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America's over-stuffed prisons are too expensive, discriminatory against racial minorities and counter-productive. So say reformers across the political spectrum in New York, Texas and Washington, DC.  But hard-liners claim that crime is down because more criminals are behind bars. Also, New York City is ordered to change its stop and frisk policing, and last year's election and the future of presidential politics.

Banner image: Julie Tuason

Making News New York City Must Change Its 'Stop and Frisk' Policing 7 MIN, 49 SEC

Mayor Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy gets some credit for reducing crime in New York City. But today, a federal judge ruled that it violates the constitutional rights of minorities and needs to be monitored. Eugene O'Donnell, a former New York City Police officer and prosecutor, is now a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Eugene O'Donnell, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Main Topic What's Happened to America's 'Crackdown on Crime?' 35 MIN, 50 SEC

After 30 years of being "tough on crime," the US -- with 5% of the world's population -- has 25% of its prisoners, and that's very expensive. Now the crime rate is way down. Conservatives are joining liberals, demanding reduced sentences and alternatives to incarceration. Texas is one of the states where prisons are being shut down. But hard-liners warn that so-called "smart sentencing" will push the crime rate back up again. Eric Holder told the American Bar Association today that America's 30-year crackdown has produced unintended consequences, and called for reform. The Attorney General has support from some unexpected sources, including Grover Norquist, one of the most influential conservatives in Washington. We update the controversy.

Marc Levin, Right on Crime (@MarcALevin)
Scott Burns, National District Attorneys Association
Adam Gelb, Pew Center (@abgelb)
Peniel Joseph, University of Texas at Austin (@PenielJoseph)
Joan Petersilia, Stanford Criminal Justice Center

Today's Talking Point Dan Balz Discusses 'Collision' of 2012 Election 7 MIN, 28 SEC

book.jpgPresidential election campaigns have become political marathons, but last year's — from the Republican primaries until election day — seemed longer than ever, and many Americans were glad to see it come to an end. That doesn't mean it wasn't important. Dan Balz of the Washington Post is a veteran of many political campaigns, and his latest book is Collision 2012: Obama versus Romney and the Future of Elections in America.

Dan Balz, Washington Post (@danbalz)

Collision 2012

Dan Balz

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