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The Top Criminal Justice Wins of 2017

There’s no other way to put it: 2017 was bleak. Bleak because the country’s top public health organization is now prohibited from using the term “science-based.” Bleak because we’re surprised that a man accused of sexually harassing and assaulting young girls — and extols slavery — lost an election. Bleak because the President of These United States stood in front of a portrait of Andrew […]

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Washington’s Largest County Bans Solitary Confinement For Kids in Adult Jails

Last week, councilmembers in Washington State’s largest county unanimously passed a bill that eliminates solitary confinement for youth detained in adult correctional facilities. In doing so, they joined a growing group of lawmakers across the country taking a stance against a practice that has disastrous effects on kids and teenagers tangled up in the criminal justice […]

Texas district attorney to police: Do better.

Last Wednesday, County District Attorney Kristen Barnebey of Aransas County, Texas announced that her office will not accept cases presented by a local police department until its officers are better educated and trained. A press release issued by her office on Tuesday states that the Rockport Police Department has withheld evidence in violation of the law — […]

Indiana prosecutors want to incarcerate the opioid crisis away

For years, Indiana has been at the center of the national conversation about opioid addiction, which has ravaged the state since the late 1990s. Between 1999 and 2014, the number of drug overdoses skyrocketed 500 percent. There was also a 60 percent increase in emergency visits for non-fatal overdoses between 2011 and 2015. By and large, the medical community […]

California Sheriff and D.A. disagree on a sheriff deputy’s decision to shoot

After he shot Stan Severi last December in Tehachapi, California, Sheriff’s Deputy Gabriel Romo admitted to making a near-fatal mistake. Severi was unarmed, but Romo believed he was reaching for a gun and fired a single shot at Severi’s abdomen. The deputy realized shortly after taking the shot that Severi didn’t have a weapon. Nevertheless, Kern […]

The bail bond company financing Brooklyn DA candidate Eric Gonzalez

Eric Gonzalez has a longstanding reputation as a “pure district attorney” and criminal justice reformer. Before assuming his position as the Brooklyn District Attorney in 2016, following the death of much-beloved predecessor Ken Thompson, Gonzalez worked on a policy to scale back the prosecution of low-level marijuana offenders. He also assisted in the creation and implementation of a […]

Oklahoma sheriff indicted for jail death

Anthony Huff tragically died in the Garfield County Jail in Oklahoma last year, after staff restrained him in a chair and failed to hydrate and feed him for two days, according to court documents unsealed and released to the public on July 25. But in a rare move, prosecutors in the state decided to hold the […]

New book explores the legal debt that comes after prison

Throughout his life, Nick has battled mental illness and an addiction to crack cocaine. He was convicted three times in the 1990’s for offenses that are characteristic of someone struggling with addiction, and served more than four years in a Washington State prison. But despite his fierce desire to remain sober and gainfully employed since […]

Execution policy on trial in Arizona as journalists seek transparency

On July 23, 2014, Joseph Rudolph Wood was supposed to be executed in a quick and painless way—injected once with 50mg of midazolam and 50mg of hydromorphone. Instead, he suffered through a lethal injection protocol that lasted 117 minutes, snorting and gasping for air as he was injected with 15 doses of the drugs. Following […]

St. Louis prosecutor silent as prisoners suffer in sweltering hot jail

Protesters railing against extreme heat in one of St. Louis’ abuse-plagued jails were pepper-sprayed by police clad in riot gear last Friday and Saturday, as they called on city officials to shut down the dangerous facility. They say inmates at the Medium Security Institution, nicknamed the “Workhouse,” are living in cells with no air conditioning despite […]

Baltimore lawmakers are eyeing potentially disastrous mandatory minimum sentences

In response to an increase in violent crime, lawmakers, law enforcement, and various community members in Baltimore, Maryland are considering a plan that has proven ineffective at reducing crime for decades: mandatory minimum sentencing. Under a proposal announced last Friday, people caught in possession of an illegal firearm within 100 yards of a public space— including […]