Why Crime, Justice & America magazine?
|Posted on June 14th, 2015 by Admin istrator|
Crime, Justice & America magazine
In 2013, the FBI estimated that 11,302,102 arrests occurred nationwide for all offenses (except traffic). At year end 2013, there were roughly 2,300,000 people incarcerated in Federal, State, private, and local jail facilities. As of mid-year 2014, 744,600 inmates were being held in local jail facilities, of which 60% were awaiting court action on their pending charges. When you include people on parole and probation, the total correctional population in America at year- end 2013 was approximately 6,890,000. The numbers are staggering.
In the criminal justice system, there is an obvious lack of available information, beginning with the arrest procedures, pre-trial release options, incarceration issues, through court proceedings and prison term issues. Legal representation provides one avenue, although not readily accessible. Jail law libraries provide limited research capabilities, but not the knowledge of areas to research. Most participants do not know the questions to ask; therefore the criminal justice system carries them along the traditional path without their active involvement. Simply stated, most participants do not understand what is happening at the moment, let alone their options, nor the future ramifications of possible outcomes (see Reader’s quotes). There is no single source which can provide information about the criminal justice system, ranging from time of arrest, court procedures, past case examples, adjudication options, to prison preparation, rehabilitation success stories, crime prevention, personal growth, life after prison, and general interest features. Until Crime, Justice & America.
Crime, Justice & America, a quarterly 36-40 page mainstream magazine about the criminal justice system, is distributed free to the county inmates in currently dozens of counties across 21 state such as California, Oregon, Washington State, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, etc. Since 2002, we have published 16 different editions and over 1,300,000 copies. Crime, Justice & America magazine has provided not just desired, but sorely needed information to the newly arrested in the local criminal justice systems.
Better education means better justice. Better education means a higher standard for government to insure proper prosecution and incarceration. Better education means reduced recidivism, and in turn, less financial burden on society.
Distribution of Information
Given the daily inflow and outflow of inmates into the criminal justice system, each week Crime, Justice & America provides the jail facilities with a quantity of magazines equal to roughly 10% of the current jail population. Whether a direct supervision type facility or a linear type facility, the distribution of the magazine is easily achieved, with minimal resource allocation, by placing small stacks in the mods/pods (direct supervision type) or into the day rooms (linear type) once each week, usually concomitant with the distribution of the local daily newspapers into those same areas. Over a period of weeks, all inmates will have access to the local edition, designed specifically for that county, either personally or via the pass-around effect, and the quantity does not impact the facility with either waste issues or resource issues, or in any other manner. It’s a very effective means of distribution. In the rare case where the jail facility requires Crime, Justice & America magazine to individually label the magazines to the inmates (<10% of current facilities), the Public Records Act/ Freedom of Information Act or the County jail website is used to obtain a complete in-custody list of inmates and once again, 10% of the jail population is reached each week utilizing the USPS Bulk Mail Delivery Destination Unit High Density rate.
As previously mentioned, Crime, Justice & America has published 17 different editions, over 1,300,000 copies since 2002, and at present, distributes or is authorized to distribute into 115 county jail facilities across 21 states. Beginning in Los Angeles County in 2002, CJA currently distributes into dozens of county jail facilities in California, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona, Florida, etc. and plans to expand into 47 states in 2015-2016. The past 13 years have provided substantial information proving the value of the publication to the readers, the lack of available criminal justice information, and the desire to continue receiving our information (see Reader’s quotes). Several different distribution methods were tested and analyzed (i.e., delivery to inmate home addresses, lobbies of law enforcement facilities, and even using local personnel to hand-out copies at the courthouse and jail facilities), and the best reader response, by far, was achieved by distribution inside the jail facilities. Given the ease of distribution, and one centralized distribution point for internal jail distribution, all other distribution methods were discontinued.
The past 13 years have also allowed CJA to refine the editorial content of the magazine to insure wide ranging readership. The editorial philosophy pervasive in each article will answer the “why” rather than just providing information on the “who, what, where, and how”. As defined by the magazine industry, Crime Justice & America is a special interest magazine. Magazine industry consultant, James B. Kobak, states “far and away the major reason for a magazine’s success is the field it covers”. Considering the enormous interest in the criminal justice field as evidenced by other media, and the inclusion of criminal justice articles by magazines from other fields, we have a vast array of topics to present within the local scope to continually wet the appetite of the reader. Features, columns, and articles are included that speak to many different groups interested in the criminal justice system. Of course, the pre-trial and post-conviction inmates value CJA for our pertinent features and regular columns such as “Criminal Law 101” and “Ask a Lawyer”. We include crime prevention articles, analysis of current issues, and in-depth interviews with industry experts to provide education about problem areas. Law enforcement and corrections personnel enjoy the articles from the general industry perspective, and the in-depth coverage as opposed to newspaper coverage. However, by far, the group that benefits the most is the person (inmate) entering a foreign world (the criminal justice system) with very limited available information, or even no information about their future situation, and how they can educate themselves and prepare for that future.
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