Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday #cjreform reading list

Grits plans to spend some of the weekend catching up on my reading, and thought I'd share links to a few recent academic articles I'm hoping to get to in the coming days:

"The Constitution of Police Violence": "[T]he same legal framework that authorizes and normalizes the ordinary traffic stop also permits and even encourages killings of unarmed suspects."

"Out of Ferguson: Misdemeanors, Municipal Courts, Tax Distribution, and Constitutional Limitations": If fines and fees "serve a primary or even exclusive revenue raising function," should they be classified "as emanating from exercise of the taxing rather than the policing power of the municipality"? The article focuses on Missouri, where anti-tax ballot initiative by voters helped spur reliance on fines and fees for revenue.

"Consolidating Local Criminal Justice: Should Prosecutors Run the Jails?": Would making prosecutors responsible for jail costs limit incentives to overuse incarceration for misdemeanors? One occasionally hears pie-in-the-sky suggestions that counties should pay for incarceration in state prisons for offenders convicted in their jurisdictions so that prosecutors have skin in the game when seeking harsh, expensive punishments. This article usefully extends that analysis to the misdemeanor level, where such a transformation might be easier to implement.

"Imagining Perfect Surveillance": A fascinating (and somewhat optimistic) thought experiment about what future "perfect surveillance" might look like and how it might affect the justice system.

"Immigrant Protective Policies in Criminal Justice": In the wake of Trumpian calls for deporting immigrants with criminal records, this article's suggestion for an "equality" based message and approach holds promise as a means for "formulating criminal justice policy that decouples local policing and prosecuting from federal immigration enforcement priorities."

"Body-Mounted Police Cameras: A Primer on Police Accountability vs. Privacy": Might privacy concerns over police body cameras make them a detriment to community policing? And as exceptions are made to whom and when police record, might accountability benefits decrease? These and other emerging, unresolved issues about body-camera tech are outlined in this short paper.

"From Policing to Parole: Reconfiguring American Criminal Justice": "Evidence-based means exist to make major improvements in every facet of American criminal justice. What has been lacking is the political will to use them."

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