Michael Schmidt, who is running for DA in May in Oregon’s largest county, shares his views on criminal justice reform during and beyond the pandemic.
Daniel Nichanian Apr 02, 2020
An expert in election procedures unpacks how states should scale up mail voting, and how they should make sure no one is left behind.
Daniel Nichanian Mar 24, 2020
Nationwide efforts against the death penalty and against prison gerrymandering have gained considerable momentum just over the past two years.
Daniel Nichanian Mar 23, 2020
Austin, Houston, and Los Angeles voted on Super Tuesday, with stakes for incarceration and criminal justice reform.
Daniel Nichanian Mar 06, 2020
“We’re at a watershed moment for criminal justice reform,” Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, said about Measure R and LA’s upcoming DA election.
Daniel Nichanian Feb 28, 2020
The reform’s impact will hinge on Virginia’s parole board no longer denying most applications it receives.
Daniel Nichanian Feb 24, 2020
California’s DA association responded to a critic in a letter signed by nearly all prosecutors. But this may only exacerbate worries about DAs’ tendency to talk in a single political voice.
Daniel Nichanian Feb 14, 2020
Dominic Selvera hopes to “shrink the system” if elected Travis County Attorney. In a Q&A, he explained how he would cut prosecutions, and steer money toward public services “outside of the criminal justice system.”
Daniel Nichanian Feb 13, 2020
The death penalty, drug policy, and bail reform are shaping Texas debates, with primaries just weeks away. But across the state, hundreds of local elections are left uncontested.
Daniel Nichanian Jan 30, 2020
The CDAA has opposed “almost all change that the voters of California had asked us to enact," San Joaquin County DA Tori Salazar said in a Q&A.
Daniel Nichanian Jan 23, 2020
A new law ends prison gerrymandering in legislative redistricting. New Jersey will continue to disenfranchise incarcerated people.
Daniel Nichanian Jan 21, 2020
Rossi rules out seeking the death penalty or prosecuting sex work. “Oftentimes justice may mean a restorative outcome. Oftentimes justice may mean never filing a case,” she said in a Q&A.
Two Virginia prosecutors stop charging marijuana possession—mostly. And newly-elected DAs are sworn in as well in California, New York, and Pennsylvania.
“The problem is that LA County has come to a place where they use the most expensive and the most intrusive tools of the criminal justice system to deal with every behavior," Gascón said in a Q&A.
Daniel Nichanian Jan 09, 2020
In a Q&A, Senator William Smith lays out his priorities to encourage decarceration as the new chair of a powerful Maryland committee.
A retrospective on the year that was on criminal justice reform. Seven maps. 16 issues. 50 states.
Daniel Nichanian Dec 20, 2019
More than 200,000 people regain their voting rights, and advocates vow further action. “To vote has value to the soul,” a New Jersey advocate said at a signing ceremony.
Daniel Nichanian Dec 18, 2019
Some prosecutors speak up for ending disenfranchisement and sending their staff to visit prisons, while a Pennsylvania DA sought to block a release.
Daniel Nichanian Dec 12, 2019
We preview the 2020 races for prosecutor in the biggest Illinois counties, starting with the high-stakes election in Cook County (Chicago).
Nearly 2,300 prosecutors and sheriffs are set to be elected in 2020. This page details which counties are voting, and their filing deadlines and election dates.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 27, 2019
A New York bill would abolish felony disenfranchisement. That would mean law enforcement is no longer the arbiter of who gets to vote.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 22, 2019
Michigan automatically treats all 17-year olds as adults, but that will soon change with a major new reform. But prosecutors will retain broad discretion.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 14, 2019
Two San Francisco-based advocates discuss the organizing that helped Chesa Boudin, and the next steps for mass incarceration and criminal justice reform.
A wave of progressive candidates prevailed in elections for prosecutor, overhauling the politics of criminal justice in Virginia and beyond.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 07, 2019
A claimed victory in Kentucky and wins in Virginia mean hundreds of thousands of people could have their right to vote restored.
Will 2019 grow the ranks of decarceral officials? The results will shape bail reform, policing and charging practices, ICE cooperation, voting rights, and more.
Daniel Nichanian Oct 31, 2019
A candidate for prosecutor in Loudoun County, Virginia responds to attacks on her background and argues that criminal justice reform can help public safety.
Daniel Nichanian Oct 24, 2019
In New York and Pennsylvania, some DA elections could slow the surge of homicide prosecutions in the aftermath of an overdose.
New York DA candidates starkly disagree on bail and discovery reforms in Queens and three upstate counties, Dutchess, Monroe, and Ulster.
Daniel Nichanian Oct 10, 2019
Lisa Middleman is challenging Allegheny County DA Stephen Zappala in November. DAs should be “reducing mass incarceration and creating equity,” she told the Political Report.
Daniel Nichanian Oct 04, 2019
Gurbir Grewal terminated existing 287(g) contracts. But immigrants will continue to be treated differently.
The November elections in Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia could alter the politics of rights restoration and potentially expand the electorate.
Daniel Nichanian Sep 26, 2019
Also today: Cooperation with ICE is at stake in Louisiana's October elections.
Daniel Nichanian Sep 19, 2019
“They’re trying to send Hispanics to Mexico or Honduras and put Black men in jail,” said one candidate regarding prevailing practices. “The United States is made for everybody.”
New laws target private prisons, and fines and fees, DAs' power, and more.
The response lays bare the absurd premise of those who offer a handful of anecdotes as reason enough to oppose a systemic reform.
Daniel Nichanian Sep 12, 2019
In a Q&A, Jennifer Riley Collins explains how she would fight overincarceration if she is elected as attorney general of Mississippi this November.
Daniel Nichanian Sep 06, 2019
Also today: How an attorney general candidate wants to reform criminal justice
Illinois prohibition against 287(g) contracts comes two years after California’s ban.
Daniel Nichanian Sep 05, 2019
Medicaid expansion foe wins GOP primary, sets up November clash on an issue with deep implications for the criminal legal system.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 29, 2019
"I saw families that were torn apart, and I saw the consequences of that,” Jim Hingeley, a candidate running in Albemarle County, Virginia, said in a Q&A.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 28, 2019
Also today: Can Louisiana continue reducing its incarceration rate?
Daniel Nichanian Aug 22, 2019
Checking-in on the politics of prosecutors: A Vermont state's attorney makes waves, and California and Florida prosecutors plan on dismissing more drug charges
Louisiana shed its status as the top incarcerator in the county last year, but the trend is fragile.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 21, 2019
Also today: Colorado organizers prepare for the 2020 legislative session
Daniel Nichanian Aug 15, 2019
A Q&A with Sarah Fair George, a Vermont prosecutor: "imagine how this might impact somebody who is there for six months or a year."
Daniel Nichanian Aug 14, 2019
Advocates of criminal justice reform prepare their next legislative efforts in states like Colorado where the 2019 session is over.
Lawyers and advocates in Miami-Dade County will roll out a new plan to counter the disenfranchisement of people with felony convictions.
Legislative Roundup: New Jersey adopts rare restrictions on solitary confinement, Missouri reform will cut prison population, and more
Daniel Nichanian Jul 19, 2019
Governor Ige vetoed bills restricting civil asset forfeiture and enabling the release of terminally ill people.
Daniel Nichanian Jul 18, 2019
Competitive elections for prosecutor will shape the prospects of decarceral reforms, from Fairfax to Chesterfield.
In November, voters get to orient prosecutorial discretion and immigration policy in the second most populous county in Virginia.
Our roundtable probes the stakes of the Queens DA election for criminal justice reform: “If there is room for reform anywhere in the boroughs of New York City, it is in Queens.”
A new Colorado law curbs ICE’s reach, but it was weakened during the legislative process and stripped of its prohibition against ICE contracts.
Also today: Colorado's Democratic governor opposed banning ICE contracts
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti and Steve Descano oust the chief prosecutors of Arlington and Fairfax counties, overhauling prosecution in Northern Virginia.
Daniel Nichanian Jun 12, 2019
Virginians are voting for their prosecutors in Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties.
Daniel Nichanian Jun 06, 2019
Illinois is set to legalize marijuana, while Colorado and Oklahoma tackled possession of other drugs.
Illinois is legalizing marijuana, while Colorado and Oklahoma confront drug possession.
Spotlight on Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire
Amy Ashworth, who is running for prosecutor of Prince William County, discusses declinations, the death penalty, and cash bail.
Daniel Nichanian May 30, 2019
Philadelphia ousts its sheriff, while the Allegheny County DA wins the Democratic primary
Daniel Nichanian May 23, 2019
Also today: Montana, North Dakota, and Washington State adopt reforms.
An incumbent sheriff faces three challengers in the Democratic primary.
The new citizenship question and the longstanding practice of prison gerrymandering weaponize the census to change the racial geography of power.
The Appeal: Political Report talks to Matthew Dunlap, the secretary of state of Maine, about how prison voting works there.
Daniel Nichanian May 02, 2019
In voting rights special, we also bring you the latest on rights restoration reforms nationwide
In a Q&A, Bernie Sanders explains why he wants to abolish felony disenfranchisement. "The right to vote is inalienable to my mind whether you're in jail or any place else," he said.
Daniel Nichanian Apr 30, 2019
Also today: Criminal justice reform bills advance in Montana, Oklahoma, and elsewhere
Daniel Nichanian Apr 25, 2019
Illinois law uses a cutoff age of 21. Advocates ask, why should people be cut off from the logic of having a separate youth justice system because they are a day over 18?
Also today: Officials announce criminal justice reforms in Texas, Virginia, Utah
Daniel Nichanian Apr 18, 2019
A candidate for prosecutor in Fairfax County, Virginia, explains his views on criminal justice reform, from charging practices and drugs to the death penalty
Also today: Key legislative developments from Virginia, South Dakota, and Iowa
Sheriff Patrick Russo faces no challengers. But the state legislature could act to restrict local cooperation with the federal agency.
Also today: An interview with a candidate for DA in Pittsburgh
While Durham pursues an initiative to reinstate licenses, a Duke University decision sets back the mobility of local residents.
Also today: The Political Report revisits efforts to reform rights restoration in Mississippi
Daniel Nichanian Mar 28, 2019
With the legislative path sidelined once more, could the state emulate Florida in reforming felony disenfranchisement?
Also today: The Political Report launches a new series on the powers of sheriffs
Also today: Jacksonville, Florida Prepares to vote for Sheriff
Also today: an interview with Shani Curry Mitchell, candidate for Rochester District Attorney
Daniel Nichanian Mar 07, 2019
Also today: A review of legislative developments in Indiana, New York, and Utah
Daniel Nichanian Feb 28, 2019
Vermont and Massachusetts legislation would abolish life without parole sentences, while other states consider that reform for minors.
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, a candidate for prosecutor, explains how she wants to fight mass incarceration in Arlington.
Daniel Nichanian Feb 22, 2019
Also today: Study measures impact of bail reform in Philadelphia
Also today: Houston prosecutor’s bid to hire more prosecutors falls short
Daniel Nichanian Feb 13, 2019
In St. Louis, Chicago, and Baltimore, prosecutors have announced a policy of not prosecuting marijuana possession or have launched a new expungement program.
Daniel Nichanian Feb 07, 2019
Advocates pursue many fronts to push for incarcerated individuals to have electoral voice, two decades Massachusetts restricted the franchise.
State advocates demand that politicians be more attentive to confronting the harm that marijuana prohibition has caused.
Two counties in northwest Arkansas joined the 287(g) program with ICE more than a decade ago. A coalition of local groups is organizing to end that cooperation.
Aout 500 prosecutors and sheriffs will be elected in 2019, nearly all in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Daniel Nichanian Jan 04, 2019
A series of electoral victories signals a nationwide shift.
Daniel Nichanian Dec 24, 2018
The majority of Wisconsin counties haven't held a single contested DA election this decade.
Two large North Carolina counties quit ICE's 287(g) program this month.
New Jersey attorney general limits local cooperation with ICE, postpones some decisions.
"What kind of state is Kentucky, truly?" asked an organizer. "What kind of democracy, if you take away folks, Black and brown folks?"
In Georgia, Idaho, and Nebraska, advocates connected the dots between access to care, drug addiction, and mass incarceration.
Local allies of the Trump administration fought challengers over immigration policy.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 08, 2018
From sheriffs to bail to marijuana, and more—here’s what you need to know.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 05, 2018
Marijuana prosecutions and bail reform at the forefront of Dallas DA race.
Alessandra Biaggi and Zellnor Myrie explain the change they want to bring.
Daniel Nichanian Jul 09, 2018