Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Moneyballing Justice: "Evidence-Based" Criminal Reforms Ignore Real Evidence
"Proponents of the new wave of 'criminal justice reform' claim that their efforts are nonpartisan, non-ideological and 'evidence-based.'

This 'evidence-based' frame asserts that mass incarceration and 'overcriminalization' will be remedied by a handful of sentencing reforms affecting 'low-level' offenders. An essential element of such reform is the widespread use of 'evidence-based risk-assessment' instruments to purportedly help authorities objectively determine who is 'dangerous' - and therefore must remain in prison - and who is not.

This isn't a miracle cure; it is a lavishly funded public relations campaign advancing unfettered free-market 'solutions' to criminal justice dilemmas and the politics of austerity. 'Bipartisanship' is driven by a right-wing agenda and support from a constellation of libertarian and neoliberal economic interests. It is funded by Koch Industries and a handful of foundations and deep-pocketed donors. Yes, some high-profile people and groups considered liberal have signed on - but to messaging and strategic direction already established by the right."

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