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The Washington Post Magazine

Ted Alcorn

30 November 2021

Rio Arriba, New Mexico, United States

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Since 2018, Judge Jason Lidyard of Rio Arriba County, N.M., has forged a new model for a drug court. Instead of demanding abstinence from drugs as the price to stay out of jail, Lidyard uses respect and personal relat...

Belt Magazine

Nina Ignaczak

10 September 2021

Michigan, United States

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Between 2012 and 2017, the rate of recidivism, the number of people who return to prison after being released, was 71 percent across 34 states. Goodwill has a program aimed at lowering that called GreenWorks an indus...

Vail Daily

Kelli Duncan

9 September 2021

Eagle, Colorado, United States

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Eagle County's two problem-solving courts put treatment ahead of punishment when addressing crimes committed by people with substance abuse problems. Originally set up as one court, they now function separately to add...

Las Vegas Optic

Ryan Lowery

29 July 2021

Alamosa, Colorado, United States

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In Alamosa County, law enforcement officers who believe drug abuse is at the root of a person's criminal behavior can refer that person to treatment and other services, rather than arresting and jailing them. The Law ...

Reasons to be Cheerful

David Byrne

12 July 2021

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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When prosecutors in Boston and Baltimore stopped prosecuting certain non-violent, minor offenses, crime of all sorts, from minor to violent, went down. Getting prosecuted and jailed can in itself increase the probabil...

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)

Dave Miller

Allison Frost

9 July 2021

Bend, Oregon, United States

Radio Talk Show

Over 15 Minutes

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Youth in Oregon who get court-ordered rehabilitation as an alternative to youth detention might end up at the J Bar J Ranch, which despite its name is less a working ranch than a boarding school with individual counse...

The Washington Post

Antonio Olivo

6 July 2021

Fairfax, Virginia, United States

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Fairfax County, Virginia, boasts the state's most ambitious program to divert cases from criminal prosecution to treatment courts, including for drug offenses and involving veterans. But all of the work by prosecutors...

BBC

Jo Mathys

29 June 2021

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Podcast

Over 15 Minutes

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All people between the ages of 14 and 21 in Washington, D.C., who are placed on probation for criminal convictions get assigned a probation officer, social worker, and a "credible messenger" – a mentor, usually with h...

Grid Magazine

Constance Garcia-Barrio

23 May 2021

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Restorative justice healing circles run by Cookman Beloved Community Baptist Church in West Philadelphia have helped resolve hundreds of disputes among youth over the past 15 years using dialogue instead of courts. Br...

The New York Times

Tammy La Gorce

14 May 2021

New Jersey, United States

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People in two New Jersey counties who were at risk of abusing opioids while on parole were given extra support services, and an immediate trip to rehab instead of back to prison when they slipped up. The pilot program...

KSNW-TV

Carly Willis

10 May 2021

Wichita, Kansas, United States

Broadcast TV News

3-5 Minutes

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Kansas' only veterans treatment court started small, but it has proved the concept to Sedgwick County officials who want to copy its success. Veterans courts provide treatment in lieu of conviction and punishment for ...

Billy Penn

Michaela Winberg

6 May 2021

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund freed more than 400 people from jail in 2020, thanks to $3 million donated amid the COVID-19 crisis and racial justice protests. Organizers of the Black Mama's Day Bailout, an annu...

Associated Press

Aaron Morrison

4 May 2021

United States

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Since 2018, The Bail Project has turned $41 million in donated money into cash bail to free more than 15,500 people in dozens of cities from pretrial detention. The project grew out of the work of Bronx Defenders, whi...

The Appeal

Katie Jane Fernelius

21 April 2021

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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In his first months as the New Orleans district attorney, Jason Williams has pushed a prosecution-reform agenda that not only limits who gets sent to prison on the front end, but also takes a backward look at who shou...

Granite State News Collaborative

Jordyn Haime

20 April 2021

New Hampshire, United States

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New Hampshire's 40-year-old system of diverting many juvenile prosecutions away from courts and incarceration, and into community-based restorative justice programs, has saved public money, lowered youth crime rates, ...

Granite State News Collaborative

Jordyn Haime

20 April 2021

Vermont, United States

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Reacting to troubling trends in incarceration in the 1980s, Vermont legislators created a system of community justice centers to give its justice system a distinct rehabilitative rather than punitive slant. The CJCs e...

Granite State News Collaborative

Jordyn Haime

20 April 2021

New Hampshire, United States

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In some New Hampshire counties, diversion programs give some people charged with generally low-level crimes the opportunity to make amends, get treatment for underlying problems, and move on in life without a criminal...

Dissent Magazine

Michelle Chen

16 April 2021

Penobscot Indian Island Reservation, Maine, United States

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Like standard drug courts, the Penobscot Nation's Healing to Wellness Court refers people facing drug-related criminal charges to substance abuse counseling as an alternative to punishment. But this court and other tr...

The Charlotte Observer

Devna Bose

13 April 2021

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

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The Mecklenburg County district attorney stopped prosecuting non-violent, low-level drug cases to free up resources to handle a backlog of more serious cases that built up during the pandemic. The policy had the effec...

Coloradoan

Sady Swanson

22 March 2021

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

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Acting on a recognition that police and the criminal justice system are too involved in responses to mental health and substance abuse crises, UCHealth formed mental health response teams that partner with Fort Collin...

The Charlotte Observer

Virginia Bridges

12 March 2021

North Carolina, United States

Multi-Media

1500-3000 Words

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Three incarcerated people and a coalition of social justice groups sued North Carolina over its prison COVID-19 policies, winning a settlement that is accelerating releases from prison that began at the start of the p...

StreetWise

Lukas Matuszewski

8 March 2021

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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The 2020 social justice uprisings drew attention, and donations, to bail funds, which use donations to bail people out of jail while their criminal charges or immigration cases are pending. One fund that benefited fro...

The Guardian

Todd Feathers

4 March 2021

United States

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State and federal parole officials have rushed during the pandemic to embrace the use of smartphone apps that monitor the location and behavior of a person on parole. The apps and related data analytics save courts mo...

Honolulu Civil Beat

Christina Jedra

11 February 2021

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

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LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) proved itself in Seattle as effective at addressing the underlying problems of people experiencing homelessness, by waiving their criminal charges if they accepted needed serv...

Journalist's Resource

Clark Merrefield

2 February 2021

California, United States

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When a California law shifted the costs of incarcerating youth from the state to its counties, judges suddenly sent 40% fewer youth to state-run juvenile facilities. That reduction began a long-term trend that combine...

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