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Mass incarceration

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Criminalization Of Mental Illness And Substance Use Disorder: Addressing The Void Between The Healthcare And Criminal Justice Systems, Emily B. Egart Jan 2024

The Criminalization Of Mental Illness And Substance Use Disorder: Addressing The Void Between The Healthcare And Criminal Justice Systems, Emily B. Egart

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Mass Incarceration In America: Where's The Church?, Michael J. Wing Dec 2023

Mass Incarceration In America: Where's The Church?, Michael J. Wing

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

Due to mass incarceration, correctional facilities in America are dealing with unprecedented levels of overcrowding, staff shortages, violence, suicide, and widespread mental illness among inmates. Budget cuts and the corresponding loss of vocational, educational, and treatment programs have exacerbated such problems. Mass incarceration and its deleterious consequences are challenging the very soul of America, and the church has largely stood by and watched this tragic situation unfold over the last fifty years. This research project has explored some of the barriers that have precluded churches from taking a more intentional, active, and impactful role in doing something about the national …


Unclear Guidelines From The Sentencing Commission And A Prejudiced Warden Result In (Un)Compassionate Release, Mary Trotter Dec 2023

Unclear Guidelines From The Sentencing Commission And A Prejudiced Warden Result In (Un)Compassionate Release, Mary Trotter

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

Congress first developed compassionate release in 1984, granting federal courts the authority to reduce sentences for “extraordinary and compelling” reasons. Compassionate release allows the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and inmates to apply for immediate early release on grounds of “particularly extraordinary or compelling circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing.” Questions remain about how the BOP and the courts grant compassionate release and whether the courts apply the compassionate release guidelines consistently. The uncertainty is due to the lack of clarity from the USSC to define “extraordinary or compelling circumstances,” …


Preventing Undeserved Punishment, Marah Stith Mcleod Dec 2023

Preventing Undeserved Punishment, Marah Stith Mcleod

Notre Dame Law Review

Defendants should not be punished more than they deserve. Sentencing scholars describe this precept against undeserved punishment as a consensus norm in American law and culture. Yet America faces a plague of mass incarceration, and many sanctions seem clearly undeserved, often far exceeding an offender’s culpability or the seriousness of an offense. How can a society committed to desert as a limitation on legitimate sanctions allow such undeserved punishments?

Critics argue increasingly that our focus on what offenders deserve is itself part of the problem. They claim that the notion of desert is too amorphous, malleable, and arbitrary to limit …


After The Criminal Justice System, Benjamin Levin Oct 2023

After The Criminal Justice System, Benjamin Levin

Washington Law Review

Since the 1960s, the “criminal justice system” has operated as the common label for a vast web of actors and institutions. But as critiques of mass incarceration have entered the mainstream, academics, activists, and advocates increasingly have stopped referring to the “criminal justice system.” Instead, they have opted for critical labels—the “criminal legal system,” the “criminal punishment system,” the “prison industrial complex,” and so on. What does this re-labeling accomplish? Does this change in language matter to broader efforts at criminal justice reform or abolition? Or does an emphasis on labels and language distract from substantive engagement with the injustices …


Racializing Algorithms, Jessica M. Eaglin Jun 2023

Racializing Algorithms, Jessica M. Eaglin

Articles by Maurer Faculty

There is widespread recognition that algorithms in criminal law’s administration can impose negative racial and social effects. Scholars tend to offer two ways to address this concern through law—tinkering around the tools or abolishing the tools through law and policy. This Article contends that these paradigmatic interventions, though they may center racial disparities, legitimate the way race functions to structure society through the intersection of technology and law. In adopting a theoretical lens centered on racism and the law, it reveals deeply embedded social assumptions about race that propel algorithms as criminal legal reform in response to mass incarceration. It …


Q&A: W&M Law Professor Jeffrey Bellin On 'Mass Incarceration Nation', W&M Law School Staff, Jeffrey Bellin Apr 2023

Q&A: W&M Law Professor Jeffrey Bellin On 'Mass Incarceration Nation', W&M Law School Staff, Jeffrey Bellin

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Police-Generated Evidence In Bail Hearings: Generating Criminality And Mass Pretrial Incarceration In Canada, Jillian Rogin Apr 2023

Police-Generated Evidence In Bail Hearings: Generating Criminality And Mass Pretrial Incarceration In Canada, Jillian Rogin

Dalhousie Law Journal

Systemic racism in policing impacts many aspects of the criminal legal system including the system of judicial interim release. This paper traces the ways in which reliance on police-created evidence at bail hearings might contribute to mass pretrial incarceration in Canada which is disproportionately felt by Indigenous, Black, and marginalized people. The police synopsis and police-created criminal records are state knowledge created for state purposes. This state-created evidence in fact generates race and racialization; all of the structural inequalities built into the system of policing become relied on at bail hearings through police-created evidence which contributes to mass pretrial incarceration …


Carceral Socialization As Voter Suppression, Danieli Evans Apr 2023

Carceral Socialization As Voter Suppression, Danieli Evans

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In an era of mass incarceration, many people are socialized through interactions with the carceral state. These interactions are powerful learning experiences, and by design, they are contrary to democratic citizenship. Citizenship is about belonging to a community of equals, being entitled to mutual respect and concern. Criminal punishment deliberately harms, subordinates, and stigmatizes. Encounters with the carceral system are powerful experiences of anti-democratic socialization, and they impact peoples’ sense of citizenship and trust in government. Accordingly, a large body of social science research shows that eligible voters who have carceral contact are significantly less likely to vote or to …


Understanding Mass Incarceration In The Us Is The First Step To Reducing A Swollen Prison Population, Jeffrey Bellin Mar 2023

Understanding Mass Incarceration In The Us Is The First Step To Reducing A Swollen Prison Population, Jeffrey Bellin

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Sentenced To Prison, Not To Death: Home Confinement During The Pandemic And Moving Beyond Covid-19, Sydney Mcconnell Feb 2023

Sentenced To Prison, Not To Death: Home Confinement During The Pandemic And Moving Beyond Covid-19, Sydney Mcconnell

Arkansas Law Review

A prison sentence should “not include incurring a great and unforeseen risk of severe illness or death.” But for the 2.3 million people housed in our nation’s prisons and jails during the COVID-19 (“COVID”) pandemic, their sentences have included just that. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Bureau of Prisons has transferred approximately 49,068 inmates to home confinement. The decision to expand home confinement is an important one. It is a step in the right direction to address another broader, and distinctly American, issue: mass incarceration. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have reached the consensus “that …


A World Without Prosecutors, Jeffrey Bellin Dec 2022

A World Without Prosecutors, Jeffrey Bellin

Faculty Publications

Bennett Capers’ article Against Prosecutors challenges us to imagine a world where we “turn away from prosecution as we know it,” and shift “power from prosecutors to the people they purport to represent.”

[...]

Capers joins a long line of authors seeking to attack mass incarceration by reducing the role of prosecutors. I agree with these authors that we should dramatically shrink the footprint of American criminal law and ending the war on drugs is a good place to start. But while Capers styles his proposal as a “[r]adical change,” I find the focus on prosecutors in this context decidedly …


Expanding Judicial Discretion To Grant Compassionate Release During Covid-19, Deborah Wang Dec 2022

Expanding Judicial Discretion To Grant Compassionate Release During Covid-19, Deborah Wang

Washington Law Review

In the 1980s, Congress introduced compassionate release to counteract the increased rigidity of our federal sentencing system. This mechanism allowed courts, through a motion filed by the Bureau of Prison’s director, to reduce a prisoner’s sentence if “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances warrant such a reduction. However, because the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) seldom brought these motions, few people were released early via compassionate release. At the same time, public discourse and concerns regarding mass incarceration have continued to grow, causing lawmakers to revisit and revise compassionate release through the First Step Act of 2018 to ensure that this mechanism’s potential …


Discredited Data, Ngozi Okidegbe Nov 2022

Discredited Data, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly employing pretrial algorithms as a solution to the racial and socioeconomic inequities in the bail system. But in practice, pretrial algorithms have reproduced the very inequities they were intended to correct. Scholars have diagnosed this problem as the biased data problem: pretrial algorithms generate racially and socioeconomically biased predictions, because they are constructed and trained with biased data.

This Article contends that biased data is not the sole cause of algorithmic discrimination. Another reason pretrial algorithms produce biased results is that they are exclusively built and trained with data from carceral knowledge sources – the police, pretrial …


Expanded Criminal Defense Lawyering, Jenny Roberts, Ronald Wright Sep 2022

Expanded Criminal Defense Lawyering, Jenny Roberts, Ronald Wright

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

This review collects and critiques the academic literature on criminal defense lawyering, with an emphasis on empirical work. Research on criminal defense attorneys in the United States has traditionally emphasized scarcity of resources: too many people facing criminal charges who are “too poor to pay” for counsel and not enough funding to pay for the constitutionally mandated lawyers. Scholars have focused on the capacity of different delivery systems, such as public defender offices, to change the ultimate outcomes in criminal cases within their tight budgetary constraints. Over the decades, however, theoretical understandings of the defense attorney’s work have expanded to …


Prosecutorial Nonenforcement And Residual Criminalization, Justin Murray Sep 2022

Prosecutorial Nonenforcement And Residual Criminalization, Justin Murray

Articles & Chapters

In recent years a small but influential group of locally elected prosecutors committed to criminal justice reform have openly refused to enforce various criminal laws—laws prohibiting marijuana possession, sentence enhancements, laws authorizing the death penalty, and much more—because they see those laws as unjust and incompatible with core reform objectives. Condemned by many on the political right for allegedly usurping the legislature’s lawmaking role and praised by many on the left for bypassing dysfunctional state legislatures in favor of local solutions, these prosecutorial nonenforcement policies are commonly said to have the same effect as nullifying, or even repealing, the laws …


Remarks, Andrea Dennis Jun 2022

Remarks, Andrea Dennis

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Over the course of one week, the Michigan Journal of Law Reform presented its annual Symposium, this year titled Reimagining Police Surveillance: Protecting Activism and Ending Technologies of Oppression. During this week, the Journal explored complicated questions surrounding the expansion of police surveillance technologies, including how police and federal agencies utilize their extensive resources to identify and surveil public protest, the ways in which technology employed by police is often flawed and disparately impacts people of color, and potential reforms of police surveillance technology. Before delving into these complicated questions, I presented remarks on the history of police surveillance …


The Racist Roots Of The War On Drugs And The Myth Of Equal Protection For People Of Color, André Douglas Pond Cummings, Steven A. Ramirez Jun 2022

The Racist Roots Of The War On Drugs And The Myth Of Equal Protection For People Of Color, André Douglas Pond Cummings, Steven A. Ramirez

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

By 2021, the costs and pain arising from the propagation of the American racial hierarchy reached such heights that calls for anti-racism and criminal justice reform dramatically expanded. The brutal murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police vividly proved that the social construction of race in America directly conflicted with supposed American values of equal protection under law and notions of basic justice. The racially-driven War on Drugs (WOD) fuels much of the dissonance between American legal mythology—such as the non-discrimination principle and the impartial administration of the rule of law—and the reality of race in the United States. …


Can Islamic Law Principles Regarding Settlement Of Criminal Disputes Solve The Problem Of The U.S. Mass Incarceration?, Amin R. Yacoub, Becky Briggs May 2022

Can Islamic Law Principles Regarding Settlement Of Criminal Disputes Solve The Problem Of The U.S. Mass Incarceration?, Amin R. Yacoub, Becky Briggs

Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal

The mass incarceration crisis in the United States (US) remains a vexing issue to this day. Although the US incarcerated population has decreased by twenty-five percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the US remains a leading country in the number of incarcerated people per capita. Focusing on Islamic law principles governing settlement in criminal cases, the rehabilitative approach of the Icelandic criminal justice model, and the powerful role of prosecutors in serving justice, this research argues that integrating settlement and mediation into the prosecutorial proceedings will significantly reduce mass incarceration in the US.


The War On Drugs, Moral Panics, And The Groundhog Day Effect: Confronting The Stereotypes That Perpetuate The Cycle Of Disparity, Tasha Withrow Apr 2022

The War On Drugs, Moral Panics, And The Groundhog Day Effect: Confronting The Stereotypes That Perpetuate The Cycle Of Disparity, Tasha Withrow

The Mid-Southern Journal of Criminal Justice

There has been a specter haunting America for over 400 years. That specter is an insidious and destructive beast that has found its way into every crevice and layer of all American institutions. Racism, racial stereotypes, racial stigma, biases, and White supremacy has infiltrated every power structure since the foundation of America and has created a system of social control that has perpetually oppressed, marginalized, and disenfranchised generations of people of color. One of the most catastrophic by-products generated from America’s historic racist ideology has been that of the over-criminalization of people of color for drug crimes justified by discriminatory …


Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson Apr 2022

Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson

Faculty Scholarship

In their charging and bargaining decisions, prosecutors have unparalleled and nearly-unchecked discretion that leads to incarceration or freedom for millions of Americans each year. More than courts, legislators, or any other justice system player, in the aggregate prosecutors’ choices are the key drivers of outcomes, whether the rates of mass incarceration or the degree of racial disparities in justice. To date, there is precious little empirical research on how prosecutors exercise their breathtaking discretion. We do not know whether they consistently charge like cases alike or whether crime is in the eye of the beholder. We do not know what …


The Progressive Love Affair With The Carceral State, Kate Levine Apr 2022

The Progressive Love Affair With The Carceral State, Kate Levine

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration. By Aya Gruber.


The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe Mar 2022

The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly embracing the use of pretrial risk assessment algorithms as a solution to the problem of mass pretrial incarceration. Conversations about the use of pretrial algorithms in legal scholarship have tended to focus on their opacity, determinativeness, reliability, validity, or their (in)ability to reduce high rates of incarceration as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities within the pretrial system. This Article breaks from this tendency, examining these algorithms from a democratization of criminal law perspective. Using this framework, it points out that currently employed algorithms are exclusionary of the viewpoints and values of the racially marginalized communities most …


Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan S. Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson Jan 2022

Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan S. Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson

Journal Articles

In their charging and bargaining decisions, prosecutors have unparalleled and nearly-unchecked discretion that leads to incarceration or freedom for millions of Americans each year. More than courts, legislators, or any other justice system player, in the aggregate prosecutors’ choices are the key drivers of outcomes, whether the rates of mass incarceration or the degree of racial disparities in justice. To date, there is precious little empirical research on how prosecutors exercise their breathtaking discretion. We do not know whether they consistently charge like cases alike or whether crime is in the eye of the beholder. We do not know what …


The New Jim And Jane Crow Intersect: Challenges To Defending The Parental Rights Of Mothers During Incarceration, Carla Laroche Jan 2022

The New Jim And Jane Crow Intersect: Challenges To Defending The Parental Rights Of Mothers During Incarceration, Carla Laroche

Scholarly Articles

Family law scholars and advocates have expressed the importance of providing counsel to parents in the family regulation system, especially parents who are incarcerated, because of the system’s complexities. This article establishes, however, that when mothers must navigate both the family regulation and criminal legal systems, the protections appointed parents’ counsel are supposed to provide are weakened. These harms are heightened especially for Black mothers within the carceral state. As this article shows, appointed lawyers in family regulation cases cannot properly protect the due process rights of mothers who are incarcerated because of the added challenges both mothers and their …


Movement Constitutionalism, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2022

Movement Constitutionalism, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

The white supremacy at the heart of the American criminal legal system works to control Black, Brown, and poor people through mass incarceration. Poverty and incarceration act in a vicious circle, with reactionaries mounting a desperate defense against any attempt to mitigate economic exploitation or carceral violence. Ending the cycle will require replacing this inequitable system with the life- and liberty-affirming institutions of abolition democracy. The path to abolition democracy is arduous, but abolitionists can press for change through what I coin “movement constitutionalism.” Movement constitutionalism is the process by which grassroots abolitionist movements shift—through demands and in solidarity with …


Decarceration's Inside Partners, Seema Saifee Jan 2022

Decarceration's Inside Partners, Seema Saifee

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines a hidden phenomenon in criminal punishment. People in prison, during their incarceration, have made important—and sometimes extraordinary—strides toward reducing prison populations. In fact, stakeholders in many corners, from policy makers to researchers to abolitionists, have harnessed legal and conceptual strategies generated inside the walls to pursue decarceral strategies outside the walls. Despite this outside use of inside moves, legal scholarship has directed little attention to theorizing the potential of looking to people on the inside as partners in the long-term project of meaningfully reducing prison populations, or “decarceration.”

Building on the change-making agency and revolutionary ideation inside …


The New Penal Bureaucrats, Shaun Ossei-Owusu Jan 2022

The New Penal Bureaucrats, Shaun Ossei-Owusu

All Faculty Scholarship

he protests of 2020 have jump-started conversations about criminal justice reform in the public and professoriate. Although there have been longstanding demands for reformation and re-imagining of the criminal justice system, recent calls have taken on a new urgency. Greater public awareness of racial bias, increasing visual evidence of state-sanctioned killings, and the televised policing of peaceful dissent have forced the public to reckon with a penal state whose brutality was comfortably tolerated. Scholars are publishing op-eds, policy proposals, and articles with rapidity, pointing to different factors and actors that produce the need for reform. However, one input has gone …


“Cancel Culture” And Criminal Justice, Steven Arrigg Koh Jan 2022

“Cancel Culture” And Criminal Justice, Steven Arrigg Koh

Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the relationship between two normative systems in modern society: “cancel culture” and criminal justice. It argues that cancel culture—a ubiquitous phenomenon in contemporary life—may rectify deficiencies of over- and under-enforcement in the U.S. criminal justice system. However, the downsides of cancel culture’s structure—imprecise factfinding, potentially disproportionate sanctions leading to collateral consequences, a “thin” conception of the wrongdoer as beyond rehabilitation, and a broader cultural anxiety that “chills” certain human conduct—reflect problematic U.S. punitive impulses that characterize our era of mass incarceration. This Article thus argues that social media reform proposals obscure a deeper necessity: transcendence of blame …


Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman Oct 2021

Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman

Washington Law Review

Revocation of community supervision is a defining feature of American criminal law. Nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are on parole, probation, or supervised release, and 1/3 eventually have their supervision revoked, sending 350,000 to prison each year. Academics, activists, and attorneys warn that “mass supervision” has become a powerful engine of mass incarceration.

This is the first Article to study theories of punishment in revocation of community supervision, focusing on the federal system of supervised release. Federal courts apply a primarily retributive theory of revocation, aiming to sanction defendants for their “breach of trust.” However, the structure, …