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The Champion

March 2011 , Page 9 

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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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