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Criminal Justice

Jail Suicide Is Not Justice

Jim Liske | Posted 08.28.2015 | Crime
Jim Liske

The most dangerous thing in jail isn't a fight among prisoners or an officer using excessive force. It's not even cancer or heart disease. The leading cause of death in our nation's jails is suicide, and it's becoming more common.

Court Decides Civil Rights Protections Don't Apply To Kids In Prison

The Huffington Post | Dana Liebelson | Posted 08.28.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Inmates in the Michigan prison system who claim they were exposed to sexual violence, solitary confinement and brutal force as children...

Why We Should Thank Defense Attorneys For Defending Criminals

Quora | Posted 08.28.2015 | Crime

It does not follow that just because a defense attorney represents a person who has committed terrible crimes, that the attorney wants everybody to be allowed to do the same thing. At first blush, it is easy to understand how someone might make that mistake. Careful thought, however, will make the answer clear.

Reversal After Ferguson Shooting. What Next?

Eric Lotke | Posted 08.27.2015 | Crime
Eric Lotke

Much work still lies ahead. Reducing excessive court fines and fees would not have saved the life of Michael Brown. Reducing excessive court fines and fees will not stop the racially biased policing.

Is This Adversary Procedure? "Dr." Posner's Potent Prescription

Evan Bernick | Posted 08.27.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

At what point does the adversarial process that is central to our legal system cease to be truly adversarial? In a case involving an indigent prisoner who sued prison administrators and staff for deliberate indifference to his medical needs, a divided Seventh Circuit panel reversed a summary judgment in favor of the defendants, sending the prisoner's suit back down for further fact-finding.

Public Defense Reform Shows Both the Challenge and the Possibility of Post-Katrina New Orleans

Derwyn Bunton | Posted 08.26.2015 | Crime
Derwyn Bunton

Ten years after Katrina, the tension between reforming the city into something better still clashes with the powerful and innate human desire to return to the familiar, to reclaim what was lost, especially after the trauma of the worst disaster in U.S. history.

Shackling Juveniles in Transportation: Hobbling Fairness

Sue Burrell | Posted 08.25.2015 | Crime
Sue Burrell

Routine shackling takes away every scintilla of control a young person has over his or her body. It is completely out of step with the research on what works in juvenile rehabilitation.

What Prison, Poetry, And A Redhead Have In Common

Susan Sobel | Posted 08.20.2015 | Impact
Susan Sobel

What do you say to a young girl in juvenile detention when she tells you she cannot eat the Cheetos you offered because her "daddy" wants her skinny, so she can keep making him money?

Slender Man Girls Should Be Tried as Juveniles

Hannah Finnie | Posted 08.17.2015 | Crime
Hannah Finnie

Last Monday, a Wisconsin judge ruled that two 13-year-old girls would be tried as adults for crimes committed when they were 12. If convicted, they face 65 years in prison. If tried and convicted as juveniles, they would have been held for a maximum of five years in a youth detention facility.

Bryan Stevenson: Reflections on Justice, Mercy and Mass Incarceration

Dr. Artika R. Tyner | Posted 08.17.2015 | Black Voices
Dr. Artika R. Tyner

Bryan Stevenson demonstrates leadership by not just simply espousing his vision of justice. He lives out this vision each day as he represents clients and advances policy reform.

Summer Reading List: The Top 6 Books on Leadership for Social Justice

Dr. Artika R. Tyner | Posted 08.17.2015 | Books
Dr. Artika R. Tyner

A study of leadership serves as your "leadership compass," an indispensable navigational tool. This compass will aid you in developing your leadership skills and creating a vision for the future of social change.

Exclusion Of Blacks From Juries Raises Renewed Scrutiny

The New York Times | Kelly Chen | Posted 08.16.2015 | Black Voices

SHREVEPORT, La. — Here are some reasons prosecutors have offered for excluding blacks from juries: They were young or old, single or divorced, ...

Catching Abortions Before They Happen?

Andy Watts | Posted 08.14.2015 | Religion
Andy Watts

While my Christian faith leads me to view abortion through the lenses of sadness, indignity, compassion, anger, hospitality, and generosity, I am equally disturbed by the willingness of Christians to so easily trade one moral value for another.

Suspension Is Not the Answer: Investing in Students' Mental Health Yields Academic Gains

Monica Gray | Posted 08.13.2015 | Education
Monica Gray

Without mental health support services, few students are able to cope with emotional stress in a productive manner on their own. Confused, angry or scared, a student's cries for help are commonly first expressed by acting out in school.

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Americans Are Stuck In 'The Bail Trap'

The New York Times | Chloe Angyal | Posted 08.13.2015 | Politics

The open secret is that in most jurisdictions, bail is the grease that keeps the gears of the overburdened system turning. ...

It's Time to End Prosecutorial Immunity

Evan Bernick | Posted 08.12.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Prosecutorial misconduct is a reality. So is the lack of any meaningful legal recourse for its victims. It is time to abolish a rule that stands as an affront, not only to the letter of federal law, but to our aspirations towards a just legal order.

Rehabilitation, Restitution Undermined by Illinois' Supersized Criminal-Justice System

Hilary Gowins | Posted 08.12.2015 | Politics
Hilary Gowins

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.

The Movement for Criminal Justice Reform: Honoring its True Heroes

Dr. Niaz Kasravi | Posted 08.11.2015 | Black Voices
Dr. Niaz Kasravi

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.

Leadership Challenge: Discover your Inner Superhero

Dr. Artika R. Tyner | Posted 08.07.2015 | Black Voices
Dr. Artika R. Tyner

I was determined to use my education in the struggle for justice. This fierce determination motivated me to become a lawyer and educator. Here are a couple simple steps for discovering your superhero within.

The Federal Government Says Being Homeless Should Not Be A Crime

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 08.06.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Laws that make it a crime for homeless people to sleep in public places even when there isn't enough room for them at a shelter unconsti...

A Little-Noticed Supreme Court Case Could Deny Justice For Sandra Bland

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 08.05.2015 | Politics

Sandra Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, wants a federal court in Texas to get to the bottom of what happened to her daughter, whose traffic sto...

Republican Candidates Should Debate Criminal Justice Reforms

Inimai Chettiar | Posted 08.05.2015 | Crime
Inimai Chettiar

The correct stance on criminal justice is no longer as simple as "I'm tough on crime." Politicians are waking up to the reality that our overly harsh crime policies need to be rolled back.

On 'Rectify,' There Is No Cure for Solitary Confinement

Lara Zarum | Posted 08.07.2015 | Entertainment
Lara Zarum

There are plenty of shows that have premiered since the late 1990s that might give that critic a run for his money. But the show that digs the deepest into America's troubled criminal justice system isn't particularly violent, sexual or otherwise. It's not even set in prison.

Understanding Violence as a Gay Man

Daniel Kort | Posted 08.03.2015 | Gay Voices
Daniel Kort

I learned that sexual minorities experience alarming disparities in interpersonal violence. Knowing this fact didn't make it any easier when I became that statistic myself.

Hanging On to Hope to Keep Black Men and Boys Alive

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 08.01.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

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."