Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Justice Reform in the Deep South

The East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, Miss. CreditMeggan Haller for The New York Times

From the editorial board of The New York Times:

It has been getting easier by the day for politicians to talk about fixing the nation’s broken criminal justice system. But when states in the Deep South, which have long had some of the country’s harshest penal systems, make significant sentencing and prison reforms, you know something has changed. 

Almost all of these deep-red states have made changes to their justice systems in the last few years, and in doing so they have run laps around Congress, which continues to dither on the passage of any meaningful reform. Lawmakers in Alabama, for example, voted nearly unanimously early this month to approve a criminal justice bill. Alabama prisons are stuffed to nearly double capacity, endangering the health and lives of the inmates, and the cost of mass imprisonment is crippling the state budget at no discernible benefit to public safety.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/opinion/justice-reform-in-the-deep-south.html?_r=0