Criminal justice

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Australia acknowledges the sacrifices of war veterans on commemorative occasions, but those who are charged with criminal offences can only hope the court shows understanding. AAP/Rebecca Le May

Burdens of war service create a strong case for a veterans' court

The creation of veterans' courts could be part of a fundamental shift to a criminal justice system that genuinely tackles the causes of crime.
Family violence is core business in our courts and an ongoing drain on our economic and social well-being. altanaka/Shutterstock

Remove the burden of family violence from the victims, to the courts

We need to support those who are subjected to family violence – mostly women and children – and this must remain our priority. But we must also intervene at the source of the problem.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The case for closing down women’s prisons

It sounds like a radical idea. Stop incarcerating women, and close down women’s prisons. But in the UK, there is a growing movement, sponsored by a peer in the House of Lords, to do just that. The argument…
Is California ready for prison reform? Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

California’s Proposition 47: softer on crime

On November 4, 2014, Californians will vote on Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. The measure would change many crimes from felonies, which generally require prison terms, to misdemeanors…
Cutting sentences would take little more than political will. Ian Nicholson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

How to reduce the prison population in one easy step

Alarm is spreading once again about the state of UK prisons, with reports that more than 15,000 assaults were committed by prisoners in 2013-14. Justice minister Chris Grayling might be quick to argue…

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