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Full-Text Articles in Law

Legal Optimism: Restoring Trust In The Criminal Justice System Through Procedural Justice, Positive Psychology And Just Culture Event Reviews, John Hollway Sep 2018

Legal Optimism: Restoring Trust In The Criminal Justice System Through Procedural Justice, Positive Psychology And Just Culture Event Reviews, John Hollway

Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Like any complex, dynamic system, the American criminal justice system makes mistakes. Unfortunately, criminal justice organizations lack a systematic process enabling them to learn from cases of error. Ignoring or minimizing errors erodes organizational legitimacy and contributes to a downward spiral of legal cynicism that increases violent crime. This paper describes the application of positive psychology and procedural justice to restore legal optimism – confidence and trust that the criminal justice system will respond in a just fashion to criminal activity – through Just Culture Event Reviews (JCERs), non-blaming multi-stakeholder reviews of cases where the system has erred. JCERs identify contributing factors ...


Digging Them Out Alive, Michael Millemann, Rebecca Bowman Rivas, Elizabeth Smith Sep 2018

Digging Them Out Alive, Michael Millemann, Rebecca Bowman Rivas, Elizabeth Smith

Faculty Scholarship

From 2013-2018, we taught a collection of interrelated law and social work clinical courses, which we call “the Unger clinic.” This clinic was part of a major, multi-year criminal justice project, led by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. The clinic and project responded to a need created by a 2012 Maryland Court of Appeals decision, Unger v. State. It, as later clarified, required that all Maryland prisoners who were convicted by juries before 1981—237 older, long-incarcerated prisoners—be given new trials. This was because prior to 1981 Maryland judges in criminal trials were required to instruct the ...


The Criminal Justice System And Latinos In An Emerging Latino Area, Betina Cutaia Wilkinson Aug 2018

The Criminal Justice System And Latinos In An Emerging Latino Area, Betina Cutaia Wilkinson

Latino Public Policy

The topic of my study is Latinos’ attitudes and experiences with the criminal justice system in an emerging Latino area. There is an extensive amount of research on African Americans’ experiences and views of the criminal justice system yet our knowledge of Latinos’ experiences with the criminal justice system is quite scant. Still, a few studies have provided some foundation for our understanding of this topic. We know that immigrant policing is associated with Latinos’ reduced trust in government agencies and its programs (Cruz Nichols et al. 2018a). Restrictive immigration policies negatively impact Latinos’ physical and mental health (Cruz Nichols ...


The State Of American Juvenile Justice, Merril Sobie Apr 2018

The State Of American Juvenile Justice, Merril Sobie

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This article will summarize the major twenty-first century state legislative and case law developments. It will also briefly note the expansion of state and local initiatives limiting the prosecution of youthful offenders, such as diversion and restorative justice programs.

The state of American juvenile justice has improved significantly in the past several years. However, the reforms are best viewed as a work in progress. Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be accomplished. Crucially, after a generation of “tough on kids” measures, we are on the road toward a true “justice” system for children.


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Articles

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Articles

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique.

Specifically, I trace two themes in the book:

(1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and

(2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement.

I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding of what constitutes the “criminal justice system,” it is difficult to agree on the proper targets of critique or to determine what legal, social, and political problems are properly the province of “criminal justice thinking.” And, deciding which voices to accept and privilege in these ...


The Scale Of Misdemeanor Justice, Megan T. Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2018

The Scale Of Misdemeanor Justice, Megan T. Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson

Scholarly Works

This Article seeks to provide the most comprehensive national-level empirical analysis of misdemeanor criminal justice that is currently feasible given the state of data collection in the United States. First, we estimate that there are 13.2 million misdemeanor cases filed in the United States each year. Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, this number is not rising. Both the number of misdemeanor arrests and cases filed have declined markedly in recent years. In fact, national arrest rates for almost every misdemeanor offense category have been declining for at least two decades, and the misdemeanor arrest rate was lower in 2014 ...


Dangerous Defendants, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2018

Dangerous Defendants, Sandra G. Mayson

Scholarly Works

Bail reform is gaining momentum nationwide. Reformers aspire to untether pretrial detention from wealth (the ability to post money bail) and condition it instead on statistical risk, particularly the risk that a defendant will commit crime if he remains at liberty pending trial. The bail reform movement holds tremendous promise, but also forces the criminal justice system to confront a difficult question: What statistical risk that a person will commit future crime justifies short-term detention? What about lesser restraints, like GPS monitoring? Although the turn to actuarial risk assessment in the pretrial context has engendered both excitement and concern, the ...


Punishing Risk, Erin Collins Jan 2018

Punishing Risk, Erin Collins

Law Faculty Publications

Actuarial recidivism risk assessments-statistical predictions of the likelihood of future criminal behavior-drive a number of core criminal justice decisions, including where to police, whom to release on bail, and how to manage correctional institutions. Recently, this predictive approach to criminal justice entered a new arena: sentencing. Actuarial sentencing has quickly gained a number of prominent supporters and is being implemented across the country. This enthusiasm is understandable. Its proponents promise that actuarial data will refine sentencing decisions, increase rehabilitation, and reduce reliance on incarceration.

Yet, in the rush to embrace actuarial sentencing, scholars and policy makers have overlooked a crucial ...