There is a crisis that demands our urgent attention. For the last four decades, this country has been obsessed with expanding the number of people we throw behind bars and the length of time we hold them there.
Everyone has their own reasons for living in a privileged town like Princeton, New Jersey -- but Jim McCloskey's are different. "I live in Princeton," he says, "because it is located exactly halfway between the East Jersey State Prison in Rahway and the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton."
For those of us who consider criminal justice reform to be one of the leading civil rights issues of our time, these are hopeful signs that we might be entering a new era. We are no longer turning a blind eye to the damage being done to our communities.
Many people have asked me how I feel about the Michael Dunn case and the troubling verdict. I am quite vocal about race issues and general human equality so these inquiries come as no surprise.
Florida law already recognizes that someone like Bieber is somewhere between adolescence and adulthood. We all stand to gain from a third system geared toward young adults for whom a therapeutic rather than punitive response is likely to be more beneficial to everyone.
Charging children and youths as adults and incarcerating them with adults is the opposite of an effective intervention that helps young people turn their lives around and decreases crime. It makes our communities less safe.
Improving the state's criminal justice system will require changing its polices, such as focusing more on treatment for substance abusers and less on incarceration.
The partisan divide is as deep today as it perhaps has ever been. Even so, as demonstrated by the imminent passage of the first budget deal in almost five years, the landscape can change rapidly. The next big sea change seems relatively easy to predict...
New York remains one of just two states nationally that prosecute sixteen and seventeen year-olds in adult criminal court, despite extensive research indicating that these practices are not effective at reducing criminality.
Pennsylvania's public school system is becoming a training ground for a life in prison. This trend does not look to be slowing down.
California, in general, and Los Angeles County, in particular, have become favorites among those "forum shopping" -- a term often used for lawyers naturally searching for a court that favors their case.
Will the District of Columbia be able to provide an alternative for juvenile offenses that are better suited to reducing recidivism than prosecution in the court system?
Last week the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America witnessed many significant moments in its churchwide assembly held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The highlight of the assembly was our overwhelming endorsement of the social statement concerning criminal justice.
Edward Snowden is a white adult who had access to government secrets and was willing to be exiled and risk prosecution to reveal them.Trayvon Martin was a black minor who didn't choose to get killed and certainly cannot flee to a safe haven now. However, a common thread links them.
What is often missing for those well-intentioned people trying to provide greater opportunities for African-American boys is the interconnectivity between the plights of disadvantaged girls and boys.
Whether Zimmerman did so consciously or unconsciously, it's hard to avoid that race played a part in his decision-making, influencing his thoughts, attitudes and actions toward young, black males. There's a growing body of research documenting just how powerful implicit or unconscious biases can be.