Morning links: DOJ investigation finds routine abuse at Rikers, little accountability

August 5, 2014
  • A Pew study finds that 20 years of aggressive anti-gang sweeps, arrests and convictions may be contributing to the current immigration crisis. Also noteworthy: contrasting the tough anti-gang policies of cities like Chicago or (until recently) Los Angeles with the cheaper, more community-oriented, more interventionist policies of New York.
  • An interesting American Bar Association project looks to quantify and set standards for the amount of time indigent defense attorneys spend working on individual cases.
  • Colorlines looks at how black male crime victims are overlooked and left behind.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is talking up the cause of bail reform, calling the state’s current system unjust and unfair. It’s fascinating to watch GOP politicians begin to take up criminal justice reform issues. And it’s encouraging that none of them see it as a political liability.
  • Missouri has received a lot of criticism for its refusal to implement a prescription drug monitoring system that would allow police and other state officials to monitor doctors and patients. Maia Szalavitz explains why the critics are misguided.
  • A Department of Justice investigation finds that the Rikers Island jail systematically abuses young inmates by perpetuating a “culture of violence … where brute force is the first impulse rather than the last resort … while accountability is rare.”
Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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