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All Americans Deserve a Chance to Rebuild Their Lives

Paul N. Samuels | Posted 09.30.2015 | Healthy Living
Paul N. Samuels

Sanctions against people with drug convictions create obstacles to education, housing and public benefits -- the very things we know reduce recidivism and make communities safer, healthier and better places to live.

What Pope Francis Says to Us "Lost Sheep"

Lauren Boyle | Posted 09.29.2015 | Religion
Lauren Boyle

Pope Francis speaks not just to Catholics firm in their religious convictions, but also those of us who are "lost," still inextricably connected to the Church that raised us, but are categorically unable or unwilling to reconcile our consciences with some of its social teachings.

Exquisite Risk: John of the Cross and the Transformational Power of Captivity

Mirabai Starr | Posted 09.29.2015 | Religion
Mirabai Starr

Sometimes it is in our prisons that we find our freedom. In 1577, when St. John of the Cross was thirty-five years old, he was abducted by his own monastic brothers and incarcerated for nine months in a monastery in Toledo, Spain.

Against Solitary Confinement

Michael Shammas | Posted 09.22.2015 | Crime
Michael Shammas

Don't get me wrong: The most immoral prisoner has earned his government-sponsored home. Quite thoroughly. But by treating him in an inhumane manner that extends beyond confinement, we too become all too human. We too commit a moral wrong.

Growing Up With an Incarcerated Parent, Learning How to Forgive

Yasmine Arrington | Posted 09.22.2015 | Impact
Yasmine Arrington

When I was growing up, from infancy to my teenage years, my father was in and out of prison and therefore not a consistent presence in my life. I understand and have witnessed the emotional, mental, and financial strain that having an incarcerated parent has on a child and the family unit.

Are Black Women Paying the Costs of Incarceration? | Posted 09.18.2015 | Black Voices

not only are Black women largely footing the bill for our nation's overreliance on incarceration, they are also often stigmatized when their loved ones return home and are subject to restrictive and discriminatory housing policies that render them vulnerable to homelessness and poverty.

Jail Is Sinking Families Into Poverty, And Women Pay The Most

The Huffington Post | Sebastian Murdock | Posted 09.15.2015 | Crime

Ten years after her brother was sentenced to prison for bringing undocumented immigrants over the border, Carla Gonzalez's parents have only just begu...

Feeling the Bern: Sanders Is an Advocate for LGBTQ Issues

Daniel Kort | Posted 09.14.2015 | Gay Voices
Daniel Kort

An intersectional look into the Sanders campaign's core issues undoubtedly sets him apart as an optimal candidate for the wellbeing of LGBTQ Americans. Despite stereotypes about affluence in the LGBTQ community, class issues disproportionately affect the demographic.

Offering Immigrant Children the 'Write' to Freedom

Steph Thompson | Posted 09.08.2015 | Impact
Steph Thompson

Poverty and the plight of the powerless is hard to behold firsthand. It is something so many people try to forget, save a few distant images on screens or words uttered in calm monotone on NPR while we drink our morning coffee.

Black Crime Rates: Your Statistics Are Racist

Kim Farbota | Posted 09.02.2015 | Crime
Kim Farbota

There is a common conservative narrative that the disproportionate incarceration of black people is not the result of systemic racism, but rather of shortcomings within the black community.This "fact" is used to justify a belief that a "culture of violence" is to blame for problems faced by black people in America.

Prison Break: Acts 16:16-34

Reverend William E. Flippin, Jr. | Posted 08.26.2015 | Religion
Reverend William E. Flippin, Jr.

It is generally accepted that the destructive effect of the prison atmosphere of the prison system is the lack of contact with the outside world, particularly correspondence with and visits by relatives, friends or others.

Iraq Documentary Filmmaker Turns His Lens on the US Prison Pipeline

Ming Holden | Posted 08.21.2015 | Entertainment
Ming Holden

Manning's current work on The Odyssey Project film grows out of the belief that relying on that "sophisticated machine" of mainstream media to tell the truth about incarcerated young men of color would be an exercise in futility.

Why Incarceration Is Not the Solution to the Opioid-Addiction Epidemic

Albert Einstein College of Medicine | Posted 08.26.2015 | Healthy Living
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

It's common sense that people with substance-use disorders should be offered addiction treatment as an alternative to incarceration. But what if they can't stop using drugs? They still don't belong in prison.

Five Bottom Line Reasons Why Employers Should Hire Ex-Felons

Mike Green | Posted 08.21.2015 | Business
Mike Green

There is no city in the nation that's growing faster than the population of 70 million Americans with criminal records. As one of them, former real estate developer R.L. Pelshaw is determined to turn this costly societal burden into an opportunity.

From Teens in Jail to Teens Onstage: The Odyssey Project

Ming Holden | Posted 08.12.2015 | Education
Ming Holden

The Odyssey Project, now in its fifth year, is using the arts to combat recidivism for juvenile offenders in a completely unprecedented way: by creating an arts-based "intervention" at that critical point near the end of a juvenile offender's teen years, when, like Odysseus, they have life choices to make that will indelibly determine their future's path.

"Second" Chance .... But Who's Counting?

Project Return | Posted 08.11.2015 | Impact
Project Return

The hard fact is, some people commit multiple crimes and serve more than one sentence, before getting it right. Aren't they just as human as the rest of us? How rare it is for humans to make a mistake only once.

Second Chances Vital to Criminal Justice Reform

Loretta Lynch | Posted 08.06.2015 | Politics
Loretta Lynch

In order to truly make our communities safer, we must make sure that people who have served their time are able to fully and productively engage in our society -- whether through education or employment or some other constructive means.

Alabama Moves To Deny Inmate Parental Rights So She Can't Have Abortion

The Huffington Post | Samantha Lachman | Posted 07.29.2015 | Politics

 WASHINGTON -- A fight over an incarcerated Alabama woman's ability to have an abortion took a strange turn as the state moved to terminate the ...

100 Million Reasons We Need Justice Reform -- One Blueprint for How to Do It

Christine Leonard | Posted 07.30.2015 | Politics
Christine Leonard

One in three Americans -- as many as 100 million adults -- has a criminal record. Because a criminal history record creates barriers to housing, education and employment, it can often stand between another chance and another visit to prison.

South Carolina Man Uses His Troubled Past To Train Police

The Stepping Up Initiative | Posted 07.24.2015 | Impact
The Stepping Up Initiative

It's hard to describe mania to someone who has never experienced it. One minute I'm so high that my mind and body enter a nirvana-like state with feelings of ultimate power and supreme authority. And then in the next minute I feel so paranoid and scared that I think my heart will thump out of my chest.

Mental Illness, Societal Oppression, and My Rebuttal to Bruce Levine

J Nelson Aviance | Posted 07.23.2015 | Healthy Living
J Nelson Aviance

In a recent piece posted on, Bruce E. Levine made the bold statement that: For nearly two decades, Big Pharma commercials have falsely tol...

Elderly Women Serving Life Without Parole Form a Heartbreaking Chorus

Laura Goldman | Posted 07.08.2015 | Politics
Laura Goldman

This performance of the Lady Lifers Chorus is a rare window into the world of women serving a life sentence at Muncy State Prison, a women's prison near Williamsport, Pa. The singers, who have already served 27-40 years confined, sing poignantly about their life.

What About a Jobs Program?

Cynthia M. Koch | Posted 06.30.2015 | Politics
Cynthia M. Koch

We need to summon the political will to create -- for the first time -- an American labor force of committed citizens that reaches across boundaries of class, race, gender, and religion and involves all Americans. Only then can those in despair envision a future in which they and their children live useful lives as contributing members of our society.

Is 'Heckler' the Right Word for Jennicet Gutiérrez?

Holly R. Cashman | Posted 06.26.2015 | Gay Voices
Holly R. Cashman

It is shameful and embarrassing when people who have acquired a position of power thanks to the activism of others (or even their own past activism) choose to criticize others who use the same tactics to fight for their rights or very existence.

Reforming Our Justice System Will Require Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances

Christine Leonard | Posted 06.22.2015 | Politics
Christine Leonard

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.