Author Archive | C.J. Ciaramella


Judge Threatens Arizona Prison Officials With Contempt For ‘Pervasive and Intractable Failures’

A federal judge said Tuesday he is considering holding Arizona prison officials in contempt of court for their “pervasive and intractable failures” to abide by a 2014 agreement to improve care of inmates in the state prison system. Three years ago, the Arizona Department of Corrections agreed to settle a federal class-action lawsuit filed by […]

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Federal Judge Restores Drivers’ Licenses to Two With Unpaid Traffic Tickets; May Be First Ruling of its Kind

A federal judge has reinstated the drivers’ licenses of two Tennessee residents, thanks to a class action lawsuit challenging the state’s practice of suspending licenses for unpaid traffic fines. The suit is still ongoing, but the reinstatement is a good sign; groups representing the plaintiffs say this may be the first court decision of its […]

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More Cities Join Efforts to Steer People Away From Jail

Paul Hennessy/Polaris/NewscomMore and more cities are launching efforts to reduce their jail populations amid concerns that poor and minority residents face disastrous consequences when put behind bars to await trial. As Reason reported in February, national momentum on criminal justice reform is moving to the states, rather than the federal government, and deep-pocketed donors are […]

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The Senate Will Try Again On Sentencing Reform This Year

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/NewscomAfter major criminal justice reform failed in Congress last year, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has reintroduced a package of legislation to reduce some federal mandatory minimum sentences and expand sentencing discretion for judges. In a joint statement Wednesday, Republican and Democrat members of the Senate Judiciary Committee reintroduced the Sentencing […]

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The Secret Slush Funds of Asset Forfeiture

Asset forfeiture laws don’t just allow the police to seize property they claim is connected to criminal activity; they often let the cops keep the proceeds from what they take. This profit incentive is one of the biggest problems with the practice, since it gives police an incentive to pursue petty and indefensible seizures to […]

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House Approves Amendments to Block Sessions’ Asset Forfeiture Directive

The Republican-led House of Representatives approved three amendments to a large spending bill Tuesday that would attempt to block Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ civil asset forfeiture directive. In July, Sessions announced he was ending restrictions put in place by former attorney general Eric Holder on when federal law enforcement could “adopt” asset forfeiture cases from […]

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Tennessee Spent $100K in Asset Forfeiture Funds on Catering

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security improperly spent more than $100,000 in asset forfeiture funds on catering and banquet tickets over the last two years, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Justice’s inspector general. The inspector general reported that between 2014 and 2016, the Tennessee agency spent $112,614 in […]

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