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Plowing In Hope: A Three-Part Framework For Incorporating Restorative Justice Into Sentencing And Correctional Systems, Lynn S. Branham Jan 2012

Plowing In Hope: A Three-Part Framework For Incorporating Restorative Justice Into Sentencing And Correctional Systems, Lynn S. Branham

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This essay proposes the adoption of a three-part framework to effectuate fundamental changes in conventional sentencing and correctional constructs, making restorative justice a mainstay of sentencing and correctional systems. First, federal, state, and local governments would authorize the imposition of what would be – in name, purpose, and content – “restorative sentences.” The growing, processing, and distribution of locally grown foods in low-income neighborhoods particularly afflicted by crime is an example of what could become a prevalent restorative sentence. The essay outlines a number of steps to be undertaken by jurisdictions in order to realize the goals of restorative sentencing. …


'The Mess We’Re In': Five Steps Towards The Transformation Of Prison Cultures, Lynn S. Branham Jan 2011

'The Mess We’Re In': Five Steps Towards The Transformation Of Prison Cultures, Lynn S. Branham

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Few dispute that conditions in prisons need to be improved – that, for example, prisoners with mental-health problems need to have those problems addressed, and addressed effectively, while they are confined. But the more fundamental question is whether prisons can be, not just improved, but transformed. Transformation in this context means deep and sustained changes in the ethos of those who work and live in prisons. That ethos would reflect at least four precepts: (1) hope as an imperative; (2) the viability of renewal; (3) the catharsis that attends personal responsibility and accountability; and (4) the duty and call, extending …


Accrediting The Accreditors: A New Paradigm For Correctional Oversight, Lynn S. Branham Jan 2010

Accrediting The Accreditors: A New Paradigm For Correctional Oversight, Lynn S. Branham

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Correctional accreditation processes can be revamped to bring more transparency and accountability into the operation of correctional facilities and to help ensure that they comport with sound correctional practices, legal requirements, and basic human-rights precepts. Becoming accredited is now largely optional, and correctional accreditation processes are fee-based. Consequently, correctional accrediting entities are vulnerable to pressures to water down accreditation standards and make accreditation procedures more lax. The federal government should therefore adopt two requirements. First, prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities should have to be accredited by a certified accrediting entity in order to be eligible to receive federal funds. …


Brennan Lecture Evidence-Based Judicial Discretion: Promoting Public Safety Through State Sentencing Reform, Michael A. Wolff Jan 2008

Brennan Lecture Evidence-Based Judicial Discretion: Promoting Public Safety Through State Sentencing Reform, Michael A. Wolff

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In this speech delivered for the annual Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Lecture on State Courts and Social Justice, the Honorable Michael Wolff offers a new way of thinking about sentencing. Instead of attempting to limit judicial discretion and increase incarceration, states should aim to reduce recidivism in order to make our communities safer. Judge Wolff uses the example of Missouri's sentencing reforms to argue that states should adopt evidence-based sentencing, in which the effectiveness of different sentences and treatment programs are regularly evaluated. In pre-sentencing investigative reports, probation officers should attempt to quantify - based on historical data - …