Judges steer defendants into work camps for private industry

Across the country, judges increasingly are sending defendants to rehab instead of prison or jail. These diversion courts have become the bedrock of criminal justice reform, aiming to transform lives and ease overcrowded prisons.  But in the rush to spare people with addiction from prison, judges are steering defendants into rehabs that often are little…

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Georgia inmates left to suffer, deprived of treatment

The medical director at one of the most important prison healthcare facilities in Georgia is now facing allegations that she treated inmates with a callousness bordering on cruelty, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Six former healthcare workers at the prison accused her of withholding vital treatment and medication from sick or injured inmates.

Sacramento courthouse becomes shelter for homeless

Every night, people in Sacramento with nowhere to go line up to camp on the grounds of the courthouse. But a KCRA investigation has found that while it’s a county courthouse, the grounds are state property which leaves security and safety up in the air. It’s a difficult situation that judges, bailiffs, court personnel and…

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State crime lab under fire for hiding backlog of cases

A 12 News Investigation uncovered a forensic scientist at the Arizona state crime lab had intentionally hidden her backlog of cases for years, failed to test DNA submitted in 40 cases, and kept evidence in her possession.  However, after an audit and internal investigation revealed the misconduct, the Arizona Department of Public Safety never bothered…

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Kids are driving Pinellas County’s car-theft epidemic

In a data-driven explanatory series by the Tampa Bay Times, reporters found that more kids are arrested for juvenile car theft in sleepy, beachfront Pinellas County, Fla. than virtually anywhere else in America. Yet cops are powerless to stop this underestimated, dangerous crime. Kids are driving 100 miles per hour the wrong way down highways.…

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Legal loophole allows hundreds of sex offenders to slide under the radar

A little-known legal loophole is allowing hundreds of child sexual predators in Minnesota to slide under the radar, leaving parents in the dark about the danger they may pose. Records obtained by KARE 11 reveal that admitted child molesters, rapists, and people who’ve been caught with child pornography are not on Minnesota’s sex offender registry…

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Kentucky justice system tested in high-profile rape case

What happens when a wealthy, politically-connected businessman is the defendant in a rape case against his former caretaker? This story from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting reveals conflicts-of-interests in the investigation, brutal intimidation tactics, and the perks that a high community position can offer a person. The unnamed accuser was subject to strongly-worded threats…

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Pretrial diversion offers defendants a second chance – if they can pay

Pretrial diversion is designed to alleviate crowded courts and jails, and help low-risk defendants avoid the damaging consequences that come with a criminal record. But an investigation by The New York Times found that diversion programs vary widely from state to state and that second chances are often only granted to those who can afford…

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