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Mass Incarceration

Black Lives Matter and the Beauty of Israel: Working on Both With One Soul

Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Posted 11.25.2015 | Politics
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The day we all pray for will come when we can listen well enough to distinguish, affirm, and support our truest selves. None need be at the expense of the other, and all could use their own dignity back.

It's Time to Close Rikers

Glenn Martin | Posted 11.24.2015 | New York
Glenn Martin

I know this culture of brutality and violence firsthand. In 1987, I was detained on Rikers Island. A group of young men in the holding cell tried to steal my jacket. Guards watched but did nothing as I defended myself against five other people. I kept my jacket, but was stabbed four times.

Obama Should Use His Power to Pardon Prisoners, Not Turkeys

Eric E. Sterling | Posted 11.24.2015 | Politics
Eric E. Sterling

At hundreds of thousands of tables on Thursday, as there have been for decades, there will be places set for mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, cousins, nieces and nephews who are still in prison. I can only imagine how these families must feel to see their President use his desperately needed clemency powers to pardon a turkey.

The U.S. Is Depressingly Good At Putting Women Behind Bars

The Huffington Post | Melissa Jeltsen | Posted 11.24.2015 | Politics

The United States puts women behind bars at a higher rate than every other country in the world, save for Thailand. Though the U.S. has only 5 percen...

Tonight's Debate: We Need to Talk About Mass Incarceration

Lauren-Brooke Eisen | Posted 11.14.2015 | Politics
Lauren-Brooke Eisen

When it comes to criminal justice, the nation is at a crossroads. There is widespread agreement that too many are in prison for too long. Saturday night would be an ideal time for one of the candidates to begin demonstrating leadership on this issue.

Returning from Prison and Doing a 180

Project Return | Posted 11.13.2015 | Impact
Project Return

We all know a 180 when we see one. Those transformations that literally mean going in the opposite direction, that figuratively mean you have turned your life around. From night to day, from a season of decline to a season of hope and opportunity.

Decision Points: Disproportionate Pretrial Detention of Blacks and Latinos Drives Mass Incarceration

Cynthia Jones | Posted 11.13.2015 | Politics
Cynthia Jones

Pretrial detention is a strong predictor of whether a defendant will be sentenced to prison at the conclusion of the criminal case. Defendants who cannot afford bail and spend months in jail can suffer job loss, education disruption, the loss of housing, and many other dire collateral consequences.

A Plea From Behind the Walls: Please Limit Mandatory Minimums

Mancer L. Barrington, III | Posted 11.10.2015 | Politics
Mancer L. Barrington, III

I am an imperfect man, but I pray I don't die in prison. I yearn to one day be the present father my children deserve, and not just another body leaving prison in a coffin. This Corrections Act could help me and others like me to have hope of one day being released.

Mr. President: We don't Need Gestures; We Need Action to Ban the Box

Center for Community Change Action | Posted 11.05.2015 | Impact
Center for Community Change Action

This movement by formerly incarcerated people and their families is about more than jobs. It's about housing -- our political inclusion and our right to full citizenship. It is about our dignity.

An Open Letter to Every Teacher Who Has Told a Student to Put Away a Cell Phone

Sally Lee | Posted 11.03.2015 | Education
Sally Lee

In the wake of the #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh, in lunchrooms and teachers' lounges across the country, many educators reacted with shock that any teacher would call security for such a commonplace, modern-day classroom struggle as "Put away your cell phone."

President Obama 'Bans the Box' to Help Formerly Incarcerated Get Jobs

Anthony Papa | Posted 11.02.2015 | Politics
Anthony Papa

I remember all too well my experience with this issue when I went for my first job interview upon my release after serving 12 years of a 15-to-life sentence for a non-violent drug crime.

Black Girls and the Police State Menace

Sikivu Hutchinson | Posted 10.28.2015 | Black Voices
Sikivu Hutchinson

From high-achieving older students to the tiniest students just starting out, black girls are criminalized at every step of their school careers. While white children are given the social and cultural space to "just be kids" black children must always toe the line of respectability or risk detention, assault and/or death.

Hillary Clinton Would Not Abolish The Death Penalty

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 10.28.2015 | Politics

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came out against abolishing the death penalty...

Open Letter to Men and Women Returning Home in an Age of Reform

Anthony Papa | Posted 10.28.2015 | Books
Anthony Papa

The road following imprisonment is not an easy one. I know because I have walked it. When I was released 17 years ago from the living nightmare of imprisonment, I found that returning to the real world was both frightening and unbelievably difficult.

Should We Discharge Terminally Ill Inmates?

Paul Heroux | Posted 10.25.2015 | Crime
Paul Heroux

Some people may quickly say that inmates are in prison for punishment and therefore they should not get healthcare paid for by taxpayers. That thinking is not consistent with our American values.

Police Killing Shouldn't Derail Successful Alternative-to-Incarceration Programs

Kassandra Frederique | Posted 10.23.2015 | Crime
Kassandra Frederique

As we work together to increase public safety for all New Yorkers, let's make sure not to walk back New York's progress to a new and successful approach towards public health and safety.

Are Criminal Justice Reforms and Immigration Policy at Odds?

Marisa Franco | Posted 10.22.2015 | Latino Voices
Marisa Franco

There is a clear and troubling pattern where policy reforms in the criminal justice system do not extend to immigrants in the criminal justice or immigration enforcement systems. The glaring question is: why not?

Police Leaders Join Effort To Reduce Incarceration Rate

The New York Times | Chloe Angyal | Posted 10.21.2015 | Politics

More than 130 police chiefs, prosecutors and sheriffs — including some of the most prominent law enforcement officials in the country — ar...

Phone Communication Serves as a Lifeline for Prisoners and Their Families

Dr. Artika R. Tyner | Posted 10.20.2015 | Crime
Dr. Artika R. Tyner

Prison phone calls serve as an indispensable tool for children and countless family members to remain connected with their incarcerated loved ones. However, the high cost of these calls serves as an active barrier to remaining in contact.

Here's Proof Mass Incarceration Doesn't Reduce Crime

The Huffington Post | Eleanor Goldberg | Posted 10.20.2015 | Impact

For the first time in 40 years, the U.S.’s crime and incarceration rates fell together, proving that ramping up the prison population is ineffe...

Prosecutors Are Uniquely Positioned to Drive Criminal Justice Reform

Cyrus Vance | Posted 10.20.2015 | Crime
Cyrus Vance

Beyond the oath of zealous representation, prosecutors take a separate oath to do justice. Their "client" is not an individual, or even a person. It is fairness. Prosecutors are stewards of the integrity of the system, and must be held accountable as such.

What's Missing From the Debate Stage? Voting Rights and Criminal Justice Reform Specifics

Rev. Al Sharpton | Posted 10.19.2015 | Politics
Rev. Al Sharpton

Modern-day voter suppression isn't confined to Alabama alone. For the past several years, dozens of states have adopted tough new voter ID laws that severely inhibit the poor, people of color, the elderly, those in rural communities and others from voting.

Mark Zuckerberg: 'We Can't Jail Our Way To A Just Society'

The Huffington Post | Matt Ferner | Posted 10.15.2015 | Politics

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited California's San Quentin State Prison this week, then added his voice to concerns about mass incarceration....

Next President Should Support Plan to Reverse Mass Incarceration

Lauren-Brooke Eisen | Posted 10.13.2015 | Politics
Lauren-Brooke Eisen

Presidential campaigns, and debates in particular, are rarely times to promote bipartisanship. But there is an issue around which both Democrats and Republicans have recently coalesced: America has put too many people behind bars -- and it's time to do something about it.

Arne Duncan's Proposal To Redirect Incarceration Funds To Education Is Right On The Money

Johanna Wald | Posted 10.09.2015 | Education
Johanna Wald

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently proposed to redirect $15 billion from correctional facilities toward increasing teachers' salaries in high poverty schools. It is both practical and eminently plausible. And with the right kind of leadership and advocacy, it might even become probable.