Monthly Archives: March 2019

New Jails to End All Jails?

Rikers Island was once the dream of progressive reformers for a more rehabilitative corrections system. Now New York City, taking advantage of its plunging jail population, has pledged to replace the scandal-plagued complex with four smaller redesigned facilities—located near courthouses, not on an isolated island. It’s a shift the mayor says will end the era of mass incarceration in the city. But can building “better” jails lead to less reliance on jails overall? New Thinking host Matt Watkins moderates a public discussion of “Justice by Design.”

Full show notes

The Cost of Being Poor? The Fight Against Fines and Fees

Almost any encounter with the criminal justice system comes with a price tag, and fines and fees are capturing millions of Americans in a cycle of poverty and justice-involvement. Various states across the country charge you for using a public defender, a DNA sample, your monthly parole meetings, even a jury trial. And that’s in addition to the fines attached to any conviction. Fall too far behind on your payments and you could end up in jail. On this episode, we hear from a judge in Washington State who’s come up with an innovative solution to help break this cycle, and from Alexes Harris, a leading researcher on how fines and fees are used across the country.

Full show notes (includes pictures, episode transcript, and resources & references section)