Criminal Justice System
The United States has the largest prison population of any developed country in the world. A disproportionate number of people in the nation’s prisons and jails are low-income, undereducated, low-level, nonviolent people of color with drug convictions. Our system of mass incarceration is due almost entirely to the War on Drugs and its disproportionate focus on low-income, people of color. The system must be reformed so that it is no longer racially and ethnically discriminatory and incorporates more alternatives to incarceration.
March 19, 2015 - Posted by Julie Faust
On March 19, Rep. John Lewis, D. Ga., introduced the Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 12), legislation that would combat voter exclusion, improve the administration of elections, and expand voter participation.
February 27, 2015 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 80 other national, state, and local organizations this week sent a letter to President Obama expressing their concerns with the administration’s Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity, released in December 2014.
February 19, 2015 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
An unlikely alliance of prominent conservative and progressive organizations today launched a new coalition to reform America’s criminal justice system.
February 11, 2015 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
A group of 32 civil and human rights, faith, and criminal justice reform groups on February 10 sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary to outline their shared principles for broad-based criminal justice reform.
January 16, 2015 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
A coalition of civil rights, faith, labor, media justice, and other groups from around the country this week wrote in support of further reforms to lower predatory prison phone rates.
October 31, 2014 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
New guidelines that sensibly reduce sentences for most drug trafficking offenses – approved unanimously in April by the United States Sentencing Commission – will go into effect on Saturday, November 1.
September 26, 2014 - Posted by Julie Faust
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on September 27 issued a joint statement announcing that they are circulating proposals to their fellow commissioners on further prison phone rate reform.
July 18, 2014 - Posted by Connor Maxwell
In a decision released on Friday, the United States Sentencing Commission applied its April drug amendment – a comprehensive two-level reduction in guidelines sentencing for defendants in drug trafficking cases – retroactively without limitation, meaning that many offenders currently in prison could be eligible for reduced sentences beginning November 2015.
February 13, 2014 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
At an event Tuesday co-sponsored by The Leadership Conference Education Fund and the Vera Institute of Justice titled "A Conversation on Criminal Justice: A Call to Action for the Nation," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, bipartisan members of Congress, and a panel of experts led a discussion on current criminal justice reform opportunities in Congress and strategies for building a sustained national commitment to ending mass incarceration.
More Information On
Social Justice Brief: A Social Work Perspective on Drug Policy Reform - National Association of Social Workers
Reclaiming Our Rights: Reflections on Racial Profiling in a Post-9/11 America - Rights Working Group (2011)
The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs - The Sentencing Project
A 25-Year Quagmire: The War on Drugs and Its Impact on American Society - The Sentencing Project
Critical Condition: African American Youth in the Justice System (pdf) - Campaign for Youth Justice
Latest on criminal justice from Unfinished Business.
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