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Showing posts from January, 2016
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
"The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners were first adopted in 1957, and in 2015 were revised and adopted as the Nelson Mandela Rules. The revision process was initiated in 2010 when it was recognised that while the Rules were a key standard for the treatment of prisoners globally and were widely used, there had been major developments in human rights and criminal justice since 1957.

The Standard Minimum Rules are often regarded by states as the primary – if not only – source of standards relating to treatment in detention, and are the key framework used by monitoring and inspection mechanisms in assessing the treatment of prisoners.

The revised Standard Minimum Rules were adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly (UN-Doc A/Res/70/175) on 17 December 2015. Read PRI’s news release on this historic occasion.

The revised Rules are now known as the ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’ to ‘honour the legacy of the…
Committee Releases Report on Orange County Prosecutors' Misuse of Jailhouse Informants
"In a report released Monday, a committee of legal experts appointed by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to investigate complaints about the misuse of jailhouse informants in the district cited a 'failure of leadership' in his own office and a lack of police training in state and federal laws regarding informants, reports the Los Angeles Times. The report, which also examined issues within the Orange County Sheriff's Department, was prompted by the 'ever-widening scandal in which prosecutors and law enforcement officers have been accused of misusing inmate informants and failing to disclose key evidence to defendants,' writes the Los Angeles Times.

The report provided 10 recommendations which, the committee says, will restore confidence in the Orange County criminal justice system, including that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office revise its polici…
How to get out of Solitary - One Step at a Time
"For many policy makers and activists, curbing the use of solitary confinement is a moral imperative: Depriving prisoners of human contact exacerbates and even produces mental illness, increases the risk of suicide, and generally engenders a sense of hopelessness. But for the nation’s prison administrators and officers—whether their motivations come from political pressure, court orders, the high cost of solitary cells, or genuine human concern—the problem is practical. Many of those in solitary are mentally ill or were placed there for their own protection and can be shuffled out quickly. But what about the prisoners who landed there by attacking other inmates or officers?

Prison is an environment that breeds antagonism and psychologists have long agreed that solitary confinement only exacerbates a cycle of recalcitrance and retribution. Prisoners resist their punishments, thereby driving officers to punish them more. At…
Looking for the Link: The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime Rates
"Three NIJ-funded studies can help community stakeholders better understand the complex relationship between foreclosures and crime levels in neighborhoods.

Over the past decade, millions of homes across the country have slipped into foreclosure. National media outlets have reported anecdotal evidence suggesting that foreclosed properties attract drug dealers, gang members, prostitutes, squatters and copper thieves. But research to support those claims has been lacking, and disagreement continues about whether foreclosures and bank-owned properties increase neighborhood crime.

Three recently completed studies, funded by NIJ, offer some clarity to the discussion. The bottom line: The three studies, which used different methods, seem to agree that foreclosures and bank-owned properties do not increase criminal activity, except in certain sections of specific U.S. cities."

View the Full Repo…
Are We There Yet? The Promise, Perils and Politics of Penal Reform
"Fifteen years ago, mass imprisonment was largely an invisible issue in the United States. Since then, criticism of the country’s extraordinary incarceration rate has become widespread across the political spectrum. The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few ardent defenders today. But reforms to reduce the number of people in jail and prison have been remarkably modest so far.

Meanwhile, a tenacious carceral state has sprouted in the shadows of mass imprisonment and has been extending its reach far beyond the prison gate. It includes not only the country’s vast archipelago of jails and prisons but also the far-reaching and growing range of penal punishments and controls that lie in the never-never land between the gate of the prison and full citizenship. As it sunders families and communities and radically reworks conceptions of democracy, rights and citizenship, the carceral state poses…
Peace and Corruption: Lowering Corruption - A Transformative Factor for Peace
"This report explores the connections between peace and corruption, focusing on the empirical trends between the most authoritative measures of peace and corruption.  It fills an important gap as the linkages between peace and corruption are still being deeply studied.

The analysis finds that there is a statistically significant relationship between peace and corruption.  The most striking aspect of this relationship is the presence of a 'tipping point'.  If a country has low levels of cofrruption then increases in corruption will have little effect on peace.  However, once a certain threshold is reached then small increases in corruption can result in large decreases in peace."