Is Criminal Justice Reform Another Victim of Last Week's Tragic Events?
Date:  07-10-2016

The Marshall Project reports on why reform measures may now be "under siege"
From The Marshall Project July 8, 2016:

When five police officers were shot and killed in Dallas on Thursday, with seven others wounded, the sniper fire threatened to leave another casualty: the campaign to reform policing, sentencing and other criminal justice practices, according to interviews with advocates, experts, and law enforcement officials.

In the world of criminal justice, pushes for change can be diverted or stalled by major news events. In recent days, the shooting of two black men by police — captured on video — mobilized demonstrations across the country, demanding police be held more accountable for violent encounters with black civilians. But the sniper killings of five officers in Dallas seems to have stiffened the opposition to reforms. With legislation to reduce prison terms for some crimes stalled by election-year politics and efforts to repair police-community relations moving slowly, leaders across the political spectrum are watching to see if such efforts can survive this heated moment. “Police reform is not dead,” insisted Laurie O. Robinson, co-chair of the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing and a former assistant attorney general in the

Obama and Clinton administrations. The task force, which was created following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson two years ago, urges departments to encourage officers to act more like “guardians” and less like “warriors,” particularly in communities of color. “Building, or rebuilding that trust — that is the question,” Robinson said. “I am an optimist. And I believe that it can be done. But it’s going to take some very hard work. And that has to happen on the ground, it can’t be imposed from the outside.” Read the complete article here.