MORE ELECTION NEWS: How some initiatives played out around the U.S.

JPI’s Presidential Justice Poll results are in! We asked who you thought would be the better President on criminal justice reform issues based on their campaign platforms, prior work on issues concerning sentencing, privatization and juvenile justice.

The results report that slightly over two-thirds of respondents believe that President Obama would be better on justice reform over the next four years.

People from Alaska and Arkansas to both Washingtons (the State and the District of Columbia) also took the time to share their comments.  And it’s clear that many believe that the President could do much more for justice reform in the next four years than he has to date; some were frustrated that neither candidate saw justice reform as a key issue.

Some comments:

·  “Neither parties are poised or interested to go against the capitalist machine that drives prison industrial complex as they are effective apparatuses of it.”

·  “It takes political courage to find alternatives to incarceration that holds people accountable for their crimes, helps people repair broken lives, and makes the prevention of crime a national initiative.”

·  “For three debates prison was not mentioned once by either candidate. The biggest prison population in human history, the history of the species, and not a word. And, not a word from the media. What choice?”

To read ALL comments, please visit

Comments have not been edited.     

While we can’t speak for what President Obama will do with his next four years, we at JPI will continue to provide the cutting-edge research and advocacy needed to continue to reduce our country’s reliance on incarceration and the justice system

Changing the Landscape for Criminal Justice:
Reform Legislation Included on Ballots Throughout the US 

Legalization of Marijuana (WA, CO)  

We recognize the historical significance of Colorado and Washington becoming the first states in the country to legalize marijuana. We agree with Drug Policy Alliance director, Ethan Nadelmann, who points out,”This is now a mainstream issue, with citizens more or less divided on the issue but increasingly inclined to favor responsible regulation of marijuana over costly and ineffective prohibitionist policies.” These major reforms lay the groundwork for policies that we hope to see replicated throughout the rest of the country, which will significantly reduce incarceration rates that are disproportionately resultant of low-level drug arrests.

Three Strikes and Death Penalty (National, CA)

Proposition 36 passed on Tuesday. As a result judges can consider context of the crime committed, now,  a sentence of 25 years to life will only be issued if the third felony conviction is serious or violent. It’s hard to estimate so soon after the passage of Prop 36, but millions will be saved with the possibility of reinvestment in programs that can create conditions for people to make positive and productive choices.

In California Proposition 34 failed, that is, the use of capital punishment has been defeated by California’s popular vote. If passed the death penalty would have been replaced by life in prison without the possibility of parole.

No to Death With Dignity, Yes to Marijuana, No to GMO Disclosure: The Public Health Results
How the most contested health questions on state ballots played out
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Decision made yesterday by voters will have profound implications for public health. Here are the results from the biggest issues that were considered.


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