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Limited Resources May Present Unlimited Opportunities for Reform (Inside NACDL)
By Norman L. Reimer
State legislatures throughout the nation convened early this year to
face monumental budget shortfalls. This inevitable result of a long and
deep recession has extracted a heavy toll on state coffers. The pain
will be felt by core services on the state and local levels — from
education to uniformed services, from health programs to parks,
recreation and cultural institutions. The criminal justice system will
be no exception. Indeed, defense services, which are starved even in
flush times, are apt to suffer tremendously. But these are unusual
times. It just might be that intense economic pressure may jumpstart
long overdue and much-needed reforms. Groups from across the ideological
spectrum are coalescing around some key reform objectives that can
promote justice and save a bundle for taxpayers.
NACDL members know that for years this organization has decried
overcriminalization in all realms of the criminal justice system, from
massive injustice in the natio
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