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.
It's time to stop jailing juveniles in adult facilities. The treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system is alarming. They frequently do not have access to rehabilitative services. We cannot keep children safe in adult prisons.
The promise of a second impression is to simplify the job search for people with records and to leverage consumer power to either support progressive employers or put pressure on employers who fail to adopt more progressive hiring policies.
What this boils down to is second chances. New starts. Fair shots. Sounds very American to me. As a criminal defense attorney who has represented many individuals charged with criminal acts, I have seen first-hand those clients who have a lot to offer society, but are shut out because of an isolated mistake.
Do we want to trap the next generation of New Yorkers in cycles of poverty and system involvement out of a misguided desire for retribution?
How do you celebrate four years sober from drugs and alcohol? For Ann Marie Jones, it is going to the courthouse to set up a payment plan for the thousands of dollars in court fees she owes after many years in and out of the criminal justice system.
We'll know Black lives matter when public safety responses aren't defined by arrests or prison admissions but by work to reduce contact with the criminal justice system in the first place.
Just like immigration reform, mass incarceration and the need to change our criminal justice system are sparking another movement -- especially after the parable of Ferguson woke up the country.
As we unite hand-in-hand across the Atlantic, let us come together knowing that what we do is not based on hate, but based on love for our respective nations and citizens.
Some of the current proposals may deserve consideration but they would have greater long-term impact and meaning if they improve transparency within the criminal justice system more generally and are not limited to cases just involving police.
Black lives matter, and our justice system must become more fair and just. I hope many others concerned about these injustices will stand up to support policies and reforms that will create a fairer, safer, and more just America.
None of this is to say that we need to toss all the evidence out and start at square one. Nor am I saying that the evidence supporting Wilson's account is totally false. My point is that everyone must realize that forensic science is not absolute like on television.
Prison should be a healthcare provider of last resort; community-based interventions are a more humane use of our resources. How many opportunities have been missed to address their underlying social, medical and psychiatric instabilities?
While the case of Eric Garner's killing without a doubt reflects on the need for improved law enforcement practices, it also calls into question our legal system, and demonstrates the need for reforms throughout the entire legal process.
It's past time to fix it, and the church must stand alongside a new generation of young leaders and help the nation find the way forward.
As we discuss and debate the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson, we'll inevitably have differences of opinion -- some slight; some extreme. But we owe it to one another to ensure that our opinions are founded on a correct understanding of the underlying facts.