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lindagray

Criminal justice reform in the United States 3

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Predictive policing
Predictive policing is an analytical technique used by law enforcement in order to predict where crime is likely to occur. It involves predicting both the potential time and place of crimes and individuals likely to commit them. It is used as an alternative to full reliance and trust in the “hunches” and instincts of law enforcement that are believed to come with training. Proponents of predictive policing believe that it is a way to minimize bias and discriminatory practices within policing.

Opponents of predictive policing point to the fact that (1) the data used to isolate patterns of criminal behavior uses a privatized algorithm that only companies have access to and (2) its potential to reinforce existing biases against poor and minority communities. Because predictive policing algorithms use existing data to make predictions, it would follow that existing bias within the system is not eliminated but amplified. Additionally, opponents believe that it is a way to “manufacture” crime; it reinforces the idea that crime in an area exists and just needs to be found by law enforcement.

Stop and frisk
Stop-and-frisk stops refer to “a brief non-intrusive police stop of a suspect” warranted by “reasonable suspicion” that often involve a pat down of the suspect. Stop-and-frisk policies became a large part of criminal justice reform efforts following NYPD's use of the tactic. NYPD vowed to end its implementation of stop and frisk policies August 12, 2013 when ruled unconstitutional in Floyd v. City of New York. Although this is the case, similar policies are used in other cities throughout the U.S.

Opponents of stop-and-frisk believe that it is unconstitutional, ineffective, and racist. Most cases in which stop and frisk is used are a result of the War on Drugs. In line with this, the majority of those targeted are racial minorities, specifically African Americans. A report by the Public Advocate's office indicates that of the 532,911 stops made in 2012 in New York City, 53% of individuals were Black and 31% were Hispanic. Additionally, the New York Civil Liberties Union indicated that only 97,296 stops were made in 2002, or less than a fifth of those made in 2012. Opponents point to the fact that stop-and-frisk is often unproductive and fails to fulfill its aim. Of the 2.3 million instances of police stopping Black males based on reasonable suspicion between 2004 and 2012, only 16,000 resulted in the seizure of illicit goods.


Re-entry
Those that believe re-entry programs need reform typically point to recidivism rates within the United States criminal justice system. While those against reform claim that recidivism rates are indicative of inherent criminality amongst certain groups, those in support of reform believe it is indicative of the ineffectiveness of re-entry and parole programs.

Different types of disenfranchisement exist that affect ex-offenders after their release. Advocates of criminal justice reform in the United States often also push for the reform of restrictions on federal aid and societal participation. Federal restrictions that exist include bans on the use of welfare programs and federal financial aid for education. Restrictions on societal participation include felons not being allowed to hold public office, teach or work in child care, or vote. Voting restrictions are known as felony disenfranchisement. This refers to the regulations that prevent those with a felony conviction from voting in local, state, and federal elections on the basis of their conviction. 6.1 million individuals were unable to vote due to felony disenfranchisement in 2016. Former prisoners are incarcerated multiple times, increasing recidivism rates, because they are unable to follow strict rules and regulations. Advocates of parole reform perceive these regulations as not being focus on community well being but instead on controlling parolees. A report for Columbia University's Justice lab showed that in the four years since January 1, 2018, New York City's jail population declined by 21%. However, during this time period, the population of individuals incarcerated due to parole violations increased by 15%.

The Second Chance Act was passed with bipartisan support in an effort to reduce recidivism rates and improve outcomes for individuals following their released from juvenile facilities, jails and prisons. Second Chance Grant Programs include those that focus on substance use and mental disorders, mentoring and transitional services for adults, improvement for the outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system, and technology career training.

Juvenile justice reform
The push for reform within juvenile justice highlights the notion that Black and Latinx individuals, especially males, are criminalized prior to adulthood. The juvenile justice system is viewed in the same light as the criminal justice system as a form of social control that incapacitates Black and Latinx youth. Criminalization is also thought to occur in other social institutions such as school businesses, the streets and community centers. The juvenile justice system itself is also often criticized by reformers for perpetuating the notion that non-criminal individuals are criminal. The majority of individuals that enter the system have committed non-violent offenses, but still experience the effects of indirect punishment, direct punishment, and criminalization of their violent counterparts. Overall, this criminalization is thought to be harmful due to its impact on the perception and Black and Latinx youth have of themselves and their capability to be successful within society.

Many also believe that the juvenile justice system is a part of the school to prison pipeline which funnels individuals from public school to the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Harsher disciplinary rules prevent individuals from re-entering schools following an offense, making it more likely for them to experience social pressures such as law income and unemployment that reform groups perceive to lead to criminal activity. Additionally, in school arrests contribute to the pipeline. Advocates of reform point to the fact that 70% of students arrested at school are Black, further contributing to the criminalization and mass incarceration of Black individuals.

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