Federal justice reform poised to take off, and the news in criminal justice this week

"I think we're going to see even more lawmakers come together to push forwardŠ"

The Washington Examiner details why federal justice reform legislation is poised to take off in 2018, and why the states continue to stride forward even in the face of inaction from inside the beltway. Congress has a variety of measures that are poised for passage with bipartisan support: the time is now. 

"We have a lot to work on. This is just the beginning.² 

Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services, a new program in Pinellas County, Florida, tries to address the underlying problems that can lead teens to commit crimes. Navigators help juveniles on probation apply for social services and deal with issues of abuse, unemployment, addiction and homelessness. And across Florida, prosecutors are sending fewer children to adult court‹the state saw an 8% decline in direct files. 

³[T]he federal government has better things to focus on.²

The Justice Department rescinded prior guidance discouraging enforcement of federal marijuana laws in jurisdictions where it is legal, directing prosecutors to use their own discretion. The move creates uncertainty in D.C. and the eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Attorney General Sessions¹ memo was met with bipartisan condemnation, and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner said he was ³prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees² until the issue was resolved.  

³In crisis, there is opportunity‹and entrepreneurs have swept in.²

The New York Times goes inside the businesses profiting from America¹s opioid crisis treatment centersdrug testing facilitiessober living homes and one doctor taking on the lucrative patient referral industry.  

"The truth is that our Lady Justice is still not colorblind and her scales are still not balanced.²

In his State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo unveiled a criminal justice reform agenda for the upcoming session, seeking to eliminate cash bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, ban asset seizures unless an arrest is made, reduce trial delays, and improve the re-entry process. His proposals also include reform of the state¹s discovery process, the subject of a joint Marshall Project-New York Times investigation in August.