Week in Review: April 4th 2016

The past week has seen nationwide interest in issues relevant to criminal justice policies and reform, civil rights, restrictions on government, and precedent-making news where minimum wage policies are concerned. Read more to learn about these issues in this rendition of our weekly review!

FBI Drops Fight with Apple over Accessing Terrorist’s Phone

In a major reversal, federal prosecutors on Monday said they have asked a federal judge to vacate an order that would have forced Apple to help unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters. The move comes a week after officials announced a "third party" had come forward to help investigators unlock the phone without help from the computer giant.


Report finds flaws in L.A. County's system for defending children accused of crimes

The researchers looked at the juvenile defense systems in 10 other large counties, including Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino, and found that Los Angeles is the only one that pays attorneys a flat per-case fee. In other counties, attorneys representing minors accused of crimes were paid a salary or hourly rate, or were paid a flat fee that varied based on the type of case and how much work was involved.


President Obama Leads an Emotional Panel, Prioritizes Tackling Opioid Epidemic

The president came to Atlanta to participate in the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit at a time when Americans are overdosing from prescription opioids and heroin in record numbers. Obama has made the nation’s heroin and prescription drug epidemic a priority in his second term, and the scourge has been one of the few areas in which the White House has been able to draw bipartisan support from Congress.


What is Life Like For Prisoners After Their Sentences Are Commuted?

Past data show that prisoners who were released under previous changes did not fall back into a life of crime at above average rates, but anecdotally, their lives are a constant struggle.


Governor Brown Visits LA to Sign Minimum Wage Bill Into Law

Gov. Jerry Brown's bill signing on Monday, and a similar effort in New York, mark the most ambitious moves yet to close the national divide between rich and poor. Experts say other states may follow, given Congress' reluctance to act despite entreaties from President Barack Obama.