The Independent Institute

 
        

The Case for Victim Justice »

For elected officials eager to find a real problem to fix, here’s a big one that’s seldom mentioned during campaign season: American courts and prisons are plagued with injustices and inefficiencies. One of the main culprits, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Bruce L. Benson, is their guiding principle: an emphasis on offenses against...
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Do Private Prisons Make Financial Sense for States? »

Most states use contract prisons for some of their corrections needs, often in the hope of saving money, but is contracting out really all that worthwhile for states? The current debate about prisons and the private sector has often generated more heat than light. Fortunately, a new study from the Independent Institute answers the...
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Troubling Public Opinion Trends for Gun Rights and Civil Liberties »

On how to respond to mass shootings and violent crime, the public opinion trends frighten me, especially when broken down by political identification. Predictably, Democrats are in favor of gun control by wider margins than Republicans. But still, 92% of Republicans favor universal background checks, which I consider as bad a proposal as any...
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The War on Drugs Is “The New Jim Crow” »

Here is some reading to celebrate Martin Luther King Day: Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I confess up front I have not read the book. I’ve just read some things about it. Here is a short write-up from the author’s interview on NPR. The book...
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Rethinking California’s Prisons »

A three-judge panel has tentatively ruled that “[t]he California prison system must reduce overcrowding by as many as 55,000 inmates within three years to provide a constitutional level of medical and mental health care,” according to the New York Times. Taxpayers rightly resent the price tag of the prison system, and many might understandably...
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The Failure of Prisons »

From Reuters: The number of Americans in prison has risen eight-fold since 1970, with little impact on crime but at great cost to taxpayers and society, researchers said in a report calling for a major justice-system overhaul. The report released on Monday cites statistics and examples ranging from former vice-presidential aide Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby...
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