Japan’s First Plea Bargain Raises Questions, Comparisons

In the U.S., the majority of criminal cases are resolved via a plea bargain  — a practice that has been in place for decades. Plea bargains aren’t globally ubiquitous, however; Japan only introduced the method in June 2018 for matters involving bribery and/or organized crime, and the nation’s first case to be resolved via plea bargain made headlines in mid-July.… [Read more]

The Stats Are In: The Criminal Justice System Needs More Data

You can never truly tell how well a system works if you don’t have the statistics to back it up. Unfortunately, one of the most important systems in the United States is severely lacking in usable data: the criminal justice system. We may know the “what” of crimes, but very little is known on the more important “why.”

At a time where people are demanding more transparency from companies and their government, the call is even stronger when it comes to the criminal justice system.… [Read more]

How the Scared Straight Program Works for Troubled Teens

Teens who get into legal trouble often have more options than adults. Fortunately, there are many different kinds of social service organizations that can help younger teenagers before their habits, and crimes, venture into dangerous territory. Under numerous names, the so-called “scared straight” programs operating in the U.S. have been shown to be effective and popular among young criminal defendants.… [Read more]

Is This Disneyland, Or Am I In Prison?

No country has more faith in the power of an adorable mascot than Japan. Their talisman-like powers have been employed in almost every walk of life: museums, theme parks, tourist attractions, festivals, and even whole cities. What is it about these mascots that make it appropriate for them to be as superfluous in a society as dedicated to serious work as Japan?… [Read more]

A Little Story About Criminal Justice Reform

We have to ask, why the sudden push for criminal justice reform? Is there a new concern for those being incarcerated? Please forgive the cynicism but I think not. Maybe it’s because prison business is no longer profitable.

Imagine that a group entrepreneurs got together to come up with the next “big” business idea.  Imagine the conversation goes as follows:

Entrepreneur # 1: “We need to build something that’s going to last and has a constant supply of free resources. … [Read more]