Category: Crime

Abstract Despite civil asset forfeiture’s noble intentions, the many stories of innocent victims and law enforcement abuses prove that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of law enforcement. In reforming forfeiture laws, however, we must be careful not to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. The process should be made fairer and more transparent, the profit incentive of forfeiture should be abolished or severely constrained, and there should be greater oversight. Civil asset forfeiture should be returned to its original purpose: penalizing those who seek to profit from their illegal activities. If such funds were deposited into the general treasury, nothing would preclude law enforcement authorities from going to Congress or their state legislatures and… View Article
A new study from North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation suggests a market-oriented alternative to state professional licensing. Read the press release below: North Carolina could promote job creation, lower consumer prices, and boost opportunities for low-income families by replacing most of the state’s occupational licensing with voluntary certification. A new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report explains why. “North Carolina’s aggressive occupational licensing faces considerable concerns about its fairness, efficiency, scope, and more,” said report author Jon Sanders, JLF Director of Regulatory Studies. “A ready answer to these concerns would be to transition most jobs currently under state regulation away from licensure and into private certification.” Sanders releases his report as the state’s occupational licensing system faces questions on multiple fronts.… View Article
The Federalist has published an article that highlights the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s role in bipartisan criminal justice reform in the state. It notes, “Georgia has distinguished itself as a front-runner on this issue. Although the overhaul of its justice system is far from complete, the Peach State has joined its Lone Star cousin as a success story that’s raising eyebrows across the nation. There’s something here for everybody to like. By reforming its corrections system, Georgia has already saved more than $20 million, with much bigger savings likely on the horizon. Its general inmate population is down, and juvenile detention rates have fallen even more. Through it all, crime rates have remained low.” The article continues: “I… View Article

Outlaw Policing for Profit in Georgia

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Back in 1966, Bobby Fuller sang about, “Robbin’ people with a six-gun, I fought the law and the law won.” And rightfully so: Robbery is a crime. But what happens when it’s the law doing the robbing and the law wins? Civil asset forfeiture is supposed to be a process in which law enforcement agencies seize property and cash they have reason to believe were involved in a crime. A spate of stories from around the nation, however, reveals that too often, it’s a matter of “policing for profit:” seizing property and money of innocent people because agencies benefit directly from the proceeds. For years, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Institute… View Article

Getting Smart on Crime Puts Georgia Ahead

By Mike Klein MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Not long ago, the national philosophy behind criminal justice policy was to lock offenders away and teach them a lesson. This was popular with politicians who found that it played well before crowds and it was popular in communities where prisons and jails created jobs. Some folks even seemed to celebrate the idea that prisons were real hellholes. This philosophy worked great if you did not care about creating better citizens in people who had made a mistake but could be rehabilitated; if you did not want to think about the effect of mingling juveniles with hardened adult criminals; if you did not care about the spiraling cost to support the… View Article

Astonishing Early Results from GA Juvenile Justice Reform

MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein Buoyed by freshly funded incarceration alternatives, Georgia reduced new juvenile justice detention commitments by an astonishing 62 percent during the nine month period that ended in June. As a result, the average daily secure population rate is also trending down as is the length of time juveniles are waiting for a detention center placement. “While it’s still early, we feel great about where we are,” Department of Juvenile Justice assistant deputy commissioner Joe Vignati told the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform on Tuesday morning. This was the Council’s first meeting since May although several committees met during the summer. DJJ Deputy Commissioner Carl Brown led off with an historical overview… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government. This phrase, which appears on the first page of the Georgia Constitution, highlights the importance of the criminal justice system. In keeping with this focus, the State of Georgia recently enacted sweeping criminal justice reforms designed to reduce crime rates, limit recidivism and lower costs. As Atlanta’s leaders seek to address criminal justice, it would be wise to follow the state’s lead. As of 2010, one in every 70 Georgia adults were incarcerated, the fourth highest percentage in the country, and one in every 13 Georgia adults were under criminal justice supervision, the highest rate in the country. Nearly one-third… View Article
MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein Georgia was already doing nearly as well as or better than other southern states in two categories – prisoner health care real cost dollars and the percentage of max out inmates released without supervision – even before the state began to implement criminal justice reform four years ago, according to two reports from the Pew Charitable Trusts Public Safety Performance Project. An adult inmate health care report published Tuesday analyzed percentage increases and actual dollars spent per adult inmate for all states during the five-year period 2007 through 2011. Pew said the median increase for all states was 10 percent with Georgia at just five percent. California had the greatest percentage… View Article
MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Mike Klein Federal juvenile justice officials have noticed Georgia’s aggressive reforms and must like what they see because Washington is offering to pony up hundreds of thousands of new dollars to help the state implement ongoing juvenile reforms. On Monday the U.S. Justice Department said it could make up to $600,000 available this year, with similar offers in Hawaii and Kentucky. The announcement said implementation grant funds would be used “to strengthen diversion and community-based options that will reduce their out-of-home population, avert millions of dollars in otherwise anticipated correctional spending, reduce recidivism and protect public safety. OJJDP applauds the efforts of Hawaii, Kentucky and Georgia and is committed to supporting states that… View Article

Finally, a one volume resource from an independent source that gives those of us in public life a new view on which to make public policy.

Governor Roy Barnes more quotes