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Criminal Justice

For the first time in Gallup’s polling history, U.S. confidence in the fair application of capital punishment dipped below 50 percent. […] Read More

While solitary confinement in U.S. prisons is less common, 61,000 prisoners were still held in such conditions in the fall of 2017, including more than 4,000 diagnosed with a serious mental illness, a report says. […] Read More

Criminal justice reforms have reduced overcrowded U.S. prisons and jails, but unaddressed issues within probation and parole have led to overwhelmed community supervision systems and increased recidivism. […] Read More

While 31 U.S. states authorize capital punishment for certain crimes, only 12 have put someone to death in the last five years, a new report says. […] Read More

Eighty-three percent of U.S. inmates were arrested at least once within the nine years following their release from incarceration, according to a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report released on May 23. Many previous studies measured recidivism over a three- or five-year period. By extending its study to nine years, BJS found a significant […] Read More

I criticized in a recent column the idea that Christians should not cooperate with the criminal justice system to the point that churches refuse to call police. That does not mean that churches should accept every aspect of contemporary ideas of crime and punishment, as they assuredly have so much that is useful and innovative […] Read More

The total number of people in the U.S. correctional system and the number of inmates under sentence of death in U.S. prisons both declined in 2016, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) statistical briefs published in late April. Slightly more than 6.6 million inmates were in the U.S. correctional system (this includes persons in […] Read More

U.S. jails saw a population increase in 2016, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics data released on Feb. 22. Jails housed 740,700 in 2016, a 1.8 percent (13,300-person) increase from 2015, while the average daily population saw a 1.6 percent increase (11,800) to 731,300. The jail incarceration rate (the number of inmates per 100,000 population) […] Read More

The first public speech of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, an adaptation of Isaiah 61:1-2, declares his calling to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” In one of his final public speeches in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus identifies himself with, among other groups, people in prison – “I was in prison and you came to visit me.” While […] Read More

My sister shared a moving testimony last week concerning what she witnessed at a recent funeral service. The deceased was an elderly woman who had committed her adult life to prison ministry. Sister Eva’s pastor shared, “I noticed that Sister Eva was only at worship service a few times a month. When I asked her […] Read More