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Departing AG Limits DOJ Consent Decrees

Shortly before resigning his post, as requested by President Trump, ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued guidelines for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to follow when seeking consent decrees with police departments or other units of state or local government. The likely result will be to keep DOJ out of state and local law enforcement investigations,

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Justice Department Maps New Course on Forensic Science Review

  Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced April 10 the Department of Justice (DOJ) will not renew an Obama-created advisory panel which has been studying ways to improve forensic science for four years. Instead, DOJ says it plans a series of different steps to bring responsibility for policymaking inside the Department of Justice. The National Commission

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Grassley Prods Silent BOP on Remedies for Wrong Release Dates

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) is demanding answers from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on why it hasn’t acted on recommendations made last May by the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general to reduce incorrect incarceration release dates. First, a little history: Jermaine Hickman, convicted in 2007 of bank robbery, was supposed to

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AG Sessions Says Private Prisons Are Back in Business with BOP

Well, that didn’t last long. You’ll remember the fanfare with which the Obama administration last Aug. 18 announced its plan to phase out all use of private-run prisons by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The campaign was kicked off a week earlier with the unveiling of a study from the DOJ Inspector General, which

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DOJ Inspector General Identifies Challenges for Federal Prisons

What are the biggest challenges facing the Department of Justice in 2017? Michael Horowitz, the DOJ’s inspector general, gave his views on that question late last year, in a report titled Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice, released on Nov. 11. Required annually by law, the report does not break new

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DOJ, ABA: Financial Bail System Is Unconstitutional, Bad Policy

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the American Bar Association (ABA) have each submitted amicus curiae “friend of court” briefs in a class-action lawsuit that attacks the bail system used by the city of Calhoun, Georgia. The case of Walker v. City of Calhoun began on September 3, 2015, when Maurice Walker, an unemployed

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DOJ’s Private Prison Phaseout Has Complex Roots

Part II: How the Policy Came About and Will It Last? Read Part I: What DOJ and the Bureau of Prisons Have Planned By Christopher Zoukis In a blog last week, I summarized the Department of Justice’s August 18 announcement it plans to stop sending federal inmates to privately-owned prisons. Now, let’s look at the

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DOJ Inspector General: Sentences Miscalculated for Thousands

A recent report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) federal watchdog says mistakes resulted in incorrect amounts of prison time being served by more than 4,000 federal prisoners during the six years between 2009 and 2014. The 41-page report, “Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Untimely Releases of Inmates,” issued on May 24, examined

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