Friday, February 24, 2017

How do People in High-Crime, Low-Income Communities View the Police?
"This brief represents the experiences, views, and attitudes of community members who are often underrepresented in research on perceptions of law enforcement – people living in high-crime neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage. The survey found that while residents of these neighborhoods are distrustful of police, they nevertheless want to cooperate and partner with police to make their communities safer. A door-to-door survey in high-crime neighborhoods of six cities found that less than a third of residents believe police respect people’s rights, but the vast majority believe laws should be strictly followed and many would volunteer their time to help police solve crimes, find suspects, and discuss crime in their neighborhood."

View the Report
 
The FBI is Building a National Watchlist that Gives Companies Real-Time Updates on Employees
"The FBI's Rap Back program is quietly transforming the way employers conduct background checks. While routine background checks provide employers with a one-time “snapshot” of their employee’s past criminal history, employers enrolled in federal and state Rap Back programs receive ongoing, real-time notifications and updates about their employees’ run-ins with law enforcement, including arrests at protests and charges that do not end up in convictions. ('Rap' is an acronym for Record of Arrest and Prosecution; 'Back” is short for background.)'

Rap Back has been advertised by the FBI as an effort to target individuals in 'positions of trust,' such as those who work with children, the elderly, and the disabled. According to a Rap Back spokesperson, however, there are no formal limits as to 'which populations of individuals can be enrolled in the Rap Back Service.' Civil liberties advocates fear that under Trump’s administration the program will grow with serious consequences for employee privacy, accuracy of records, and fair employment practices."

How to Uproot a "Tree of Death"
"Predictive tools can now track how a single shooting incident triggers a lethal cascade of gunshot violence—and predict who will be targeted next....

...Researchers Ben Green and Thibaut Horel at Harvard and Andrew Papachristos at Yale used a social contagion model and tried to predict gunshot victimization in Chicago between 2006 and 2014.

Using police records of people arrested together for the same offense, they mapped a network of 138,163 subjects and looked at the spread of violence within it. Their model, based on the ones epidemiologists use to understand contagion, assumed that shootings were likely to spread between co-arrestees, who would have close social ties and engage in risky behavior together. When they ran probabilities on people linked to a shooting victim, what they found was staggering: 63 percent of the 11,123 total shootings in the network were part of a longer chain of gunshot victimization. The closer someone was to a victim, the greater the risk of being shot."

View the Study

Accounting for Violence: How to Increase Safety and Break Our Failed Reliance on Mass Incarceration
"In the United States, violence and mass incarceration are deeply entwined, though evidence shows that both can decrease at the same time. A new vision is needed to meaningfully address violence and reduce the use of incarceration—and to promote healing among crime survivors and improve public safety. This report describes four principles to guide policies and practices that aim to reduce violence: They should be survivor-centered, based on accountability, safety-driven, and racially equitable."

View the Report 
 
Study Stresses Dangers of Charging Youth as Adults
"Until November of last year, California prosecutors could bypass the juvenile justice system, charging minors in adult courts without any input from a judge. 'Prosecutorial direct filing' is no longer legal after the passage of Prop 57 last November, and now a report from advocacy organization Human Impact Partners, published earlier this month, has made a case for why California should go further–and eliminate the practice of charging youth as adults entirely."

View the Report
 
Following the Money of Mass Incarceration
"The cost of imprisonment — including who benefits and who pays — is a major part of the national discussion around criminal justice policy. But prisons and jails are just one piece of the criminal justice system and the amount of media and policy attention that the various players get is not necessarily proportional to their influence.

In this first-of-its-kind report, we find that the system of mass incarceration costs the government and families of justice-involved people at least $182 billion every year."

Perspectives on the Trump Executive Order on Immigration
"Moderator R. Nicholas Burns was joined by panelists David French, Juliette Kayyem, Gil Kerlikowske, and Moshik Temkin to discuss the ramifications of President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The panelists discussed a wide range of issues relating to border security, constitutional law, and refugee and anti-terrorism efforts under the Trump administration. The panelists also discussed the future of immigration law under the new administration, focusing on the new slate of advisors and cabinet members in the White House and how immigration and refugee law will change moving forward."

Friday, February 10, 2017

Counternetwork: Countering the Establishment of Transnational Criminal Networks
"In July 2011, President Barack Obama promulgated the Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime. In the letter presenting the strategy, the president stated that the expanding size, scope, and influence of transnational organized crime and its impact on U.S. and international security and governance represent one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century. Through an analysis of transnational criminal networks originating in South America, this report develops a more refined understanding of the operational characteristics of these networks; the strategic alliances that they have established with state and other nonstate actors; and the multiple threats that they pose to U.S. interests and to the stability of the countries where they operate. It identifies U.S. government policies and programs to counter these networks; the roles of the Department of Defense, the geographic combatant commands, component commands, and task forces; and examines how U.S. Army assets and capabilities can contribute to U.S. government efforts to counter these networks. The report also recommends reconsidering the way in which nontraditional national security threats are classified; updating statutory authorities; providing adequate budgets for the counternetwork mission; and improving interagency coordination."

View the Report
 
ACLU: A Model Act for Regulating the Use of Wearable Body Cameras by Law Enforcement

Why Canadian Police Services are not Adopting Body Cameras
"Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) have been a topic of interest in recent months because of their touted benefits of reducing use of force and improving accountability. Thousands of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have already implemented BWC technology. Conversely, only a handful of agencies in Canada have adopted body cameras.

The largest police service in Canada -- the RCMP -- recently decided to abandon plans to adopt BWCs citing high costs as a main reason. However, the largest municipal service in the country -- the Toronto Police Service (TPS) -- is in the process of finding a suitable supplier before implementing the technology. This comes in response to Toronto's 10-month long study that failed to determine the effectiveness and efficacy of BWCs."

CIA Memo: Designating Muslim Brotherhood Could "Fuel Extremism"
"Trump administration officials pushing to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization face at least one significant obstacle: analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency.
CIA experts have warned that so labeling the decades-old Islamist group “may fuel extremism” and damage relations with America's allies, according to a summary of a finished intelligence report for the intelligence community and policymakers...."

Police Boards want Chiefs to have Freedom to Suspend Officers without Pay
"A new survey suggests Ontario’s police governing agencies want the province to grant police chiefs the authority to suspend officers accused of serious misconduct without pay.

More than 100 police boards responded to a survey by the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards, which aimed to identify priorities as the provincial government revisits the Police Services Act for the first time in more than 25 years.

Modernizing labour relations practices was one of five areas named, as well as strengthening police board governance, allowing police to delegate some duties to civilians, mandating co-operation with other agencies and improving third-party oversight of police."

View the Survey Results

View the Backgrounder
 
Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithmic Age
"Algorithms are aimed at optimizing everything. They can save lives, make things easier and conquer chaos. Still, experts worry they can also put too much control in the hands of corporations and governments, perpetuate bias, create filter bubbles, cut choices, creativity and serendipity, and could result in greater unemployment."

Shootings in US Schools are Linked to Increased Unemployment

"A rigorous Northwestern University study of a quarter-century of data has found that economic insecurity is related to the rate of gun violence at K-12 and postsecondary schools in the United States. When it becomes more difficult for people coming out of school to find jobs, the rate of gun violence at schools increases. 

The interdisciplinary study by data scientists Adam R. Pah and Luís Amaral and sociologist John L. Hagan reveals a persistent connection over time between unemployment and the occurrence of school shootings in the country as a whole, across various regions of the country and within affected cities, including Chicago and New York City." 

View the Report

A rigorous Northwestern University study of a quarter-century of data has found that economic insecurity is related to the rate of gun violence at K-12 and postsecondary schools in the United States. When it becomes more difficult for people coming out of school to find jobs, the rate of gun violence at schools increases.




The interdisciplinary study by data scientists Adam R. Pah and Luís Amaral and sociologist John L. Hagan reveals a persistent connection over time between unemployment and the occurrence of school shootings in the country as a whole, across various regions of the country and within affected cities, including Chicago and New York City.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-schools-linked-unemployment.html#jCp
National Report from Harvard Raises New Concerns About Criminal Justice Fees
"A national report from Harvard University joins a growing body of literature criticizing the way criminal justice fees and fines are implemented. The report arrives as Massachusetts lawmakers prepare to consider criminal justice reform.
The report was released by the Harvard Kennedy School's Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, along with other research institutes. It argues that fines and fees 'can, if left unchecked, have long-term effects that significantly harm the efforts of formerly incarcerated people to rehabilitate and reintegrate.'"

View the Report
 
Police Foundation: Reducing Violent Crime in American Cities: An Opportunity to Lead

"...Across America, even with the recent increase from 2014-2015, violent crime remains historically low.  However, the national aggregate paints a deceiving picture of crime in many major cities. Individual cities experienced spikes in violent crime from 2014 to 2015, and through 2016 as well. As such, defining violent crime levels based solely on the national aggregates and distributing federal resources accordingly does not address local realities..."

Mass Incarceration and Children's Outcomes
"As many as one in ten African American students has an incarcerated parent. One in four has a parent who is or has been incarcerated. The discriminatory incarceration of African American parents is an important cause of their children’s lowered performance, especially in schools where the trauma of parental incarceration is concentrated. In this report, we review studies from many disciplines showing that parental incarceration leads to an array of cognitive and noncognitive outcomes known to affect children’s performance in school, and we conclude that our criminal justice system makes an important contribution to the racial achievement gap."

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Truth and Post-Truth about Pride and Black Lives Matter Toronto
"Toronto’s police force has long been known for its sophisticated, expensive PR machine. It is thus not surprising that in the wake of the January 17th community meeting to set policy for Toronto’s Pride 2017, the police version of 'Pride policy' was quickly taken up and reproduced in countless media stories, many complete with sad comments from gay or lesbian police officers who (no doubt sincerely) believed they had been exiled from Pride events. The truth was that the meeting voted to exclude police force floats and booths from Pride events.

The Pride organizers have not seemed particularly organized lately, so there is some uncertainty about how things will work out. However, what is indeed true is that Black Lives Matter’s demands, accepted by the majority at the community meeting, did not include banning police officers, queer or otherwise, from participation in Pride events."