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.
Prison really is the worst place in the world to put a child. Which is why, as a response to juvenile criminality, it should only ever be considered a response of absolute last resort.
Even as verdict after verdict continues to excuse White authority figures of their wrongdoing, the Black community is expected to understand that police officers have a very hard job.
Prior to being sent to prison, I knew nothing about incarcerated women and, like most of society, I couldn't have cared less. I assumed that all people in prison belonged there, and that they deserved whatever happened to them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When you look at prison conditions honestly, without the filter of righteousness, how could you not see that the present system only breeds anger and resentment, hostility and hopelessness in offenders, and finally leads to more crime?
Giving up on talking about race or facts because of the Stanford study would be a sad high-jacking of criminal justice discourse in our country.