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Criminal Justice

One Day in Court: All the Justice You Can Afford

Pia de Jong | Posted 05.28.2015 | Crime
Pia de Jong

-- Illustration by Eliane Gerrits "You have the right to remain silent," says the judge, sitting at a high podium in front of a monume...

President's Task Force a Springboard for Policing Reforms

Lauren-Brooke Eisen | Posted 05.28.2015 | Politics
Lauren-Brooke Eisen

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.

Black Former Cop: Here's The Truth About Race And Policing

Vox | Redditt Hudson | Posted 05.28.2015 | Black Voices

On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent ...

Shifting American Police From Warriors to Guardians

Tara Lai Quinlan | Posted 05.27.2015 | Crime
Tara Lai Quinlan

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.

Robbed Twice: First By Criminals, Then By Cops

The Intercept | Juan M. Thompson | Posted 05.23.2015 | Politics

One evening last month, as custodian Tracy Martin took in a Detroit Pistons game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, her cell phone rang. “They’re towi...

Criminal Justice Reform Demands Political Leadership, Not Editorials

David Rothenberg | Posted 05.22.2015 | Crime
David Rothenberg

Across the nation, there has been a recent barrage of media reports, in progressive as well as conservative publications, advocating and applauding reforms in the criminal justice system.

Real Criminal Justice Reform Requires Listening to Those Most Commonly Impacted by Crime

Lenore Anderson | Posted 05.22.2015 | Crime
Lenore Anderson

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.

Do Stand Your Ground Laws Make ANY Sense?

David Pakman | Posted 05.22.2015 | Politics
David Pakman

I recently interviewed Robert Spitzer, a professor at SUNY Cortland who has researched and written extensively about so-called "Stand Your Ground" laws, which eliminate the duty to retreat when safe and feasible within self-defense doctrine.

It's Outrageous: Jails and Prisons Are No Place to Treat Mental Illness; Just Ask Paton Blough

Mary Giliberti | Posted 05.21.2015 | Politics
Mary Giliberti

There is no one solution to the horrors presented in the Callous and Cruel report, but the prescription includes getting people living with mental illness the right help in their communities before the criminal justice system ever gets involved. It includes providing the right kind of treatment and supports in jails or prisons.

Piling on Criminal Fees

Ronald Wright | Posted 05.21.2015 | Politics
Ronald Wright

We need to address the historically central role of fee-generation in U.S. criminal justice systems, a tendency that became even more pronounced as a result of the recent fiscal crisis.

A Famous Hacker On What It Is Like Being Pursued by the FBI

Quora | Posted 05.19.2015 | Crime
Quora

I surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Service after a week of constructively avoiding the FBI while I negotiated (through my attorney mostly, though at times in joint conference calls) with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

An Open Letter to Connecticut State Senator Len Fasano and State Senate Republicans

Nick Balletto | Posted 05.18.2015 | Politics
Nick Balletto

Second Chance Society legislation would not just help nonviolent offenders -- many of whom made a mistake as a very young person -- escape from a lifetime of punishment but improve our communities and continue to make our state safer. As the architect of the Republican "urban agenda," we hope you will weigh in on an issue that undoubtedly affects our cities.

Transforming Our Police Forces: One Student's Vision for Transformation and Leadership

Carol J. Carter | Posted 05.18.2015 | Impact
Carol J. Carter

Whether the location is urban or rural, America is embroiled in racial setbacks which aren't characteristic of progress we've made on other fronts. Here is a person who gives me hope and who I hope will be an inspiration to you as well as we commit to move forward positively and proactively.

Why Are Conservatives Signing On to Ban the Box?

Tessie Castillo | Posted 05.14.2015 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

The past few weeks have seen a wave of conservative support for "Ban the Box" initiatives, a practice that delays questions on criminal background until after job applicants have had the opportunity to demonstrate qualifications. For the over 70 million Americans who are subject to employment discrimination due to criminal history, the change has come none too soon.

Jason Cherkis

Report Provides Even More Evidence Of The Misuse Of Solitary Confinement

HuffingtonPost.com | Jason Cherkis | Posted 05.14.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A report released this week by the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in New York, provides yet more evidence of t...

The Apology Letter (a Letter to the Man I Murdered)

Shaka Senghor | Posted 05.12.2015 | Impact
Shaka Senghor

Every time I thought back to that fateful night, I found myself asking the question, "Why didn't I just walk away?"

The Case Against Bail

The New York Times | MAYA SCHENWAR | Posted 05.09.2015 | Politics

HOW can we reduce the enormous populations of our country’s local jails?...

Why Obama's Executive Actions Prove That Immigration Law Is Doomed to Complexity

Laura Murray-Tjan | Posted 05.08.2015 | Politics
Laura Murray-Tjan

Someone recently asked me what makes immigration law so complicated, and whether it has to be that way. I paused, contemplating polarized congressional debates, hastily crafted compromises, and the messy legislation that results.

Police Thug Game: The Hunger Games of Baltimore and America

Maxim Thorne | Posted 05.07.2015 | Black Voices
Maxim Thorne

In the Hunger Games bestselling novels and movies, the rich capital uses terroristic "games" to control the 12 poor surrounding districts. No young fan of the books or movies would miss the uncanny parallels between the treatment of Balitmore's poor and the brutal jovial wanton violence against Panem's poor.

Escaping from the Dark

Matthew Cooke | Posted 05.07.2015 | Politics
Matthew Cooke

Technology affords us a new hope. With the advent of the iPhone we're in a national state of shock regarding the incredibly destructive "shoot first" culture of many police departments. This shock could lead to major reform that could uplift and save so many lives.

Nurses: Crimefighters Without Capes

Davian Hoffman | Posted 05.04.2015 | Crime
Davian Hoffman

Nurses contribute to the criminal justice system every day, but they rarely get recognized for it. A friend who is a nurse, remembering my story, used the Internet to help the police identify an unconscious Jane Doe who landed in her ICU, shaving hours off of notifying her family.

What Would Be Your Last Meal? For 600 Executed Prisoners, One Painter Memorializes Their Answers

Alison Flowers | Posted 05.01.2015 | Impact
Alison Flowers

Since 2000, Green has painted 600 plates depicting the last meals of death row inmates, "The Last Supper." In cobalt-blue mineral paint, she notes on each plate the state and date of the execution alongside the meal request -- but no name, no crime.

Reflections on Lethal Drugs, Sleeping and Waking Up

Diann Rust-Tierney | Posted 05.01.2015 | Politics
Diann Rust-Tierney

I have always loved the Supreme Court. As a law student, I made pilgrimages to the Court to listen to arguments. It fortified me and inspired me for the hard work and sacrifice ahead.

Take the Racial Justice Pledge

Donna P. Hall | Posted 04.30.2015 | Impact
Donna P. Hall

One valuable action is to contribute to community organizations working to address the inequities and outrages of the criminal justice system, as well as economic inequality, racial health disparities and structural barriers to building political power for people of color. At this moment, more than ever, if you believe that #BlackLivesMatter, you should support a stronger movement for racial justice.

'Swift & Certain': Hawaii Probation Program Goes National

Jason Tashea | Posted 04.29.2015 | Impact
Jason Tashea

Judge Steven Alm was confounded after his first week on Hawaii's circuit court. Amongst his other dockets, he watched Hawaii's probation system in action, and he did not like what he saw.