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Op-ed: Criminal Justice Reforms Aren't Driving Crime Increases

Though some critics pointed to criminal-justice reforms when crime rose during the pandemic, they were wrong, write Lauren-Brooke Eisen and Ames Grawert in an op-ed published by Governing entitled “No, Criminal Justice Reform Isn’t Driving Rising Crime.”

"No evidence exists to support a link between crime and reforms that seek to make our system fairer and more effective,” contend Eisen and Grawert, former prosecutors who now work for the Brennan Center for Justice. To prove their point, the Governing piece outlines recent and ongoing reforms, such as the "Clean Slate Act," signed last last week by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, which -- when enacted -- will automatically seal criminal records after someone has been out of prison and offense-free for several years.

Also, in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law in July that allows those on probation to reduce their time on supervision by earning a GED, a college degree or a vocational certificate, or by holding down a job. In September Illinois put an end to cash bail, becoming the first state to completely remove wealth as a determining factor in whether someone goes home or to jail while awaiting trial. And in April, New Mexico eliminated all fees charged to people after conviction and enacted a law ending driver’s license suspensions for missed court hearings and overdue fees and fines.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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