The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Lunch links: The state of criminal-justice reform

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Mitch McConnell says he’ll bring the First Step Act to the Senate floor for a vote. But at least one GOP senator has already promised to block the vote.

— Meanwhile, the Senate did pass what appears to be a pretty substantive juvenile justice bill. The proposed bill would ban states from holding children in adult jails, ban the shackling of pregnant minors, require states to track racial discrepancies, and provide funding for tutoring, mental health, substance abuse and other programs.

— In California, an important lesson for reformers, as bail reform advocates say a good bill was hijacked with last-minute amendments, and subsequently withdrew their support.

More reform news from Maryland, where activists are hoping a Republican governor will help change the state’s stinginess when it comes to parole for juvenile offenders.

A Louisiana parish has overturned 18 convictions and dropped 90 other cases after an investigation revealed a culture of racist, abusive policing, including beating and coercing suspects into confessions.

— The United States is running short on cops.

— The 2018 murder rate is likely to drop significantly from last year.

— Federal prosecutors are threatening to incarcerate officials in Denver if they go through with plans to open a supervised injection cite for drug users.

— Are pain doctors unfairly shouldering the blame for the opioid crisis? This debate has been going on for more than a decade, with pain patients caught in the crosshairs.

— Report says New Jersey police are particularly aggressive with civil asset forfeiture.