You may have seen the "tiny house" phenomenon on TV: families or couples drastically downsize, some with the hopes of traveling the country in their new little home. Could the trend help solve homelessness in Philadelphia? We could be the next U.S. city to try it out, reporter Julia Terruso writes this morning. Something advocates hope the state won't try is a new algorithmic risk-assessment tool for sentencing. Lawmakers want to scrap the project, saying it could amplify racial biases within the criminal justice system.
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With shelters filling to capacity and close to 1,000 people in Philadelphia sleeping outside on any given night, homelessness continues to be a big problem in the city.
Could trendy tiny homes help solve it? Stephanie Sena, the founder of the Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia, says thinking small is the next big thing.
She wants to build a village of tiny houses to help the city's homeless. The idea is already being used in a half-dozen U.S. cities and has the support of Councilmembers Allan Domb and Mark Squilla.
It’s been nearly a decade since Pennsylvania legislators ordered the development of a risk-assessment algorithm that would — theoretically — make sentencing fairer, eliminate guesswork and judicial bias, and reduce incarceration.
Now reform advocates, lawyers, lawmakers, and others affected by the justice system want the Commission on Sentencing to go back to the drawing board or scrap the project altogether.
They say the latest proposed risk-assessment tool is racially biased and inaccurate, with one lawmaker likening it to faulty autocorrect on a smartphone.
A massive narcotics distribution center pumping out nearly $8 million of opioids per week from a Warminster home was busted Tuesday, with nearly a dozen people charged. Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said he intends to apply again for federal funding to combat drug trafficking as the opioid crisis continues into suburban communities.
The opioid crisis has resulted in startling news about pregnant women in Pennsylvania. According to new research, opioid use is present in one in every 51 pregnancy-related hospital stays in the state's hospitals. In 2000, that rate was just one in 329.
Today, Pennsylvanians across the state can pick up naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at dozens of locations across the state for no cost.
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“Class, as much as race, determines outcomes in the criminal justice system. Everything, from how one is treated in an interaction with police officers, to whether one is able to pay bail, to what kind of representation one can afford, is determined by our financial status." — Columnist Solomon Jones on why Philly’s new fight against white poverty should prompt help for people of color, too.