The Painful Lessons of a Corrections Crisis

When the Washington Department of Corrections learned a software programming error led to the erroneous early release of 3,000 prisoners, it took three years to address the problem. That led to at least two deaths—and some hard lessons about the need to recognize non-traditional emergencies before they became crises, according to a case study published this month.

Correctional institutions are usually well prepared to address serious emergencies like prison riots, but what happens when they encounter a crisis that staff and authorities never imagined could occur?

That was the situation which confronted the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) when authorities learned a software programming error had led to the erroneous early release of over 3,000 inmates between 2002 and 2015.

According to a case study analyzing the WDOC’s belated response, the episode made clear that correctional and other public institutions need to develop the “situational awareness” to deal with crises for which they had little training.

The study, published this month in the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, showed that authorities could have headed off the crisis earlier if they had responded to a 2012 inquiry from a father who believed the perpetrator of a crime against his son had been released too early.

A request for a “fix” was sent to the Information Technology Unit (IT), but the WDOC failed to address it until 2015. Meanwhile, several of the erroneously released inmates had committed crimes, and were responsible for at least two deaths.

The sentencing miscalculation arose in 2002 following a Washington Supreme Court decision, In re King, which ruled that the WDOC had not awarded “good time” to inmates for the time spent in jail awaiting trial and during trial. But a change in the software programming used to recalculate each inmate’s release date to accommodate the ruling unwittingly led to total earned- time credits that exceeded the statutory maximum.

This resulted in inmates being released, on average, 55 days early.

WDOC’s failure to deal in a timely manner with the error once it was pointed out turned an “emergency into a crisis,” said the study.

Two of the three authors of the study, “The Making of an Institutional Crisis,” were key players in the episode. Dan Pacholke, the state’s Secretary of Corrections, led the emergency response. Sandy Felkey Mullins served on the governor’s staff as his senior policy advisor on public safety and government operations. Bert Useem of Purdue University conducted many of the post-crisis interviews with WDOC staff who had to decide whether and how to bring the inmates back to prison.

The WDOC leadership decided that bringing back offenders post-release to serve additional time on their sentence after several years of liberty would be “fundamentally unfair,” unless the offender had committed a class-A felony.

Specialized WDOC community response units accompanied local law enforcement to arrest inmates who it was decided did need to return to prison to serve out the remainder of their sentence. Unsurprisingly, the legitimacy of the arrest was often challenged by the former inmates—who argued they were being asked to “bear the burden of WDOC’s error” of being released and returned again.

Specialty teams for disturbance control were placed in prison facilities around the state in the event of possible unrest, though no noticeable inmate response arose. And a public communications strategy was developed.

Following the crisis, the WDOC redeveloped its IT procedures and issued instructions requiring anyone on headquarters staff who identified an issue that impacted public safety or critical operations to immediately inform his or her supervisor.

If the issue was not addressed, they were to go directly to agency leadership.

The principal lesson drawn from the episode, according to the study, was that large public agencies must train senior staff to have the flexibility to deal with incidents that are not part of their normal crisis training.

An agency needs to “develop in its culture the alertness not to solve, but rather to recognize, a crisis emergency and quickly mobilize a non-traditional response,” authors concluded.

“Agencies ….must develop situational awareness – thinking through the broad features of the situation and what must be done.”

TCR news intern Brian Edsall contributed to writing this summary. The full journal article is available for purchase only and can be downloaded here. Journalists can obtain free access by contacting TCR Deputy Editor Victoria Mckenzie at Victoria@thecrimereport.org

from https://thecrimereport.org

About 6,500 Youths Shot to Death Since Newtown

About 6,500 children under 17 have been killed, and about 30,000 others wounded by gunfire since the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Ct. in 2012, reports the Boston Globe. This estimate is based on an average of the annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The numbers are unbelievably high,” says Dr. Michael Nance of Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

In the five years since 20 first-graders were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., the number of children under the age of 17 killed or wounded by gunfire in the U.S. is astounding, the Boston Globe reports. About 6,500 have been killed, and about 30,000 others have been wounded.

The numbers are crunched by averaging annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts like Dr. Michael Nance of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has closely researched childhood gun injuries, said they believe the figures to be a fair representation, as stunning as they may seem.

“The numbers are unbelievably high,” Nance said. “While events like Sandy Hook and Aurora or Columbine grab the headlines, quite obviously the problem goes on every day, insidiously . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip. It isn’t the mass shootings that are the major issue, it is the daily repetition that leads to the numbers that are so unbelievable.”

The figures show that nationwide, between 2012 and 2015, the latest year of available data, about 1,300 children each year were killed by guns, and nearly 6,000 more were injured. “The numbers have been pretty consistent year after year,” said Dr. Eliot Nelson, a professor and pediatrician at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital whose research has focused on injury prevention, including injuries from firearms.

“As a cause of death in our country, firearm injuries are really second only to motor vehicle accident injuries for young people.” A study by CDC researchers published in the journal Pediatrics found that the vast majority of those shooting victims were older children. A total of 82 percent of children killed by guns in recent years were between 13 and 17 years old. The rest — about 230 children a year on average — were 12 or younger.

from https://thecrimereport.org

The Painful Lessons of a Corrections Crisis

When the Washington Department of Corrections learned a software programming error led to the erroneous early release of 3,000 prisoners, it took three years to address the problem. That led to at least two deaths—and some hard lessons about the need to recognize non-traditional emergencies before they became crises, according to a case study published this month.

Correctional institutions are usually well prepared to address serious emergencies like prison riots, but what happens when they encounter a crisis that staff and authorities never imagined could occur?

That was the situation which confronted the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) when authorities learned a software programming error had led to the erroneous early release of over 3,000 inmates between 2002 and 2015.

According to a case study analyzing the WDOC’s belated response, the episode made clear that correctional and other public institutions need to develop the “situational awareness” to deal with crises for which they had little training.

The study, published this month in the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, showed that authorities could have headed off the crisis earlier if they had responded to an inquiry from the father of an victim in 2012 who believed his son’s perpetrator had been released too early.

A request for a “fix” was sent to the Information Technology Unit (IT), but the WDOC failed to address it until 2015. Meanwhile, several of the erroneously released inmates had committed crimes, and were responsible for at least two deaths.

The sentencing miscalculation arose in 2002 following a Washington Supreme Court decision, In re King, which ruled that the WDOC had not awarded “good time” to inmates for the time spent in jail awaiting trial and during trial. But a change in the software programming used to recalculate each inmate’s release date to accommodate the ruling unwittingly led to total earned- time credits that exceeded the statutory maximum.

This resulted in inmates being released, on average, 55 days early.

WDOC’s failure to deal in a timely manner with the error once it was pointed out turned an “emergency into a crisis,” said the study.

Two of the three authors of the study, “The Making of an Institutional Crisis,” were key players in the episode. Dan Pacholke, the state’s Secretary of Corrections, led the emergency response. Sandy Felkey Mullins served on the governor’s staff as his senior policy advisor on public safety and government operations. Bert Useem of Purdue University conducted many of the post-crisis interviews with WDOC staff who had to decide whether and how to bring the inmates back to prison.

The WDOC leadership decided that bringing back offenders post-release to serve additional time on their sentence after several years of liberty would be “fundamentally unfair,” unless the offender had committed a class-A felony.

Specialized WDOC community response units accompanied local law enforcement to arrest inmates who it was decided did need to return to prison to serve out the remainder of their sentence. Unsurprisingly, the legitimacy of the arrest was often challenged by the former inmates—who argued they were being asked to “bear the burden of WDOC’s error” of being released and returned again.

Specialty teams for disturbance control were placed in prison facilities around the state in the event of possible unrest, though no noticeable inmate response arose. And a public communications strategy was developed.

Following the crisis, the WDOC redeveloped its IT procedures and issued instructions requiring anyone on headquarters staff who identified an issue that impacted public safety or critical operations to immediately inform his or her supervisor.

If the issue was not addressed, they were to go directly to agency leadership.

The principal lesson drawn from the episode, according to the study, was that large public agencies must train senior staff to have the flexibility to deal with incidents that are not part of their normal crisis training.

An agency needs to “develop in its culture the alertness not to solve, but rather to recognize, a crisis emergency and quickly mobilize a non-traditional response,” authors concluded.

“Agencies ….must develop situational awareness – thinking through the broad features of the situation and what must be done.”

TCR news intern Brian Edsall contributed to writing this summary. The full journal article is available for purchase only and can be downloaded here. Journalists can obtain free access by contacting TCR Deputy Editor Victoria Mckenzie at Victoria@thecrimereport.org

from https://thecrimereport.org

You Choose: Which Criminal Justice Stories (and People) Mattered in 2017?

The Crime Report launches its seventh annual readers’ poll of the year’s most significant criminal justice stories and newsmakers. Our staff and contributors have nominated their choices. Please choose from our list, or suggest others. We’ll publish the results next week.

What were the most significant criminal justice stories and trends in the U.S. during 2017?

Which person (or persons) had the most significant impact?

For The Crime Report’s seventh annual year-end review, TCR staff, columnists and contributors have nominated news stories or developments that, in our collective judgment, have had a critical impact on the U.S. criminal justice this year—and will likely continue to resonate during 2018.

We’ve also identified a handful of “newsmakers” whose work or actions during 2017 were especially impactful.

Now we’d like to hear from you.

Since our readers are among the nation’s thought leaders in the criminal justice world—journalists, academics, practitioners, advocates—the results of our annual surveys always attract special attention. .

We think it is a constructive way of putting a complicated and often troubling year into perspective (pretty much what we try to do for each day’s news in TCR)—and we hope you agree.

Below are 15 stories/developments we’ve identified as candidates for our “Top Ten” criminal justice stories of 2017. We’ve added a brief rationale for each.

Please check up to ten.

Feel free to tell us why you made your choices. We’ll be happy to publish a selection of the best comments (anonymously if you prefer).

Similarly, please choose two newsmakers from the second list who you believe had a major impact on the U.S. criminal justice system in 2017, and/or will bear watching in 2018.

Picking a newsmaker does not, of course, mean you endorse his/her views or actions.

TCR’s Newsmaker of the Year is a recognition of that person’s impact—for good or ill—on criminal justice in 2017.

We wanted to keep the list manageable. Inevitably, some issues, newsmakers or developments that may be on your priority list are missing here. So we’ve left space for a “write-in” ballot, where you can add a story or person you think we’ve overlooked. If enough readers join you, your choice might make the final cut!

Please send in your replies by midnight Eastern Standard Time tomorrow (Friday, December 15). The final results will be published next week.

Just to refresh your memory, here are the top ten stories and top newsmakers who made TCR’s year-end list for 2016.

We look forward to hearing from you!

PLEASE CLICK ON SURVEY HERE

from https://thecrimereport.org

Death Penalty Decline Signals ‘Long-Term Change’ in Capital Punishment

With executions and death sentences at near-historic low levels so far this year, the U.S. is witnessing a “long-term change in capital punishment,” according to a report released Thursday by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC).

With executions and death sentences at near-historic low levels so far this year, the U.S. is witnessing a “long-term change in capital punishment,” according to a report released Thursday by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), a Washington, DC-based advocacy group.

The report, entitled ‘The Death Penalty in 2017,” notes that the 23 executions in 2017 were the second fewest since 1991, and the number of total imposed or projected death sentences (39) this year is the second lowest since 1972, the report said.

table

Table courtesy DPIC

“The new death sentences imposed in 2017 highlight the increasing geographic isolation and arbitrary nature of the death penalty,” said DPIC Director Robert Dunham in a press release accompanying the report.

Just three countries—Riverside, CA; Clark, NV; and Maricopa, AZ—were responsible for more than 30 percent of the death sentences levied around the country.

Nearly 75 percent of executions took place in four states: (Texas (7); Arkansas (4); Florida (3); and Alabama (3).

The report notes that Harris County, Tx., which once led the nation in the number of executions, and did not execute any prisoner or impose any death sentence this year, is symbolic of the decline.

Dunham said the declining numbers coincide with a sharp drop in public support for the death penalty across the U.S., now at 55 percent—a 45-year low.

See also: Texas  Death Row Population Down Again

Download the full report here.

Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Death Penalty Decline Signals ‘Long-Term Change’ in Capital Punishment

With executions and death sentences at near-historic low levels so far this year, the U.S. is witnessing a “long-term change in capital punishment,” according to a report released Thursday by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC).

With executions and death sentences at near-historic low levels so far this year, the U.S. is witnessing a “long-term change in capital punishment,” according to a report released Thursday by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), a Washington, DC-based advocacy group.

The report, entitled ‘The Death Penalty in 2017,” notes that the 23 executions in 2017 were the second fewest since 1991, and the number of total imposed or projected death sentences (39) this year is the second lowest since 1972, the report said.

table

Table courtesy DPIC

“The new death sentences imposed in 2017 highlight the increasing geographic isolation and arbitrary nature of the death penalty,” said DPIC Director Robert Dunham in a press release accompanying the report.

Just three countries—Riverside, CA; Clark, NV; and Maricopa, AZ—were responsible for more than 30 percent of the death sentences levied around the country.

Nearly 75 percent of executions took place in four states: (Texas (7); Arkansas (4); Florida (3); and Alabama (3).

The report notes that Harris County, Tx., which once led the nation in the number of executions, and did not execute any prisoner or impose any death sentence this year, is symbolic of the decline.

Dunham said the declining numbers coincide with a sharp drop in public support for the death penalty across the U.S., now at 55 percent—a 45-year low.

See also: Texas  Death Row Population Down Again

Download the full report here.

Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

You Choose: Which Criminal Justice Stories (and People) Mattered in 2017?

The Crime Report launches its seventh annual readers’ poll of the year’s most significant criminal justice stories and newsmakers. Our staff and contributors have nominated their choices. Please choose from our list, or suggest others. We’ll publish the results next week.

What were the most significant criminal justice stories and trends in the U.S. during 2017?

Which person (or persons) had the most significant impact?

For The Crime Report’s seventh annual year-end review, TCR staff, columnists and contributors have nominated news stories or developments that, in our collective judgment, have had a critical impact on the U.S. criminal justice this year—and will likely continue to resonate during 2018.

We’ve also identified a handful of “newsmakers” whose work or actions during 2017 were especially impactful.

Now we’d like to hear from you.

Since our readers are among the nation’s thought leaders in the criminal justice world—journalists, academics, practitioners, advocates—the results of our annual surveys always attract special attention. .

We think it is a constructive way of putting a complicated and often troubling year into perspective (pretty much what we try to do for each day’s news in TCR)—and we hope you agree.

Below are 15 stories/developments we’ve identified as candidates for our “Top Ten” criminal justice stories of 2017. We’ve added a brief rationale for each.

Please check up to ten.

Feel free to tell us why you made your choices. We’ll be happy to publish a selection of the best comments (anonymously if you prefer).

Similarly, please choose two newsmakers from the second list who you believe had a major impact on the U.S. criminal justice system in 2017, and/or will bear watching in 2018.

Picking a newsmaker does not, of course, mean you endorse his/her views or actions.

TCR’s Newsmaker of the Year is a recognition of that person’s impact—for good or ill—on criminal justice in 2017.

We wanted to keep the list manageable. Inevitably, some issues, newsmakers or developments that may be on your priority list are missing here. So we’ve left space for a “write-in” ballot, where you can add a story or person you think we’ve overlooked. If enough readers join you, your choice might make the final cut!

Please send in your replies by midnight Eastern Standard Time tomorrow (Friday, December 15). The final results will be published next week.

Just to refresh your memory, here are the top ten stories and top newsmakers who made TCR’s year-end list for 2016.

We look forward to hearing from you!

PLEASE CLICK ON SURVEY HERE

from https://thecrimereport.org

Who’s Enforcing Our Environmental Laws?

The short answer, writes an environmental attorney, is no one. The White House proposal to cut the EPA’s budget by 31 percent next year has fueled calls for states and private agencies to take on the burden of policing polluters—which he argues will have only limited impact.

Ask anyone in the industry, or check the record: No one is enforcing our environmental laws.

Whether or not that was the goal of the Trump Administration, it certainly seems to be one of the effects of its recent moves, beginning with the appointment of Scott Pruitt last year to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Pruitt was an outspoken critic of the EPA when he was Oklahoma Attorney General.

The White House earlier this year proposed a 31 percent cut in the EPA’s budget for 2018. While the budget was not slashed nearly as much as proposed, we can expect a significant decrease in the criminal enforcement of the federal environmental laws, as well as a decrease in the civil enforcement of these same laws.

Under federal law, there are supposed to be 200 EPA criminal agents (out in the field investigating environmental crimes). These agents interview people, examine documents, and perform surveillance, similar to the duties other law enforcement officers perform in the investigation of criminal activity.

That’s still only about three-quarters of what Congress has statutorily mandated. The number of EPA enforcement agents has not been at the congressionally mandated level for years. Based upon early indications, it will not reach that congressionally mandated level at all during the Trump Administration.

Recently, the Environmental Integrity Project documented the significant decline in environmental enforcement during the first six months of the Trump Administration.

Why does this matter?

Nothing compares to the power and weight that the federal government brings to a criminal investigation of a company, individual or industry.

In the pre-Trump era, criminal enforcement was an effective tool to protect our waterways, lands and forests. According to the EPA’s own statistics, during 2017, the agency had a 94 percent conviction rate and won 79 percent of the cases that went to trial.

When a search warrant is issued, charges result about 70 percent of the time. Roughly 85 percent of those who were charged were individuals, and the remainder were corporate violators. While those numbers may seem high (and they are comfortable numbers if you are a prosecutor), the percentages do not tell the whole story. The number of cases being made by the fewer and fewer criminal investigators will tend to skew the percentages.

All the same, the industry should not get too comfortable. While the likelihood of being criminally investigated by the federal government may be reduced, enforcement of state environmental criminal laws continue—but will also be less because much of the EPA budget is in the form of grants to the states for enforcement purposes.

There are also mechanisms for private party enforcement under federal environmental laws.

In states where an environmental law program has been delegated, the state shares in the opportunity to bring criminal charges. Nonetheless, state criminal enforcement of the environmental laws is almost non-existent.

This is due to a number of historical factors as well as money considerations.

For years, all environmental criminal charges had to run through the Department of Justice’s environmental and natural resources division. Not even local United States Attorneys were allowed to bring the case.

That has changed over the years. However, based in part on this historical development, the states have largely stayed out of the environmental criminal enforcement arena. The states are more apt to bring a civil enforcement action.

In most states now, though, the environmental agency is constrained by budgetary considerations and as a result, enforcement is an afterthought.

Could private, non-governmental organizations take up the slack by intensifying enforcement efforts under the citizen suit provisions of federal environmental statutes?

The major environmental statutes allow private party enforcement, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Toxic Substance Control Act. And there are few limitations on who can pursue a citizen suit.

The concept of “standing” is a hurdle (and always has been), but it is not an insurmountable hurdle. Then there is the required notice to the government and prospective defendants of the alleged violations before filing the citizen suit.

In the absence of a government response and enforcement, the citizen suit may proceed. The citizen suit plaintiff may also be allowed the recovery of its attorneys’ fees. Citizen suits are no substitute for having a robust criminal enforcement program at the federal level.

Walter James

Walter James III

Most importantly from an enforcement standpoint, no one can go to jail as a result of a citizen suit, no matter what the outcome. The citizen suit is about enforcing compliance with a statutory provision. Essentially only money, not freedom, is at stake.

Robust criminal enforcement of the environmental laws is critical.

The federal government’s ability to pursue a criminal investigation against environmental violators is just too important a tool to be abandoned or left to the states or citizens.

Congress will need to provide oversight and pass a budget for 2019 that provides for a more robust enforcement of our environmental laws. After all, the Republican Party is the party of law enforcement – right?

Walter D. James III is an attorney whose practice focuses primarily on environmental counseling and environmental litigation, which includes civil enforcement and environmental criminal defense. He welcomes comments from readers.

from https://thecrimereport.org

How We Win the Opioid War: Report

The Sentencing Project released a report Wednesday assailing the grievous lack of medical treatment for addiction in prisons and jails, hours before the newly appointed Bureau of Prisons director was scheduled to testify before the House of Representatives.

A national advocacy group released a report Wednesday assailing the grievous lack of medical treatment for addiction in prisons and jails, hours before the newly appointed Bureau of Prisons director was scheduled to testify before the House of Representatives.

opioids

Table courtesy of The Sentencing Project

 

While expanded use of drug courts helps divert people from the criminal justice system, authors of the Sentencing Project report excoriated policies that they said  limit treatment within the correctional environment, arguing that lawmakers need to get on board with evidence-based methods in the war on opioids.

The report calls on the federal Bureau of Prisons, state prisons and local jails to follow recommendations of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to increase access to medication-assisted treatment, particularly the use of substitutions such as methadone or buprenorphine.

This treatment is also backed by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the World Health Organization.

A majority of the roughly 2.2 million people incarcerated in the U.S. report having a drug addiction, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics; from 58 percent of people in state prisons, to 63 percent of those serving time in jail.

Talk therapy, support groups, and “drug education” are not enough to combat an epidemic that kills at least 91 Americans every day, according to researchers at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Decades of empirical research and the “reflections of police chiefs” show that last century’s punitive War on Drugs model was not effective in reducing either drug use or crime, according to the report.

Authors note that the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act gives us legislative tools to help close the treatment gap, but are widely under-enforced. The report emphasizes for the population at large, cutbacks to health care coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act are creating the larges barrier to treatment.

This summary was prepared by Victoria Mckenzie, Deputy Editor of The Crime Report. Click here to view the full report, Opioids: Treating an Illness, Ending a War by Ghandnoosh and Casey Anderson, Program Associate at The Sentencing Project.

 

from https://thecrimereport.org

You’re Safer in a ‘Sanctuary City,’ says New Study

A California study rebuts arguments that urban counties which limit or refuse  cooperation with immigration authorities in reporting undocumented immigrants are breeding grounds for crime. In particular, white residents of sanctuary cities are 62 percent less likely to die from gun violence than their counterparts elsewhere, the study found.

In a rebuttal to government claims that “sanctuary” cities are breeding grounds for crime driven by undocumented immigrants, a new study says that residents of areas where authorities limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities are safer from violent death.

The study by the San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) compared 2015 crime figures in 33 large central metropolitan counties where some form of sanctuary policies are in effect (including 12 who do not cooperate at all with federal immigration authorities)—representing over 50 million Americans—with 35 counties with no sanctuary policies, with some 40 million Americans.

It found that white residents in particular were 26 percent less likely to die from illicit drug overdoses; 33 percent were less likely to die from all violent causes. Moreover, some 53 percent of white residents of those counties were less likely to be victims of homicide, and 62 percent less likely to die from gun violence than their white counterparts elsewhere.

“The impact of sanctuary cities on people of color is less consistent,” noted study author Mike Males, a senior research fellow with CJCJ.

“But overall, African-American, Latino, Asian, and Native American residents generally experience greater safety in countries with at least some sanctuary policies.”

He added: “Urban sanctuary and partial sanctuary counties have more racially diverse populations and are generally safer from violent death, whether self-inflicted or by others, than urban countries without established sanctuary policies.”

Males cautioned that the figures do not prove that sanctuary policies “directly contribute” to community safety; but he said arguments that reduced cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities is associated with deadly consequences, “particularly for urban, white residents” were disproved by his findings.

Males noted that polls suggest that although half of Americans support sanctuary policies, white respondent were least likely to support them, reflecting the rhetoric promoted by the White House and the Department of Justice that undocumented immigrants were responsible for disproportionate rates of criminal activity—particularly violent crime and illicit drug trafficking—and have cost “countless innocent American lives.”

Last June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act”—which would prevent cities and states that decline to assist ICE from participating in some federal grant programs. The legislation is still pending.

Focusing on the 12 urban counties where sanctuary policies are fully in effect, Males found that rates of homicide for whites are 31 per cent lower—and gun deaths are 59 percent lower—than in the country as a whole.

Cities with full sanctuary policies include New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

Authorities in those cities often explain their refusal to provide assistance to ICE in reporting undocumented immigrants by saying it improves public safety, by reassuring residents that they can report crimes or assist police in investigations without worrying about whether their immigration status makes them vulnerable to deportation.

A complete copy of the report, along with tables, is available for downloading here.

from https://thecrimereport.org