Breaking Down the 2020 Homicide Spike | Manhattan Institute

In 2020, amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the protests and riots surrounding the death of George Floyd, America’s homicide rate increased by an astonishing 30%, even as many less serious types of crime held steady or even declined.[1]The purpose of this brief is to describe the…
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Understanding and preventing police corruption: lessons from the literature

This is an excellent publication on police corruption and ethics.

This work aims to provide a common level of knowledge and understanding of police integrity and corruption, its causes and the efficacy of strategies for its prevention. Other issues of relevance include the links between integrity (and lapses in it) and the development of corruption, and strategies for instilling organisational values and integrity in staff. It is not an aim of this report to provide an assessment of the current extent or nature of police corruption in the United Kingdom. It is hoped this work will provide an essential base for the development of robust prevention strategies in the longer term.

By definition, a literature review is necessarily historical and shaped by available material. The review covers the main English language literature on the issues of police corruption and police ethics over the past 20 years. It includes the sociological and criminological literature, together with a review of the main ‘official inquiries’ from the United States and Australia.

Mapping gun violence: A closer look at the intersection between place and gun homicides in four cities

The rise in gun homicides in the United States is having reverberating political ramifications at the federal, state, and local levels, with many elected officials falling back into “tough on crime” policies to curb the violence. This punitive turn can be seen in President Joe Biden’s proposed federal budget, in which he calls for “more police officers on the beat” and allocates an additional $30 billion for state and local governments to support law enforcement. Many local leaders are mirroring this approach, centering their gun violence prevention strategies on increasing funding for police and rolling back criminal justice reforms.  

What these enforcement-based approaches fail to recognize is that the recent rise in homicides is more nuanced than it appears. Rather than a widespread dispersal of gun violence within cities, the increases in gun homicides are largely concentrated in disinvested and structurally disadvantaged neighborhoods that had high rates of gun violence to begin with. This geographic concentration is a persistent challenge, not a new one—and it requires targeted solutions to improve outcomes in disinvested places rather than reverting to the old “tough on crime” playbook. 


Minnesota’s Attorney General Says the Cop Who Killed Amir Locke Was Defending Himself. So Was Locke.

There is a link in the article to the official Attorney General’s report.

That perplexing situation underlines the hazards of police tactics that aim to prevent violence but often have the opposite effect.
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National Registry of Exonerations – Annual Report 2021

EXONERATIONS. The Registry recorded 161 exonerations in 2021.

YEARS LOST TO WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT. In 2021, exonerees lost an average of 11.5 years to

wrongful imprisonment for crimes they did not commit — 1,849 years in total for 161 exonerations.

OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT. Official misconduct occurred in at least 102 exonerations in 2021. Fifty-nine homicide cases — 77% of murder and manslaughter exonerations in 2021 — were marred by official misconduct.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL EXONERATORS. Professional exonerators — Innocence Organizations (IOs) and Conviction Integrity Units (CIUs) — continued to play essential roles. Jointly, they were responsible for 97 exonerations, 60% of the total. IOs and CIUs worked together on 31 of these exonerations in 2021. IOs took part in 67 exonerations, and CIUs helped secure 61 exonerations Annual Report 2021.pdf

Reforming the police through procedural justice training: A multicity randomized trial at crime hot spots | PNAS

Our study is a randomized trial in policing confirming that intensive training in procedural justice (PJ) can lead to more procedurally just behavior and less disrespectful treatment of people at high-crime places. The fact that the PJ intervention reduced arrests by police officers, positively influenced residents’ perceptions of police harassment and violence, and also reduced crime provides important guidance for police reform in a period of strong criticism of policing. This randomized trial points to the potential for PJ training not simply to encourage fair and respectful policing but also to improve evaluations of the police and crime prevention effectiveness
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Desistance From Crime – Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice

A key step in advancing our knowledge in these areas is to examine how we think about and measure the process of individuals ceasing engagement in criminal activities, referred to as “desistance.” How we conceptualize this process can afect how we evaluate the efectiveness of laws and policies intended to provide or increase public safety. How practitioners view this process — and their role in supporting it — can infuence how they engage with clients across all stages of system involvement. Furthermore, programs and initiatives are ofen judged on their ability to reduce reofending and improve other outcomes. Having a clear understanding of what we consider desistance to be, incorporating policies and interventions that support desistance, and identifying best practices to evaluate these eforts is important work.

Recidivism — often defned as criminal acts or interactions with law enforcement that result in re-arrest, reconviction, or return to prison — has been the primary outcome for criminal justice research for decades, and it continues to be. The recidivism data available from federal, state, and local systems over time provide valuable information. For example, the data can help us gauge the performance of correctional programs and whether policies are successfully providing public safety to their communities. Practitioners can also use recidivism data to assess the risk of reofending for the populations they serve. Despite the value of this information, we must expand beyond recidivism in how we understand and examine individual behavior.

This volume takes important steps in describing how a desistance framework can move the feld forward across key decision points in the criminal justice system (e.g., at time of arrest, charging, pretrial release, case processing, disposition and sentencing, and reentry). Although research has focused on desistance for some time, the term and its accompanying knowledge base are far less known than recidivism. Recidivism is a discrete measure — that is, yes or no — and has a limit to the amount of information it can provide. Capturing where an individual is in the desistance process provides more nuanced information, better supports assessment of individual progress toward less criminal behavior, and facilitates a strengths-based perspective focused on building on individual assets to promote positive change. Incorporating desistance principles into the criminal justice feld has great potential to improve outcomes, elevate practices, better support those with system involvement, and more effectively use resources to provide safety to the community.

Get the report HERE:

Misdemeanor Prosecution | NBER

Communities across the United States are reconsidering the public safety benefits of prosecuting nonviolent misdemeanor offenses. So far there has been little empirical evidence to inform policy in this area. In this paper we report the first estimates of the causal effects of misdemeanor prosecution on defendants’ subsequent criminal justice involvement. We leverage the as-if random assignment of nonviolent misdemeanor cases to Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) who decide whether a case should move forward with prosecution in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. These ADAs vary in the average leniency of their prosecution decisions. We find that, for the marginal defendant, nonprosecution of a nonviolent misdemeanor offense leads to large reductions in the likelihood of a new criminal complaint over the next two years. These local average treatment effects are largest for first-time defendants, suggesting that averting initial entry into the criminal justice system has the greatest benefits. We also present evidence that a recent policy change in Suffolk County imposing a presumption of nonprosecution for a set of nonviolent misdemeanor offenses had similar beneficial effects: the likelihood of future criminal justice involvement fell, with no apparent increase in local crime rates.

Founded in 1920, the NBER is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to conducting economic research and to disseminating research findings among academics, public policy makers, and business professionals.
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From the VERA Institute

Misdemeanor cases make up over 80 percent of the cases processed by the U.S. criminal justice system, yet we know little about the causal impacts of misdemeanor prosecution. In this talk, we will report the first estimates of the causal effects of misdemeanor prosecution on defendants’ subsequent criminal justice involvement. To do this, we leverage the quasi-random assignment of nonviolent misdemeanor cases to arraigning assistant district attorneys in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts between 2004 and 2018. We find that the marginal prosecuted misdemeanor defendant has a substantially higher risk of being charged with a subsequent criminal complaint, of being prosecuted on that complaint, and of acquiring a criminal record of that complaint, within two years of their initial case. These effects appear to work through a longer time to case disposition, an increased likelihood of acquiring a criminal record of a misdemeanor complaint, and an increased likelihood of a misdemeanor conviction in the current case.