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Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform Demands Political Leadership, Not Editorials

David Rothenberg | Posted 05.22.2015 | Crime
David Rothenberg

Across the nation, there has been a recent barrage of media reports, in progressive as well as conservative publications, advocating and applauding reforms in the criminal justice system.

Real Criminal Justice Reform Requires Listening to Those Most Commonly Impacted by Crime

Lenore Anderson | Posted 05.22.2015 | Crime
Lenore Anderson

Growing political unity on the Left and Right on the need for criminal justice reform is an important development. But if bipartisanship fails to incorporate the experiences and voices of those previously ignored, it won't lead to the breakthrough we need.

It's Outrageous: Jails and Prisons Are No Place to Treat Mental Illness; Just Ask Paton Blough

Mary Giliberti | Posted 05.21.2015 | Politics
Mary Giliberti

There is no one solution to the horrors presented in the Callous and Cruel report, but the prescription includes getting people living with mental illness the right help in their communities before the criminal justice system ever gets involved. It includes providing the right kind of treatment and supports in jails or prisons.

The Apology Letter (a Letter to the Man I Murdered)

Shaka Senghor | Posted 05.12.2015 | Impact
Shaka Senghor

Every time I thought back to that fateful night, I found myself asking the question, "Why didn't I just walk away?"

Bill Clinton: I Support Hillary's Efforts To Change My Criminal Justice Policies

The Huffington Post | Sam Levine | Posted 05.07.2015 | Politics

Former President Bill Clinton thinks it's a good thing that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is breaking from his criminal justice po...

Mitt Romney Says Hillary Clinton Politicized Baltimore Tragedy To Get Support From The Black Community

The Huffington Post | Amber Ferguson | Posted 05.04.2015 | Politics

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor, said 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's remark...

Democrats Renew Call to Reform, Justice and Investment in Our Communities

Christine Pelosi | Posted 05.02.2015 | Politics
Christine Pelosi

So when I read about Freddie Gray, it brought the fight for change into focus. Yes, I can blog and tweet and march and hashtag -- and I will -- but as a political organizer by heart and habit, I believe my calling is to insist that the candidates I support take action to create jobs and justice.

Why Do We March? For Equal Protection and Absolute Justice

Tamika D. Mallory | Posted 04.29.2015 | DC
Tamika D. Mallory

Over the course of a week we limped and ran, marching through rain or shine, and found ourselves approached with both solidarity and vitriol by the cars who passed our caravan on the highways.

Kate Abbey-Lambertz

Senator Pushes Criminal Justice Reform Bill After Baltimore Riots | Kate Abbey-Lambertz | Posted 04.30.2015 | Politics

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) introduced a bill Tuesday that he said would be a preliminary step towards overhauling the criminal justice system in the w...

Bill Clinton: 'We Have Overshot The Mark' On Incarceration

The Huffington Post | Mollie Reilly | Posted 04.28.2015 | Politics

Former President Bill Clinton is urging politicians to take a stand on criminal justice reform and take concrete steps toward reducing the country's p...

Rand Paul Blames 'Lack Of Fathers' For Baltimore Protests

The Huffington Post | Marina Fang | Posted 04.28.2015 | Politics

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) spoke out on the protests surrounding the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, linking the violence to a "lack of fathers" in an...

Why We Need Independent Prosecutors

William Lynch III | Posted 04.27.2015 | Crime
William Lynch III

Clearly the South Carolina Supreme Court did the right thing by assigning a special prosecutor to the Walter Scott case. And if South Carolina can do it, then the rest of the nation can do the same.

This Mom Saw Her Husband Sent to Jail. So She Went to Law School to Reform System.

Jessica Jackson | Posted 04.17.2015 | Impact
Jessica Jackson

My husband was taken out of the courtroom that day and sent to a diagnostic facility, where we would be unable to have any contact with him for the first six weeks of his incarceration. Not knowing anything about prisons besides what I'd seen on television, I imagined the worst. I lay in bed terrified at night, kept awake with worry, wondering if I would get a call telling me he'd been hurt or possibly worse.

Over-Policed and Underserved

Timothy P. Silard | Posted 04.16.2015 | Politics
Timothy P. Silard

Contrary to the myth we've been sold that more police, and more jails and prisons, are the best or only way to keep us safe, the real solutions to community safety lie in the things that make for thriving neighborhoods.

Here's the Issue That Even the ACLU & the Koch Brothers Agree Upon

Pat Nolan | Posted 04.16.2015 | Impact
Pat Nolan

As the prison population soared, conservatives chafed at the waste of human potential and increasing cost of the prison bureaucracy. They were frustrated that so little was being done to prepare inmates for their release, and they were appalled at the overcrowded conditions, violence and rape, and the lack of medical care, drug treatment and mental-health services. Conservatives joined with liberals in backing such important reforms as the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the Second Chance Act and the Fair Sentencing Act.

Booker: Justice appears to have gone missing from the criminal-justice equation

Cory Booker | Posted 04.16.2015 | Impact
Cory Booker

In the United States, African Americans are far more likely to be arrested for selling or possessing drugs, even though studies have shown that African Americans and whites use drugs at the same rate, and whites are actually more likely to sell drugs.

Community Power: Rallying to Close a Notorious D.C. Youth Detention Center

Liz Ryan | Posted 04.15.2015 | Impact
Liz Ryan

The reform effort succeeded in many ways. D.C. has dramatically reduced its reliance on incarceration and is instead utilizing a network of community-based, non-residential alternatives to incarceration for young people in the juvenile-justice system. Youth-reoffending rates have gone down substantially. The reform has been so successful that the District's juvenile-justice system is used to showcase how to transform a juvenile-justice system for national, state and local officials.

Why I Favor Drug Legalization

Laura Weiss | Posted 04.14.2015 | Politics
Laura Weiss

Drug-related incarceration has little to do with the risks of recreational drug use, and everything to do with keeping the systems in place that fuel violence, systemic racism, the cycle of poverty, and the prison pipeline.

Here's an Issue That, Surprisingly, Republicans and Democrats Are Agreeing on

Grover Norquist | Posted 04.14.2015 | Impact
Grover Norquist

Conservatives laugh at those who equate spending more on "education" with actually educating children. And yet they made that -- spending more equals progress -- assumption in judging the criminal-justice system.

Juvenile Justice in America: We Can Do Better

Cara H. Drinan | Posted 04.13.2015 | Crime
Cara H. Drinan

Today the United States is an international outlier in the severity of its juvenile sentencing practices.

Gingrich: The corrections system's failure to correct has led us to injustice

Newt Gingrich | Posted 04.13.2015 | Impact
Newt Gingrich

It's only fair to recognize the difference between young- and full-grown adults in sentencing, just as we draw a distinction between juveniles and adults. People who commit offenses before their capacities are fully formed deserve a second chance -- an opportunity for a parole hearing if they mature, rehabilitate, and pay serious restitution to their victims and to the community.

This State's Governor Is Leading the Way in Criminal-Justice Reform

Nathan Deal | Posted 04.13.2015 | Impact
Nathan Deal

Approximately 70 percent of Georgia's inmates don't have a high school diploma. If their lack of an education is not addressed during their incarceration, when they re-enter society they have a felony on their record but no job skills on their résumé. An ex-con with no hope of gainful employment is a danger to everyone. This is why we're working to help get these individuals into a job. Our prisons have always been schools. In the past, the inmates have learned how to become better criminals.

This Re-Entry Program Houses College Students with Ex-Cons

Jean DeWinter | Posted 04.10.2015 | Impact
Jean DeWinter

At the South Bend, Indiana, Dismas house, male and female residents live in a century-old home adjacent to downtown. Residents are ex-offenders, as well as college students from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University at South Bend, or other local colleges. Only 16 residents can live in the house at one time, allowing more personal one-on-one interaction and mentoring. It is in this mentoring that the task of empowering former offenders to find the strength within themselves to be productive members of society begins.

This Prisoner Endures Loss of Dignity -- and Strip Searches -- to Get a Degree

Timothy Nash | Posted 04.10.2015 | Impact
Timothy Nash

On countless occasions, I have been strip-searched and made to get completely naked outside for all to see, because two inmates got into a fight on the opposite side of the yard. Strip searches are supposed to be utilized if staff has a reason to believe an inmate is hiding dangerous contraband on their person. However, staff routinely use strip searches as a form of humiliation or intimidation, stripping away not just an inmate's clothes, but their dignity, as well. Furthermore, inmates are stripped of their personal identity and relegated to a number.

If You're Black, This City's Status as Liberal Bastion Is Just a Myth

Savion Castro | Posted 04.09.2015 | Impact
Savion Castro

Despite making up only 10% of Madison, Wisconsin's population ages 12-17, Black youth make up 60% of the detention-facility population; black youth are six times more likely to be arrested than white youth, compared to a 2:1 national ratio. The point here is that Madison isn't some national outlier regarding these statistics, but proof that even the most "progressive" of places are not immune from a criminal-justice system that is archaic, ineffective, and most of all, unjust. It prioritizes retribution over redemption, punishes poverty, and bars too many from reaching future success.