Praise for start on improving justice system, but .... | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Praise for start on improving justice system, but ....

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 12:36 PM

A grassroots group working toward a justice system with more emphasis on rehabilitation and less on imprisonment has praised the first report to a task force working on criminal justice reform. But it says the first recommendations didn't go far enough.

A Justice Center report last week to the Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force supported the belief that Arkansas's prison population is too large, but doesn't improve public safety or help rehabilitation.

DecARcerate, which is working to organize people to reduce incarceration, said it endorsed the recommendations to put a priority for rehabilitation over punishment and to invest more in crime prevention and treatment than in new prisons and jails. But, the group said the recommendations don't go far enough.

For example, there is no mention of trauma treatment or services, when “social scientists have known for twenty plus years that substance abuse and incarceration are often symptoms of adverse childhood experiences (ACE). Many studies indicate that people in prison have exceptionally high rates of histories of childhood abuse and neglect, which is seldom addressed in the Arkansas Department of Correction or Community Correction,” said Morgan Holladay, Executive Director of Compassion Works for All.

In fact, these recommendations leave out the deep-seated causes of over-incarceration, which include poverty and systemic racism. “Race and socioeconomic status play a role in who we incarcerate in this state,” said Malik Saafir, project consultant of racial disparities study. This was demonstrated in Arkansas by the Racial Disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System Research Project in 2015.

The same legislators being asked for change things passed the 2015 law that  led to a dramatic increase in prison population, noted Jean Thrash, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic.

A substantial financial investment in treatment and other alternatives must be made to change things. Otherwise, the group said, prison costs will grow to a billion-dollar price tag in a few years.

Tags: ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Viewed

  • Proposed child holding site in Arkansas 5 miles from WWII Japanese-American internment camp

    One big difference between Rohwer and today: The parents kept at Rohwer in World War II weren't separated from their children.
  • Baby gorilla born at zoo

    The Little Rock Zoo has a happy announcement: The birth of a healthy baby gorilla. The baby, whose sex has not been determined, was born to Sekani, who came to the zoo in 2004 from Toronto; her baby is her third. The father of the baby is a silverback, Kivu, and he is being "very attentive" to his first child, the zoo reports. Kivu came to the zoo in 2016 from Santa Barbara.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Digital kiosk to be unveiled Monday

    • Rapert will, undoubtedly, buy lots of space and time on the kiosk devoted to his…

    • on June 22, 2018
  • Re: Hemp growing rules OK'd

    • We will be smoking rope and and twine, mabye the ADC can us the hemp…

    • on June 22, 2018
  • Re: TGIF video and open line

    • This is a really interesting weather news story. And it's a book review. Andrew Revkin…

    • on June 22, 2018

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation