Almost two years ago, Kenneth Thompson was running to become Brooklyn's District Attorney. Not only did Mr. Thompson promise to be hard on crime, he also promised to reexamine the cases of those who claimed to be innocent. Mr. Thompson eventually won, and, true to his word, his office has reviewed a large number of cases.
As a person of color who is committed to assuring that marginalized communities have access to and receive a fair share of the bounty of the richest nation in the world, I wonder what "progressive" truly means. My speculation is not only political but theological/religious as well.
The opportunity and ability to turn one's life around is a fundamental principle of justice and of the American Dream. Unfortunately, it seems this principle of American values has gone missing from our broken justice system. Fixing the way inmates interact with the outside world is an important step in restoring it.
The mayor's election is officially non-partisan, but Hayward is a Republican and can sound like the pro-business CEO he was: "We are a first class city that will compete regionally, nationally, and internationally for jobs, investment, and talent," he says, explaining that he sees his constituents as shareholders in the future of his city. Move over Donald Trump!
There is a common conservative narrative that the disproportionate incarceration of black people is not the result of systemic racism, but rather of shortcomings within the black community.This "fact" is used to justify a belief that a "culture of violence" is to blame for problems faced by black people in America.
An ideal corrections program focuses first on keeping the public safe. Public safety depends on crime prevention, which means that an effective corrections program is one that isn't simply punitive, but is transformative, aimed at stopping the cycle of crime.
I hope that when we reach success, when a federal bill to reform the criminal justice system is signed into law, when states and the federal government celebrate a major reduction in incarceration, when there are substantial reforms in police practices.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the world's leading peace and justice advocates, has called Bryan Stevenson "America's Nelson Mandela." He has gotten innocent men off death row, successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times, including to ban "death sentences."
Arrested, cuffed and booked, I was close enough to share the same breath as the lower depths of modern day America. Child molesters. Rapists. Murderers. Nazis. Gangbangers. Drug dealers. Thieves. Recidivists. Taxpayers. Voters. Citizens. People who were just like you and me.
As a black male in Chicago, I find it hard for one to argue that the criminal justice system has not been used unfairly and unjustly to discriminate against black people and to outcast them from society.
The recent spotlight on systematic racial profiling and police brutality against Black boys and men has exposed a painful truth long known in the Black community: just about every Black youth and man seems to have a story about being stopped by the police.
Ndume Olatushani is an artist, organizer, and a passionate advocate for justice who works with the Children's Defense Fund's Nashville organizing team. He helps us fight to keep children and people of color, especially Black boys, out of the Cradle to Prison Pipeline™.
I think back to that experience with Kamala and I can honestly tell you that even with all of Kamala's strengths -- an extremely successful litigation career, an excellent fundraising network and plenty of charisma -- taking on "the Old Boys' Club" was extremely challenging.
A shocking report by Amnesty International found not a single state in the U.S. has laws that meet international human rights standards for "use of force" by police officers.
The Kalief Browder case reminds me that no one like me was at the table when the Constitution was created. What good are Constitutional rights, if they are not afforded to everyone?
It doesn't have to be this way. Although the First Amendment and the strong American free press tradition make it difficult to put limits on private media actors, the government doesn't have to pile on.