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Criminal Justice Reform

Why We Marched

Renaldo Pearson | Posted 10.24.2014 | Politics
Renaldo Pearson

Because we have already called for an end to mass incarceration, but, though there has been progress, our elected local, state and especially federal officials haven't gone far enough.

Prison for Teen Who Lit "Agender" Youth's Skirt on Fire Thwarts Healing

Sue Burrell | Posted 10.21.2014 | Crime
Sue Burrell

The news of Richard Thomas' seven-year prison sentence raises fresh questions about how the justice system intervenes in dangerous, but clearly adolescent behavior.

Changing Direction: A Roadmap for Reforming Illinois' Prison System

John Maki | Posted 10.02.2014 | Chicago
John Maki

After decades of using incarceration as the country's primary response to crime, leading Republicans and Democrats are embracing safe, fair, and cost-effective prison reform. As Illinois prepares to elect its next governor, voters should ask the candidates what their vision and goals are for the state's crowded and under-resourced $1.3-billion prison system.

Let Us Eat Cake: The New Census Data on Poverty

Karen Dolan | Posted 09.19.2014 | Politics
Karen Dolan

Poverty fell in 2013 U.S. Census data shows. It inched down from 15 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013, but still higher than when the Recession officially ended in 2009. So not yet time to eat cake. ...Or is it?

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 10.22.2014 | 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 10.22.2014 | 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 10.22.2014 | 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 10.22.2014 | 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."

In a Do-Nothing Year, Here's One Thing Congress Can Actually Do

Jeremy Haile | Posted 09.09.2014 | Politics
Jeremy Haile

In a town where Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on light bulbs or cafeteria utensils, legislation to address overcrowding in the federal prison system had the backing of both President Obama and Senator Ted Cruz.

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.

White People Are Fine With Laws That Harm Blacks

Slate | Jamelle Bouie | Posted 08.08.2014 | Black Voices

When I want to emphasize a point on criminal justice reform, I lead with the data. There are huge racial gaps in arrests, convictions, and sentences. ...

Answers From Red States For Our Broken Criminal Justice System

Laura Barrett | Posted 09.23.2014 | Politics
Laura Barrett

Left, right or center, few dispute that our criminal justice system is broken. But two new and thrilling victories this month are giving real hope to activists who want more effective and humane crimes policies.

A Time for Criminal Justice Reform

Bernard B. Kerik | Posted 09.10.2014 | Crime
Bernard B. Kerik

Today I want to use my unique set of criminal justice experiences -- from both sides of the prison wall -- to help end the mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent offenders.

Changing the Odds for Boys and Men of Color

Timothy P. Silard | Posted 09.09.2014 | Impact
Timothy P. Silard

A responsible approach to criminal justice can make our communities safer, save tax dollars and help all of us, but our current system is falling terribly short -- at great economic, human and moral cost.

Amanda Terkel

Cory Booker And Rand Paul Team Up On Criminal Justice Reform

HuffingtonPost.com | Amanda Terkel | Posted 07.08.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are set to introduce legislation Tuesday that aims to break the cycle of incarceration ...

Taping Police Interrogations Could Have Prevented This Horrific Miscarriage of Justice

Jeff Kukucka | Posted 07.28.2014 | Crime
Jeff Kukucka

We found that interrogators who were told that their sessions would be taped were less likely to use certain high-pressure interrogation techniques such as threatening the suspect and promising leniency in exchange for a confession.

Criminal Injustice

Rep. John Conyers | Posted 07.21.2014 | Politics
Rep. John Conyers

For decades, Congress has implemented policies that distort America's criminal justice system and tip the scales of justice in favor of punishment over rehabilitation. As a matter of civil rights and basic justice, our criminal justice system must change.

Ryan J. Reilly

America's Top Cop Wages A Long Battle To Dial Back The Drug War

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 06.02.2014 | Politics

After years beset by scandal and criticism, Attorney General Eric Holder (right) is working to reform the criminal justice system -- a project that co...

With Liberty and Justice for All?

J. Randall O'Brien | Posted 07.06.2014 | Politics
J. Randall O'Brien

We are, this year, 50 years removed from the civil rights movement's "Freedom Summer" of 1964. To be sure, changes in our society have been nothing short of revolutionary. Yet over half a century later, one wonders if white supremacy remains rooted in the American psyche. Is there a racial caste system in America?

ONE ON ONE: 5 Minutes With John Forte On What A 14-Year Prison Sentence Taught Him

Katherine Keating | Posted 06.01.2014 | World
Katherine Keating

Since his release from prison, Forte has become an activist for criminal justice reform, and is particularly passionate about America's juvenile justice system. "I saw the worst reflection of our society as evidenced in our prison system," he says. "We are hemorrhaging right now."

Ryan J. Reilly

Federal Drug Prosecutions Drop To Reagan-Era Levels

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 03.19.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The number of drug defendants charged by the federal government in January dropped to its lowest monthly level in nearly 14 years, not l...

Ryan J. Reilly

'Tough On Crime' Skepticism Gets Its Turn At CPAC

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 03.07.2014 | Politics

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In a back corner of the exhibition hall for the Conservative Political Action Conference -- past the National Rifle Associatio...

Jennifer Bendery

Rick Perry and Eric Holder Actually Agree On Something: Prison Reform

HuffingtonPost.com | Jennifer Bendery | Posted 03.07.2014 | Politics

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- It turns out Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Eric Holder may actually have the same ideas when it comes to prison r...

Supreme Court Orders Fresh Look At Gun Conviction

AP | Posted 03.05.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says defendants have to know in advance that their accomplices would use or carry a gun while committing a crime...