To the great relief of many, states are now rethinking their draconian criminal justice policies of the past several decades. In addition to shrinking prison and jail populations, reforms are now underway to expand opportunities for relief from the collateral consequences of conviction, such as the loss of the right to vote, serve as a juror, or work in certain occupations, which can impede the ability of ex-offenders to successfully reintegrate into society.
In coming years, as states seek to reduce their high recidivism rates, such relief efforts will likely continue to grow in number; as they do, we should expect to see parallel growth in an important horizontal federalism challenge.
The challenge comes when ex-offenders, having secured collateral consequences relief in one state, relocate to another and seek to have their restored status recognized there. When this occurs a legal conflict materializes not unlike that of late witnessed with same-sex marriage.
Unlike same-sex marriage recognition, however, which was the subject of major public debate and legal attention, restoration recognition — despite its potential impact on many millions more lives — has been largely ignored. This Article aims to remedy the deficit, providing the first comprehensive examination of how restoration recognition thus far has been addressed, and outlining a legislative way forward for states, or Congress, to balance the important comity, federalism, and state autonomy interests implicated. ..Source.. by Wayne A. Logan
Florida State University - College of Law
Medical Problems of State and Federal Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011–12
February 5, 2015 NCJ 248491
Presents the prevalence of medical problems among state and federal prisoners and jail inmates, highlighting differences in rates of chronic conditions and infectious diseases by demographic characteristic. The report describes health care services and treatment received by prisoners and jail inmates with health problems, including doctor 's visits, use of prescription medication, and other types of treatment. It also explains reasons why inmates with health problems were not receiving care and describes inmate satisfaction with health services received while incarcerated. Data were from the 2011 –12 National Inmate Survey. ..Source.. by Marcus Berzofsky, Dr. P.H., RTI International, Laura M. Maruschak, BJS Statistician, Jennifer Unangst, RTI International
Labels: PREA Data Collection Activities
PREA Data Collection Activities, 2015
June 25, 2015 NCJ 248824
Describes the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) activities to collect data and report on the incidence and effects of sexual victimization in correctional facilities, as required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) (P.L. 108-79). The report summarizes BJS' s efforts during 2014 and the first 5 months of 2015, which included analyzing administrative records of sexual victimization in adult correctional facilities based on the Survey of Sexual Violence (SSV), implementing changes to the SSV and completing data collection, and, for the first time, providing estimates of the rates of sexual victimization among transgender inmates. In addition, BJS and its data collection agents, RTI International and Westat, conducted further analyses of previous inmate self-report surveys to provide a more comprehensive understanding of facility- and individual-level indicators of sexual victimization. This report meets the PREA requirement to report on BJS' s activities for the preceding calendar year by June 30 of each year. ..Source.. by Allen Beck, Ph.D.
PREA Data Collection Activities, 2014
May 8, 2014 NCJ 245694
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79) requires the Attorney General to submit to Congress, not later than June 30 of each year, a report on the activities of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) for the preceding calendar year. This document fulfills this requirement. During 2013 and the first 4 months of 2014, BJS issued four reports: In May 2013, BJS published estimates of sexual victimization based on reports by inmates in adult prisons and jails; in June 2013, BJS published estimates of sexual victimization based on reports of youth held in juvenile facilities; and in January 2014, BJS issued two reports analyzing administrative records of sexual victimization in adult correctional facilities based on the Survey of Sexual Violence (SSV). In addition, BJS began further analysis of the past inmate self-report surveys to provide a fuller understanding of facility- and individual-level predictors of sexual victimization. ..Source.. by Allen Beck, Ph.D.
PREA Data Collection Activities, 2013
June 13, 2013 NCJ 242114
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108-79) requires the Attorney General to submit to Congress, not later than June 30 of each year, a report on the activities of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) for the preceding calendar year. This document fulfills this requirement. During 2012-13, BJS completed the third National Inmate Survey (NIS-3) in state and federal prisons and local jails. The NIS-3 provided the first-ever national-level estimates of sexual victimization of youth ages 16 to 17 held in adult facilities and estimates of sexual victimization among inmates with a history of mental health problems. During the year, BJS also completed the second National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC-2), which provided national estimates, facility-level estimates for large facilities, and state-level estimates of sexual victimization of youth held in juvenile facilities by type of victimization. It also included new measures for assessing the accuracy of youth self-reports and for understanding staff sexual misconduct. ..Source.. by Allen J. Beck, Ph.D., BJS
Labels: Criminal Appeals in State Courts
Describes the characteristics of criminal appeals resolved in state appellate courts in 2010. The report provides information on variations from state to state in court structures for handling criminal appeals.
It includes estimates of the number of criminal appeals resolved in state courts in 2010, by type of case, whether the state or the defendant petitioned the court, severity of the offense, level of appellate court (intermediate or last resort), and final outcomes. It tracks reversal rates for the top ten issues commonly addressed on appeal and reversal rates by the most serious offense in the underlying trial case.
The report examines variations in case processing times by type of court, court structure, and whether or not the court reviewed the case on its merits. It also compares death penalty appeals with other appeals cases on these factors. Findings are based on data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' 2010 Survey of State Court Criminal Appeals, in which a sample of appeals were selected from the 143 state appellate courts with criminal jurisdiction.
- In 2010, an estimated 69,348 criminal appeals were resolved in the 143 state appellate courts with criminal jurisdiction.
- In 2010, 38 states had both intermediate appellate courts and courts of last resort, while 12 states had courts of last resort only.
- Of the cases reviewed on the merits, 81% were affirmed. In more than half (52%) of all appeals, the appellate court upheld the trial court decision.
- About 2% of all intermediate appellate court appeals were subsequently reviewed by the court of last resort.
- The most common legal issue appellate courts addressed was sufficiency of evidence (15%), followed by excessive or inconsistent sentencing (10%).
..Source.. by Anne Gallegos, M.P.A., National Center for State Courts, James Green, M.A., Westat, Martha Rozsi, Westat, Nicole L. Waters, Ph.D., National Center for State Courts
The Center for Prosecutor Integrity launched its Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct.
This is a significant step in documenting the hard data that will ultimately be required to effect some measures of accountability and sanctions for errant and unethical prosecutors. ..Source.. by The Center for Prosecutor Integrity