Sunday, December 06, 2015

Grits' Holiday Reading List

Having recently mentioned law review articles by Sasha Natapoff and Grits' own Jennifer Laurin, I realized there were essays by both which should go on my reading list, and a few others, too, which I'll compile here in case anybody else finds them useful.

For newly minted Grits contributor UT Law Prof. Jennifer Laurin, see her academic oeuvre here. Grits mentioned I've been re-reading her Gideon by the Numbers. Here are a few more of her greatest hits for those not hip to her work:
When Santa finishes his rounds he likes
to catch up on his criminal-justice policy reading
Your correspondent has found Prof. Laurin's writing immensely helpful as I've confronted some of these same issues over the years. None of the above-listed articles IMO have gotten nearly the attention they deserve, especially the last item which offers a remarkably timely analysis as Texas' various forensic reviews begin to take root and mature.

While we're on the subject of forensics and Grits contributing writers, see this review of University of Houston Law Prof. Sandra Guerra Thompson's new book, Cops in Lab Coats, which I understand makes an excellent stocking-stuffer. See her oeuvre of academic articles, of which I also want to read this older essay on flawed eyewitness identification, suggesting a corroboration requirement.

And since we're listing law review articles I want to read, Grits can't ignore Alexandra Natapoff: See her academic oeuvre here; if you haven't read her stuff on snitching and misdemeanors, start there. For my own catch-up list, Grits wants to sit down soon with:
Another academic writer Grits has relied upon over the years, Richard Leo from the University of San Francisco (see his oeuvre of academic articles), has expanded beyond the false-confession terrain where he made his bones and coauthored a couple of interesting looking articles, both out last month, which I intend to read:
I'm unfamiliar with Rachel Harmon's work but the abstract for her article "Why Arrest?" caught my eye. Looking at her academic oeuvre, I spotted another essay from last year, "Why Do We (Still) Lack Data on Policing?," whose abstract sounds like she's lamenting some of the shortcomings Grits contributor Amanda Woog is confronting regarding gaps in Texas police shooting data and how to measure progress toward reform.

Prof. Laurin said Erin Murphy's book, Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA is "burning a hole in my desk" for wont of reading. (Here's an interview with Murphy about the book.) She also suggested I add Eve Primus' article, "Culture as a Structural Problem in Indigent Defense" to the list. So let it be written, so let it be done.

Cecelia Klingele's article, "The Promises and Perils of Evidence-Based Corrections," looks both thought provoking and a tad depressing. She "seeks to highlight the unintended ways in which evidence-based tools could be used to expand, rather than reduce, state correctional control over justice-involved individuals."

Here's an analysis from last year I hadn't seen by Alycia Welch at the UT-Austin LBJ School titled, "Harris County Sheriff's Office Management Failures: Inadequate Medical Care at the Harris County Jail."

From TDCJ, "Report to Governor and Legislative Budget Board on the Monitoring of Community Supervision Diversion Funds," Dec. 1, 2015. 

Here's the Texas Indigent Defense Coalition's fall newsletter, the Office of Court Administration's October newsletter, and the latest director's report from the Texas Judicial Council. For those who never saw it, the OCA's Dec. 2014 report on DPS and county interactions over asset forfeiture is worth a read. Nothing groundbreaking but some good, technical background.

Finally, the September OCA newsletter included links to several resources on pretrial detention and bail reform that look useful:
This list is mainly for my own reference, to compile links to stuff I want to read so I can check them off as I go. (For that matter, I'll probably add to it.) But since Grits readers are passionate about many of these same issues, perhaps my list will interest you, too.

For that matter, though I've finished most of it, there are a few items left on my end-of-session reading list Grits never got around to; perhaps that's true for you, too.

MORE: Sandra Guerra Thompson chimes in to pass along materials from a working session convened by the White House and DOJ on Fees Fines titled, “A Cycle of Incarceration:  Prison, Debt and Bail Practices.” See:
See especially the report at the third bullet. The email containing these links concluded, "In the coming months, we will provide additional information about the tool from the OJP Diagnostic Center that will describe a policy and research agenda and include examples of significant reform efforts that were discussed at the event."

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