The concept of bail is a long-standing part of our criminal justice system. Bail is specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution and actually originated in ancient Rome. But it has changed over the years and it no longer works.
As Congress and the nation are increasingly focused on the need for systemic reform, the Coalition and its partners, on both sides of the political spectrum, believe we are on the cusp of meaningful change, through fair sentencing and fair chances.
On June 7th, the American prison system took another life. Kalief Browder had not been confined behind the walls of a prison for several months, but the system remains largely responsible for his death nonetheless.
We need sound policies that promote recovery for all Americans affected by mental health conditions. We don't have the luxury of continuing to get this wrong. Too many individuals, families, and systems are in crisis, and it doesn't have to be this way. We need recovery, and we need it now.
At the age of 19, Kalief was released back into the world. Just this week [update timing], Mr. Browder, now 22, hung himself. He took his own life, but there are those who say it was the system that killed him.
We are rightly frustrated by what happened with Josh Duggar. But we should direct that collective frustration and anger towards building new and better ways to rehabilitate children who commit crimes and to help their victims.
The science and practice of peacebuilding and conflict resolution have transcended where we presently invest our collective time, money and energy. Our social policies urgently need to catch up with proven capacities to turn these challenges around.
The news of your death is heartbreaking. It has stirred my soul and inspired me to action. It is soul stirring because I refuse to let your death be in vain. I cannot, shall not and will not allow your story to go quietly away.
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.
The recently announced case alleging corruption within FIFA, soccer's international governing body, will be prominently featured in the legal headlines in the coming months and years. That case comes at an opportune time for those interested in critiquing the American criminal justice system.
The political landscape has changed dramatically, and leaders from all across the spectrum are finally embracing "smart on crime" reforms to reduce the costs and size of a criminal justice system widely recognized to be broken and ineffective.
The Elonis v. United States opinion, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, and joined by all others except Justice Clarence Thomas, sidestepped issues of both the Internet and the First Amendment, focusing instead on criminal intent.
While the Task Force's final report, released this week, does include some smart recommendations that could improve the criminal justice system, they missed two key opportunities to reform police practices.
The entrenched police warrior model in many American police departments can operate in a manner similar to a domestic military service, where hard policing tactics like confrontation and use of force are primary tools relied upon to achieve desired crime control objectives.
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.