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Inside Prince George’s County Bond Hearings

Since August of 2020, the Movement Lawyering Clinic (“the Clinic”) at Howard University School of Law has observed bond hearings in Prince George’s County District Court. The impetus of this project came from reports and a lawsuit from Civil Rights Corps, alleging that PG County’s jail was overcrowded, unsanitary, at risk of a COVID-19 breakout, and teeming with pre-trial defendants, many who are charged with non-violent crimes.1 The Clinic decided to observe PG County bond hearings to determine the extent of pre-trial detention in the County, or more specifically, who was being put in pre-trial detention and why.

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Recidivism and Reentry

What makes people more or less likely to succeed upon release? Readers looking for recidivism data should note that relying too much on rates of recidivism (as opposed to other indicators of success after prison) can result in incomplete conclusions, because recidivism data is skewed by inconsistencies in policing, charging, and supervision.

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Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020

Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial? And how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs? These questions are harder to answer than you might think, because our country’s systems of confinement are so fragmented. The various government agencies involved in the justice system collect a lot of critical data, but it is not designed to help policymakers or the public understand what’s going on. As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build, however, it’s more important than ever that we get the facts straight and understand the big picture.