. Human trafficking generates a lot of media coverage in the United States, but that reporting often focuses on […]

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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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