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Wetzel: We Have a Responsibility to Offer a Second Chance

Corrections reform needs to begin by acknowledging that an individual’s humanity is not diminished by incarceration. As we talk about prison population reduction and recidivism reduction, we need to talk in terms of people – an investment in the people in our custody, in our corrections systems and in our communities.

Parole Board Cases up 41% since 2010

The Arkansas Parole Board ended the fiscal year with the highest number of parole application reviews in the agency’s history, according to an annual report. The increase shown in the report illustrates a problem facing policymakers: how to handle the workload on the state’s penal system, including parole supervising agencies.

Can Hiring Ex-Offenders Make a Business More Profitable?

Law enforcement officials, civil rights organizations and business leaders say giving former inmates a better shot at employment is good for business and society. More than 65 million people in the US have a criminal record, from low-level property crimes to violent felonies. More than 600,000 are released from prison every year. Excluding such a large group of people from the employment pool, they say, is impractical and bad for the economy, costing tens of billions of dollars annually.

Speaker Ryan Pledges Action on Criminal Justice Reform

Ryan said that bills reported out of the House Judiciary Committee—all of which he says he supports—are expected to get floor time this year. But he did not offer a specific time frame, saying that would be up to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who manages the schedule.

Massachusetts Had Hundreds of Suspensions Last Year—In Kindergarten and Pre-K

Massachusetts public and charter schools suspended kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students 603 times in the 2014-15 school year, a WBUR analysis of state data shows. Students in their first year of school were sent home for offenses that included hitting, disrupting, disrespecting, throwing things and fighting.

Congress Eschews Conventional Wisdom on Criminal Justice Reform

Conventional Senate wisdom says similar bills should be paired together for the best chance of receiving floor time. But lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have decided the country’s criminal justice system needs repair quickly. So to avoid creating an ominously large political target, elected officials are disentangling the massive topic into three separate, and highly overlapping, threads: sentencing reform, mental health and opioid addiction.

North Dakota to Review Justice System

With its jails and prisons overcrowded and incarceration costs on rise, North Dakota launched an effort with a national partner aimed at curbing spending on corrections and reinvesting the savings in ways that curb recidivism and boost public safety.

States at a Crossroads on Criminal Justice Reform

After two decades of “tough on crime” policies, many states are taking a hard look at the way people are charged, how much time they serve, and what happens when they are released from prison.