How States Transformed Criminal Justice in 2020, and How They Fell Short
This year of crises, revisited: Nearly 90 state-level bills and initiatives. 16 themes. 7 maps.
Daniel Nichanian Dec 18, 2020
A D.A. Runoff Will Decide New Orleans’ Criminal Justice Future
In the nation’s incarceration capital, activists push for a prosecutor who will make sweeping reforms.
Katie Jane Fernelius Nov 23, 2020
ICE Suffered Blows in the South in Last Week’s Elections
Voters in populous Georgia and South Carolina counties elected sheriffs who ran on ending contracts with ICE.
Daniel Nichanian Nov 12, 2020
Your Guide to 30 Sheriff and Prosecutor Elections That Could Challenge Mass Incarceration
These are the key local elections where criminal justice reform is on the line next month, around the country.
Daniel Nichanian Oct 19, 2020
These Twelve Elections Could Curb ICE’s Powers
In many places that have long helped arrest and detain immigrants, voters will decide the fate of local partnerships with ICE, possibly dealing a series of blows to the agency.
Daniel Nichanian Oct 09, 2020
How New Orleans Activists Are Pushing D.A. Candidates to End Mass Incarceration
The retirement of a notoriously harsh DA has opened the door for criminal justice reform in New Orleans.
Katie Jane Fernelius Oct 08, 2020
The Sheriff Candidate Who Is Challenging “The Poster Child for the Trump Administration”
Eliseo Santana, running for sheriff in Florida’s Pinellas County, wants to end collaboration with ICE, reduce arrests, and shift some funds toward health services.
Daniel Nichanian Oct 02, 2020
How One Election Might Strike a Blow to Mass Incarceration in Arizona
In Maricopa County, years of harsh charging and sentencing policies have sent state incarceration rates soaring. Now that legacy is in question in November's prosecutor election.
Meg O'Connor Sep 22, 2020
Policing And Ties With ICE On The Menu In Norfolk County’s Sheriff Race
This Massachusetts special election, which starts with next week’s Democratic primary, will shape criminal justice reform prospects in this county—and in state politics.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 25, 2020
Progressive Candidate Wins Orlando’s Primary for Prosecutor, and Four Other Florida Takeaways
In Florida’s primaries, voters set up November clashes on criminal justice, multiple sheriffs lost re-election bids, and Miami’s prosecutor secured a new term.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 19, 2020
“Making Powerful People Feel Uncomfortable Is A Good Thing”: Enter Vermont’s High Bailiffs
Two criminal justice reform advocates, now poised to become high bailiffs, are reimagining this odd office to make the case for civilian oversight on law enforcement.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 18, 2020
Wisconsin is Voting For Its D.A.s, But Democracy Is Not On The Ballot
Nearly all of its 71 DA elections feature a candidate running unopposed. Once again, voters won’t have a say over the shape of prosecution and criminal justice.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 11, 2020
Progressives Score New Wins in Prosecutor Elections, Adding to the Movement’s Breadth
“Maybe we do teach the liberal bastions how things can be done by these country bumpkins over here,” said one winning candidate.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 05, 2020
Nine Elections This Week Could Upend Criminal Justice Nationwide
From Aug. 4 to Aug. 8, keep an eye on Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri.
Daniel Nichanian Aug 03, 2020
Pima County Candidates Battle Over Whether the Prosecutor’s Office Needs an Outsider to Achieve Reform
In this Arizona county with over one million residents, two career prosecutors are facing off against a former public defender in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary, which will decide the election.
Meg O'Connor Jul 30, 2020
St. Louis Prosecutor Faces Voters, After Years of Sustained Fire from Police Union
Kim Gardner has an Aug. 4 rematch against a former prosecutor whom she defeated four years ago, but the terrain has shifted significantly since 2016.
Rachel M. Cohen Jul 23, 2020
Oregon’s D.A. Elections Mock Democracy, Again
DAs keep resigning in election years, and governors keep appointing deputy prosecutors who then get to face voters as incumbents. It happened again this year.
Daniel Nichanian May 07, 2020
A Powerful D.A. Fought New York’s Reforms. His Challenger Wants to Push Them Further.
Matt Toporowski, up against the former head of the DA’s association, says he would “walk down the halls with advocates and lobby for progressive reform.”
Daniel Nichanian Apr 30, 2020
“Time Is of the Essence”: How States Can Shore Up Mail Voting
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
Progressives See Super Tuesday as a Chance to Transform Los Angeles
“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
Blockbuster D.A. Races Rock Big Texas Counties, from Austin to Houston
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
How Rachel Rossi Would Change the D.A.’s Role in Los Angeles: “It Takes a Public Defender”
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.
Daniel Nichanian Jan 16, 2020
How George Gascón Wants to Reform Los Angeles and Achieve “the Lowest Level of Intervention”
“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
As Illinois Votes for Its Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys Say to Not “Just Go with the Flow”
We preview the 2020 races for prosecutor in the biggest Illinois counties, starting with the high-stakes election in Cook County (Chicago).
Daniel Nichanian Dec 12, 2019
Bernie Sanders Explains Why He Supports Voting Rights for All Citizens
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
Cory Booker and the Urgency of Rethinking Long Sentences and Approaches to Violence
As a presidential candidate, will Cory Booker continue talking about second chances for people convicted of violent crimes?
Vaidya Gullapalli Feb 06, 2019