Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Tough On Crime (On The State's Dime): How Violent Crime Does Not Drive California Counties’ Incarceration Rates—And Why It Should Jul 2011

Tough On Crime (On The State's Dime): How Violent Crime Does Not Drive California Counties’ Incarceration Rates—And Why It Should

W. David Ball

California’s prisons are dangerously and unconstitutionally overcrowded; as a result of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Plata v. Schwarzenegger, the state must act to reduce its prison population or face court-ordered prisoner releases. The state’s plans to reduce overcrowding are centered around what it calls criminal justice “realignment”, whereby California will send a portion of the state prison population to county facilities. The plan faces opposition from county officials, who see it as pushing the state’s problem on to the counties.

But what if state prison overcrowding is really a county problem? I argue that state prison overcrowding is …


Why Should States Pay For Prisons, When Local Officials Decide Who Goes There?, W. David Ball Jun 2011

Why Should States Pay For Prisons, When Local Officials Decide Who Goes There?, W. David Ball

Faculty Publications

In the United States, states typically pay for prisons, even though the decisions that lead to prison admissions — arresting, charging, and sentencing — are made by local officials. The practice of state subsidies is relatively recent: there were no state prisons in the early part of the country’s history, and even as state institutions began to be developed, they largely supported themselves financially, rendering the notion of subsidies moot. Given the political economy of local decision-making, local preferences are unlikely to result in optimally-sized state prison populations. This Article suggests that since state prison subsidies may not be desirable …


Let The Sunshine In: The Aba And Prison Oversight, Michael B. Mushlin Jan 2011

Let The Sunshine In: The Aba And Prison Oversight, Michael B. Mushlin

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

2010 may be remembered as the year in which prison oversight finally found a place on the national correction agenda, thanks in significant part to the attention that the American Bar Association has focused on this topic. In this article, we briefly describe the state of American prisons, trace the recent movement toward prison oversight, describe the rationale for oversight and the benefits it provides, and describe the contribution made to this effort by the ABA through the passage of its landmark resolution in 2008, through its Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners calling for prison oversight, and through the …


Reducing Mass Incarceration: Lessons From The Deinstitutionalization Of Mental Hospitals In The 1960s, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2011

Reducing Mass Incarceration: Lessons From The Deinstitutionalization Of Mental Hospitals In The 1960s, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In a message to Congress in 1963, President John F. Kennedy outlined a federal program designed to reduce by half the number of persons in custody. The institutions at issue were state hospitals and asylums for the mentally ill, and the number of such persons in custody was staggeringly large, in fact comparable to contemporary levels of mass incarceration in prisons and jails. President Kennedy's message to Congress – the first and perhaps only presidential message to Congress that dealt exclusively with the issue of institutionalization in this country – proposed replacing state mental hospitals with community mental health centers, …


'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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 …