North Carolina Prisons See Drop in COVID Cases For Now, Delta Could Bring New Threat

By Ruthie Kesri More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, 10,000+ North Carolina prison-incarcerated people have tested positive for the virus. In the last three months though, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) has noted a striking drop in the number of cases in the prison system. “Once people were able to […]

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August 9, 2021

Wilson Center Welcomes Ben Finholt in New Role Addressing Sentencing, Racial Disparities

Ben Finholt, Director of the Just Sentencing Project, joined the Wilson Center this month. He previously worked at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services. Finholt’s work at the Wilson Center will aim to address extreme sentencing and racial disparities categorically through policy, the courts, and executive clemency, with the goal of developing a model that can be exported nationally. […]

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August 4, 2021

Newby’s Adverse Childhood Experience Task Force to Meet for First Time This Month

By Carmyn Brown Recently, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby announced a Task Force to address and study ACEs. ACEs are short for Adverse Childhood Experiences which suggests that childhood trauma and stress can lead to major illness, poor quality of life, and premature death, affecting children between the ages of 0 to […]

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August 2, 2021

Recap: Experts Discuss Mental Illness and Competency Restoration

By Sean Bennett To try a defendant who is not mentally competent to take part in their defense is a denial of legal due process. While the state is not constitutionally compelled to prove a defendant is competent, they must allow them to attempt to prove they are incompetent to stand trial. Competency to stand […]

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July 29, 2021

Medicaid Should be Used for Behavioral Health-Focused Services for Incarcerated People

By Jenna Prochnau A recent paper in Psychiatric Services co-authored by the Wilson Center’s Dr. Marvin S. Swartz explores the potential for Medicaid coverage to be used to develop and sustain peer support services for incarcerated people with mental illnesses, these are peers with shared criminal justice experience. Swartz and co-authors Dr. Andrew D. Carlo […]

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July 22, 2021

Wilson Center Project Takes Unprecedented Look Into Plea Negotiations

DURHAM, NC – In a unique partnership with the Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law, two district attorney’s offices are providing unprecedented access and information about the little-understood world of plea agreements in criminal cases. Durham County (NC) District Attorney Satana Deberry and Berkshire County (MA) District Attorney Andrea Harrington partnered with […]

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July 15, 2021

Illinois Passes Legislation Banning Police from Lying to Youth

By Annie Han Thirteen-year-old Art Tobias was convicted of murder in 2013. Witnesses said the gunman was about 20 to 30 years old, and around 200 pounds. The surveillance cameras at the scene showed a large man wearing a white shirt. Tobias was 4′ 11″, 110 pounds, and wearing a black Scooby-Doo t-shirt at the […]

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July 8, 2021

Student Post: Ketamine Use By Police Should Stop

By Annie Han Ketamine is used as an anesthetic in hospitals, as a treatment for depression, and – most dangerously – a forced sedative by the police. Star Tribune journalist Andy Mannix reported that police officers in Minneapolis direct paramedics to inject the drug into people to subdue them, often causing severe side effects such […]

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June 9, 2021