Criminal Justice Economy

Bernie Madoff Trashes Criminal Justice Reform

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Or indirectly anyway.

The hits from the Madoff mess just keep on coming.

The newest casualty, according to the Wall Street Journal’s law blog, is the JEHT Foundation, a New York City-based philanthropy focused on juvenile and criminal justice, human rights, and election reform. Unfortunately it seems, JEHT’s major donors invested with Madoff. As a consequence, the foundation will close up shop in January.

JEHT was the primary funder for such organizations as the Texas-based Innocence Project, the Death Penalty Information Center and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, The Sentencing Project, the Vera Institute of Justice and more, says Doug Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy.

All extremely worthy and important organizations, and all to a greater or lesser degree imperiled because of one man’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

ONE GOOD NEWS NOTE in the criminal justice realm: This spring Virginia Senator Jim Webb plans to introduce legislation to reform the U.S. prison system, the retooling of which is a longstanding passion of his. And according to the Washington Post. Webb not only intends to introduce the legislation, he plans to push hard for it. Given Webb’s slightly tough-guy reputation, say friends, nobody’s going to accuse him of being soft on crime, so if anyone can get away with pushing sentencing and prison reform, it’s Jim Webb.

We’ll be watching, and cheering him on.

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NOTE: I’m half in vacation mode this morning, but will post more later today before we all take off to make New Year’s resolutions. (You are all making New Year’s resolutions are you not?).

4 Comments

  • Madoff is pronounced Made-off…As in Bernie Made-off with da $$$.
    Seems these perpetrators of white collar crimes, always done by “respectable people”, are always punished the same way by the criminal justice system…With ice cream and pumkin pie.

    The difference in how we respond to white-collar crime and “regular” crime is dramatic. 91 percent of those convicted of bank robberies go to jail while only 17 percent of those convicted of embezzlement of bank funds go to jail. Only five percent of people suspected of committing white-collar crimes are convicted. Yet only a small percent of those convicted actually went to jail.
    In da hood