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North Carolina Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): Considerations for Optimizing Eligibility and Referral

This study used mixed-methods data collection and both quantitative and qualitative analyses to evaluate policy, program and practice implications in NC LEAD programs. By Allison R. Gilbert, Reah Siegel, Michele M. Easter, Meret S. Hofer, Josie Caves Sivaraman, Deniz Ariturk, Jeffrey W. Swanson, Marvin S. Swartz, Ruth Wygle & Grace Feng — Law and Contemporary Problems (2023)

Behavioral Health Needs

March 21, 2023

Understanding Plea Bargaining in a New Progressive DA’s Office: How Line Prosecutors Understand and Implement Progressive Goals Through Plea Decisions

This study involved qualitative interviews with all the assistant district attorneys (ADAs, N = 19) in a mid-sized office with a newly elected progressive DA. Interviews discussed how ADAs implemented office policies and progressive goals in plea bargaining. Prosecutors described working to implement five main progressive goals in their plea decisions: (a) dismissing low-level drug possession charges; (b) avoiding over-penalization, particularly for “victimless” crimes; (c) declining to prosecute weak cases; (d) encouraging open communication with defense; and (e) promoting racial equity. Prosecutors’ descriptions of how these goals guided case decisions illuminate how progressive prosecution may affect the criminal justice system through plea bargaining. By: Catherine A. Grodensky William E. Crozier Elizabeth J. Gifford Brandon L. Garrett — Criminal Justice and Behavior (2023)

Policing and Behavioral Health Conditions

This editorial essay opens the special issue of Law and Contemporary Problems guest edited by Jeffrey Swanson, Marvin Swartz and Brandon Garrett (2023).

Behavioral Health Needs

Gun Violence in Durham, NC, 2017-2021: Investigation and Court Processing of Fatal and Nonfatal Shootings

This report, conducted in collaboaration with the Sanford School of Public Policy analyzes the Durham Police Department’s recent performance in investigating shootings, both fatal and nonfatal. (2023)

Accuracy of Evidence in Criminal Cases

Monitoring Pretrial Reform In Harris County: Sixth Report Of The Court-Appointed Monitor

Wilson Center Faculty Director Brandon Garrett serves as independent monitor for the landmark federal bail reform settlement in Harris County, TX. This first report by the monitor team describes the first three years of work evaluating the implementation of the misdemeanor bail reforms in Harris County, Texas. (2023)

Equity in Criminal Outcomes

March 1, 2023

North Carolina v. Price

This amicus brief argues that a non-independent, “surrogate” expert witness violates Rule 703 of the North Carolina Rules of Evidence and the Confrontation clause of the sixth amendment when they simply parrot or read language of the original analyst report.

Accuracy of Evidence in Criminal Cases

January 27, 2023

Plea Tracking in the Durham County District Attorney’s Office

The Wilson Center and the Durham County District Attorney’s Office conducted a collaborative, data-driven effort to better understand the plea negotiation process. This report describes data on 325 felony cases that were entered into the tracker over 249 business days, from April 12, 2021, to April 12, 2022. (2023)

Equity in Criminal Outcomes

January 21, 2023

The Law and Science of Eyewitness Identifications

This article examines how legal actors—state and federal courts, state lawmakers, and police agencies—have responded to research on eyewitness evidence. Thomas Albright & Brandon L. Garrett, The Law and Science of Eyewitness Evidence, 102 Boston Univ. L. Rev. 511 (2022).

Accuracy of Evidence in Criminal Cases

December 15, 2022

Viral Injustice

This article takes a comprehensive look at the decisional law growing out of COVID-19 detainee litigation and situates the judicial response as part of a comprehensive institutional failure. Brandon L. Garrett & Lee Kovarsky, Viral Injustice, 110 Calif. L. Rev. 117 (2022).

Equity in Criminal Outcomes

Driver’s License Suspension in North Carolina

A fact sheet on Driver’s License Suspension in North Carolina