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Criminal (In)justice

Problems with police, prosecutors and courts have people asking: is our criminal justice system broken? University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris interviews the people who know the system best, and hears their best ideas for fixing it. Criminal (In)justice is an independent production created in partnership with 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR News Station.
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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 29, 2016

There was a lot of talk about New York's controversial stop-and-frisk policy in Monday's presidential debate -- much of it incorrect. Republican nominee Donald Trump was called out for spreading misinformation, but he wasn't the only one who got something wrong.

Find more at criminalinjusticepodcast.com.

Sep 27, 2016

Police departments in the U.S. are under scrutiny like never before. Calls for change are the only constant. So how does a police chief lead a department in this climate? And what’s most important as we look forward, two years after Ferguson?

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay came to the job in 2014 with 30 years of experience. He's trained police for leadership roles and talks to us about the challenges of one of the toughest jobs imaginable: building and leading a 21st century police department.

Find more at criminalinjusticepodcast.com.

Sep 22, 2016

A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice projects an uptick in U.S. murder rates by the end of 2016. But, as host David Harris cautions, the data paint an incomplete picture of a complicated situation. 

Find more at criminalinjusticepodcast.com.

Sep 20, 2016

We see it over and over: police officers confront a person in the throes of mental illness. Some of these people may be dangerous; most are not violent, but they are confused, disturbed, and not acting rationally. Police officers are trained for a different job: detecting and preventing crime and disorder, and too often, things go terribly wrong, resulting in violence and even the death of a person with a mental illness. 

There’s a new way to deal with this chronic problem: training for police officers using the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) approach.

Master Police Officer Patricia Poloka of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police explains more.

Find us online at criminalinjusticepodcast.com.

Sep 16, 2016

In a followup to our first episode on the promise and pitfalls of police-worn body cameras, we look at some of the unexpected problems that have arisen in cities that have adopted the technology over the last year.

Find more at criminalinjusticepodcast.com.

Sep 13, 2016

The prosecutor sits in a powerful position in the American criminal justice system, deciding who to charge and with what, and wielding significant discretion.

Some prosecutors use this power to focus narrowly on crime, but San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon uses his office to attempt to better the system, increase public safety, and make his city a stronger community.

He explains “Neighborhood Courts” and the merits of a “Behavioral Health Justice Center.”

Find more at criminalinjusticepodcast.com.

Sep 6, 2016

The U.S. is the land of due process and constitutional rights. So how do police get the right to seize the property of citizens without criminal convictions, often without even criminal charges? The answer is civil asset forfeiture: an old tool designed to take away the ill-gotten gains of big-time criminals – but it’s morphed into a way for police departments to seize money and property from regular people and keep it to fund their own operations.

Guest Angela Erickson is with the Institute for Justice.

Find more at criminalinjusticepodcast.com.

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