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Making a Splash

There’s a new district attorney in Los Angeles, you may have heard, and he’s making some changes. When George Gascon took the oath of office, he issued nine policy directives that will change the way his office carries out its important mission. We summarize each of them below. Bail and pretrial release. The office will Read More

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USDOJ Warms Up to Body-Worn Cameras on Joint Task Forces

Under a new policy, the Justice Department will let state and local officers on joint task forces use body-worn cameras in some cases. The policy follows a successful pilot program that ran in cities like Houston, Detroit, Wichita, and Salt Lake City over the last year. It is a response, in part, to the growing use Read More

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California Wants YOU for that Business or Professional License

Do you have a rap sheet? So do approximately one in three Americans, so you’re not alone. This summer, a new law went into effect that could help you earn that business or professional license you seek. We wrote about it in January 2019, but now that it’s effective, here’s more food for thought. It matters more Read More

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A Promise Is A Promise

Brilliant. In 2020, thirty-nine top prosecutors from across the country have promised to visit the jails and prisons in their jurisdiction and to require their line prosecutors to do the same. What’s more, they’ve pledged to make it part of the job description going forward. That’s thirty-nine district attorneys, county attorneys, or state attorneys from Read More

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Prosecutors Endorse Pell Grants for Prisoners

On Thursday, the nation’s largest organization for prosecutors endorsed an idea we touched on a few weeks ago. Let people in prison apply for federal grants toward higher education. Don’t cut them off completely. In the press release, the National District Attorney Association backs a federal bill that would restore eligibility for Pell grants to prisoners Read More

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Giving the Gift of Education

How’s this for an idea? Let’s reinstate Pell grants for people in prison. What are those? They are federal grants that help people pay for college who otherwise can’t. They require you to use the money for higher education and maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree. People in prison were eligible for them until 1994 but Read More

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New California Criminal Laws: Part Trois

For our third installment of notable new laws, here are two concerning juvenile justice. We’re gonna prosecute fewer kids as adults. This is Senate Bill 1391. It amends the Welfare and Institutions Code to eliminate the prosecution of 14- and 15-year-olds as adults. Going forward, these cases must always remain in the juvenile system. Before, Read More

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New California Criminal Laws: Part Deux

Here are three more new laws for this week. The public has greater access to police personnel files. This is Senate Bill 1421. It declares that the public has an important interest in law-enforcement transparency because it is essential to having a just and democratic society. It then amends the Penal Code to confer more access Read More

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The Common Application Bans the Box

Do you have a kid in high school? Are you in high school yourself and plan to go to college? You may want to check this out. On August 7, the Common Application announced that it will no longer ask about an applicant’s criminal record, starting with the 2019-20 pool of applicants. The Common Application Read More

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A New Day in the City of Brotherly Love

If you haven’t heard, the new district attorney of Philadelphia is a lifelong defense lawyer who used to sue the government for violating people’s civil rights. He even ran on a campaign against overcriminalization. It’s a pretty amazing thing. Now the city’s top prosecutor has put his money where his mouth was during the campaign. Read More

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