Week ending Oct. 18, 2015



“Jennifer Valencia, director of the Sentencing Commission, recognized Northern Utah Region and Region 6 of Adult Probation & Parole for their work in piloting a new Response and Incentives Matrix (known as the “RIM”) for probationers and parolees as part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. The team also provided training for agents statewide.”


Sen. Mike Lee: Punishments should not promote criminality more than penitence, Deseret News

“I’ll never forget when I began to appreciate the magnitude of the problems facing our criminal, judicial and penal systems in America. It was 2004 and, while working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah, I witnessed cases in which judges were forced by federal law to impose punishments that did not fit the crime, sometimes sentencing first-time offenders for longer than murderers and rapists.”


Dale L. Hancock


Hatch is right on criminal justice reform by James R. Copland and Rafael A. Mangual, The Hill

“On Oct. 1, a bipartisan group of senators including Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin(D-Ill.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), announced a plan to reduce mandatory criminal sentences under federal law for nonviolent offenders and help former prisoners reintegrate into society. Such an effort is overdue, but insufficient to fully remedy the overreach of federal criminal law. To do so, lawmakers must also bring attention to what we and other reformers have called “overcriminalization” in federal code.”

New drug reduces heroin cravings, may reduce recidivism by Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media

“The vast majority of people who are incarcerated have substance abuse issues, and that abuse is often a cause for recidivism. One solution? Get them treatment quickly. A new program in Anchorage is trying to do just that using a new, little-used drug called Vivitrol.”

Mark Zuckerberg visits San Quentin: ‘We can’t jail our way to a just society’ by Sari Horwitz, The Washington Post

“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” by Michelle Alexander is the Bible for many sentencing reform advocates, attorneys—and inmates. As I have been visiting federal prisons all year for a series on prisons and sentencing reform, it is the one book that is mentioned over and over again.”

Getting prisoners life-ready to prevent a return to crime by William Brangham, PBS NewsHour

“There’s perhaps no greater bipartisan push today than the effort to reform the American criminal justice system. One of those reforms is trying to cut back on recidivism, where criminals serve their time, but then wind up back behind bars soon after their release.”

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