SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Rubin, A. T. (2018). The prehistory of innovation: A longer view of penal change. Punishment & Society, 20, 192–216.

Abstract: New penal technologies, however innovative, rarely emerge fully formed, but we currently lack a theoretical appreciation of the lengthy, messy process by which penal innovations develop. Indeed, most studies of penal change focus on the conditions surrounding the emergence of a particularly successful innovation, a model of punishment whose widespread diffusion is indicative of significant change. This paper extends our analytical focus by examining the legacy of an innovation’s prehistory, the ideational period in which an idea is created at the margins of criminal justice before manifesting on a wider scale. This paper traces the history, and influence, of American uses of penal incarceration before Pennsylvania’s famous Walnut Street Prison, often referred to as the country’s first prison. This prehistory complicates the notion of innovation by identifying significant precursors. Ultimately, recognizing penal innovations’ prehistory challenges macro-level theories of penal change, which largely overlook those causes that significantly predate the “moment” of innovation.

Journal Article 2: Worden, A. P., Morgan, K. A., Shteynberg, R. V., & Davies A. L. B. (2018). What difference does a lawyer make? Impacts of early counsel on misdemeanor bail decisions and outcomes in rural and small town courts. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29, 710–735.

Abstract: Recent court decisions and state legislation have highlighted the significance of ensuring that criminal defendants are represented by counsel at their first appearances in court, where judges make critical decisions on pretrial release, bail, and detention. Yet many jurisdictions do not routinely provide counsel to indigent defendants at this stage. We hypothesize that when defendants are represented by counsel at first appearance (CAFA), they are more likely to be released on recognizance, are less likely to have high bail set, and are consequently less likely to be jailed pending disposition. We explore the impact of lawyers’ presence by comparing pretrial decisions and bail outcomes across samples of misdemeanor cases in three rural counties in upstate New York: cases with and without CAFA. We find that these counties saw shifts in decisions or outcomes. We consider the implications of these findings for future research, court practices, and public policy.