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Criminal Justice

Kids Shouldn't Be at Rikers, Period

Alba Morales | Posted 10.10.2014 | New York
Alba Morales

People younger than 18 cannot vote, drink, or rent a car in any US state. Just this year, New York raised the age at which someone can buy cigarettes to 21. Yet the state continues to treat all 16- and 17-year-olds charged with crimes as if they were adults.

Prop 47 Supports Women and Families

Surina Khan | Posted 10.06.2014 | Politics
Surina Khan

If we can improve the lives of thousands of California's women and children, shouldn't we do it? Proposition 47, a common sense initiative on the November ballot, gives us a critical opportunity to do all that -- and save the state money.

Prosecutors Can Play Role in Ending Mass Incarceration

Lauren-Brooke Eisen | Posted 09.30.2014 | Crime
Lauren-Brooke Eisen

No one argues that a federal prosecutor's role is easy. And, in many ways, the revolution in prosecution requires them to make even more subtle and difficult judgments than they do already. But if the nation is to end mass incarceration, with a criminal justice system suited to that goal, we must collectively embrace the revolution in prosecution.

You're Young, You're Black, And You've Got No Future

Harriet McDonald | Posted 10.01.2014 | Impact
Harriet McDonald

You're young, you're black, and you've got no future. Why? Because you were arrested on drug charges. You've been arrested before, just like more than half of the other young black men in your neighborhood. But this time, you'll receive a mandatory 'war on drugs' sentence.

They Accused Him Of Taking A Backpack. The Courts Took The Next 3 Years Of His Life.

The New Yorker | JENNIFER GONNERMAN | Posted 09.30.2014 | Crime

In the early hours of Saturday, May 15, 2010, ten days before his seventeenth birthday, Kalief Browder and a friend were returning home from a party i...

Why It's Easier To Treat The Homeless Like Criminals Instead Of People In Need

New York Times | LAWRENCE DOWNES | Posted 09.25.2014 | Impact

What can be done about homeless people, those poor, sick, jobless souls who just can’t seem to get their acts together and whose suffering makes th...

The High Moral and Economic Cost of Child Poverty in America

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 09.19.2014 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

It is a moral disgrace that child poverty in the U.S. is higher than adult poverty, higher than for children in almost all other competitor nations, and higher than our country with the world's largest economy should ever allow.

#AfterFerguson: Faith-based Organizing's Approach

Ana Garcia-Ashley | Posted 09.17.2014 | Impact
Ana Garcia-Ashley

While what we at Gamaliel fight on are depressing issues, right now, at least, I'm kind of giddy. It's not often that a two-time Pulitzer-winning journalist basically endorses everything we are doing.

Christopher Mathias

In New York, Justice 'Only Available To Those Who Can Afford It,' Says New Report

HuffingtonPost.com | Christopher Mathias | Posted 09.18.2014 | Politics

NEW YORK -- On Aug. 11, 2013, Donald Telfair says, he was brutally assaulted by three men who thought he had robbed them earlier that evening. The 46-...

The Drug War and the Mass Incarceration It Caused: Where We Are and Where We Still Must Go (Part 5 of 5)

Renaldo Pearson | Posted 09.16.2014 | Politics
Renaldo Pearson

As we face the rugged terrain ahead, our marching orders must be the sobering words that speak presciently from the grave of the late Coretta Scott King: "Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation."

The Drug War and the Mass Incarceration It Caused: Where We Are and Where We Still Must Go (Part 4 of 5)

Renaldo Pearson | Posted 09.15.2014 | Politics
Renaldo Pearson

As we witness the drug and criminal justice policies of the "greatest democracy in the world" lag behind those of an ever expanding list of other countries around the world, more and more are coming down on the right side of history.

The Drug War and the Mass Incarceration It Caused: Where We Are and Where We Still Must Go (Part 3 of 5)

Renaldo Pearson | Posted 09.11.2014 | Politics
Renaldo Pearson

This move could result in the release of thousands of low-level federal inmates caught up in the drug war. For a president who, hitherto, had the most conservative pardon record in recent history (e.g. in Obama's first term, he pardoned 1 in 50 applicants, while Ronald Reagan pardoned 1 in 3), such a shift is noteworthy.

The Drug War and the Mass Incarceration It Caused: Where We Are and Where We Still Must Go (Part 2 of 5)

Renaldo Pearson | Posted 09.11.2014 | Politics
Renaldo Pearson

What changes have come about since our #EndMassIncarceration petition? Well, there's been about 20 developments and victories in the way of criminal justice reform (not including changes at the state/local level), at least 6 of which that are having or will have measurable impact.

The Drug War and the Mass Incarceration It Caused: Where We Are and Where We Still Must Go (Part 1 of 5)

Renaldo Pearson | Posted 10.20.2014 | Politics
Renaldo Pearson

At the core of all of this is an ignominious reality at odds with one of the nation's most (publicly) cherished ideals, and one of our Constitution's most sacred laws: the Fourteenth Amendment right to "equal protection of the laws."

States Lead - Will the Feds Follow?

Megan Quattlebaum | Posted 09.09.2014 | Crime
Megan Quattlebaum

In the criminal justice reform arena, states have taken the lead. From rolling back harsh mandatory minimum sentences to decreasing their prisons' populations states are taking steps to be smart on crime.

Why Prison Reform Is Good for All of Us

David Chura | Posted 09.04.2014 | Politics
David Chura

When you look at prison conditions honestly, without the filter of righteousness, how could you not see that the present system only breeds anger and resentment, hostility and hopelessness in offenders, and finally leads to more crime?

Seeking Transformative Justice in Ferguson, Dearborn, and Beyond

Sheila A. Bedi | Posted 09.03.2014 | Black Voices
Sheila A. Bedi

Justice for Michael Brown, for Renisha, for Trayvon, for Eric requires that we confront and acknowledge the legacy of racial hatred and violence that infects our communities and has launched the epidemics of criminalization, brutal, abusive policing and mass incarceration.

The Broader Vicious Circle Behind the Ferguson Crisis

Mugambi Jouet | Posted 08.28.2014 | Politics
Mugambi Jouet

The profound division of American society along racial lines is part of a vicious circle exacerbating a host of social problems, from excessive use of force by the police to mass incarceration and wealth inequality.

Boehner's Constitution Of Convenience

Duncan Hosie | Posted 08.26.2014 | Politics
Duncan Hosie

Ironically, Speaker Boehner resorted to the American justice system to sue President Obama, the very system he has worked relentlessly to underfund for indigents. Instead of suing Obama, he should start fixing the system he and his colleagues broke.

Preventing Future Fergusons

Inimai Chettiar | Posted 08.23.2014 | Politics
Inimai Chettiar

The events unfolding in Missouri have brought all eyes on the issue of law enforcement practices. Racial disparities in our justice system abound. But there is also a subtler dynamic at work: how the government spends money and the very real and human consequences of those decisions.

President Obama, Go Big or Go Home

Robbie Gennet | Posted 08.22.2014 | Politics
Robbie Gennet

There's an old saying in surfing: Go big or go home. Right now, each race around the country is in it's own little bubble, disconnected to the larger narrative. Only true vision and leadership can unite them to raise a populist wave and that is what the Presidential pulpit is for.

May the Odds Be (Never) in Minorities' Favor? Breaking Down the Risk-Based Sentencing Divide

Jessica Eaglin | Posted 08.22.2014 | Crime
Jessica Eaglin

The U.S. criminal justice system is built on the premise that one size does not fit when meting out justice. An individualized sentencing practice is key to a fair and just sentence.

Connecting the Dots: The Entire Criminal Justice System Is in Need of an Overhaul

Brooklyn Defender Services | Posted 10.21.2014 | Crime
Brooklyn Defender Services

We must use our consciousness of these egregious abuses to consider an overhaul of the criminal justice system at large. We must amend our discovery laws, add an expungement option, make exceptions to mandatory minimums and change our philosophy on pre-trial detention.

If They Lock Me Up, Call My Attorney: The Culture of Retaliation in the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Christopher Zoukis | Posted 10.20.2014 | Crime
Christopher Zoukis

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has a long and colorful history of retaliating against inmates for the exercise of their legal rights. Over the years, I have learned to expect the worst when dealing with these officials. This desensitization occurs, in the literal as well as the figurative sense.

New Stanford Criminal Justice Study Right, But Incomplete and Misleading

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. | Posted 10.20.2014 | Crime
Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

Giving up on talking about race or facts because of the Stanford study would be a sad high-jacking of criminal justice discourse in our country.