A growing body of evidence suggests that it’s possible to reduce or even eliminate the use of money bail without increasing crime.
Ethan Corey Nov 19, 2020
When election and racial justice protests rocked the city, Lori Lightfoot used raised bridges and shutdown public transportation as crowd control measures, which harmed the city’s workers.
Maya Dukmasova Nov 13, 2020
The ideological change is a boon for the left, as states prepare for redistricting in 2021 and the challenges that may come with it.
Joshua Vaughn Nov 06, 2020
Francesca Hong Wins A Seat In The Wisconsin Legislature. She’s Fighting For A Living Wage And Workers’ Rights.
The chef and restaurant owner says she plans to support the fight for a $15 minimum wage and other reforms that will make ‘Wisconsin work better for more people.’
Dawn R. Wolfe Nov 04, 2020
Esther Agbaje, Fighting For Affordable Housing And Prison Reform, Becomes Minnesota’s First Nigerian-American Legislator
“I have always had a focus on public service, always a desire to make sure that I’m using my skills and talents to help people and to make the community around me a little bit better,” she said.
Hollins’s ‘very personal’ decision to run was sparked in part by the Trump administration ‘catching everything on fire.’ Now she wants to advocate for subsidized child care, police reform, and more.
Minnesotans, Fateh said, “should be able to access the folks that are representing us and make sure that they’re partnering with the community.”
If he wins his bid to represent the state’s Sixth District, Hoadley says he would reallocate police funding, improve health care, and invest in rural communities.
Dawn R. Wolfe Nov 02, 2020
The Second District candidate, who has been endorsed by more than 50 Black leaders in Omaha, also wants to make investments in Black and Latinx neighborhoods.
Lauren Gill Oct 30, 2020
The chef and restaurant owner is running for State Assembly in part to fight for a $15 minimum wage and other pro-worker reforms from within the halls of government.
Under the banner of Detroit Will Breathe, the city’s Black Lives Matter activists have formed a cohesive and lasting local political force.
Chris Gelardi Oct 29, 2020
Newman, who is running for a U.S. House seat, wants Medicare for all, green jobs, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Cinnamon Janzer Oct 27, 2020
The current Democratic state senator, Jeff Hayden, lacks the progressive vision that Minnesotans seek, Fateh says.
Dawn R. Wolfe Oct 26, 2020
The Adolescent Redemption Project, a new group organized by Michigan prisoners sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, is advocating for progressive prosecutors.
Marcia Brown Oct 22, 2020
If she wins her bid for office in November, Bush will become the first Black woman elected to represent Missouri in Congress.
Lauren Gill Oct 19, 2020
If she wins at the ballot box in November, Agbaje would become the state’s first Nigerian American state legislator.
Dawn R. Wolfe Oct 16, 2020
A coalition of organizations is hoping Michael Toomin, who is also unwilling to implement diversion programs, loses his retention election.
Athena Hollins Takes On Public Safety, Housing, And Affordable Child Care In Her Run For The Minnesota House
When it comes to public safety, Hollins doesn’t want to stop with reallocating police funding. She’d like her state to track both proven and alleged instances of police misconduct.
Shifting control of the states’ highest courts next month will prove critical on a number of major issues, including redistricting in 2021.
Joshua Vaughn Oct 15, 2020
The Minneapolis City Council’s Attempt To Defund the Police Was Thwarted By An Unelected Charter Commission
Contrary to reports, most City Council members—who ran and won by pledging to advance racial equity—tried to do the right thing, but were stalled by a charter commission that overstepped its authority.
Scott Shaffer Oct 09, 2020
The proposed legislation would expand the city’s public mental healthcare system using funds reallocated from the police budget.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Sep 28, 2020
In a Small Illinois City, A Black Man Died After Officers Shoved A Baton In His Mouth. Black Officers Say They’ve Suffered At The Hands Of The Department, Too.
Lawsuits from Joliet Police Department officers are among at least 12 current federal complaints against the agency. The men say their civil rights lawsuits are part of a decades-long history of discrimination.
Jerry Iannelli Sep 25, 2020
Like her Democratic mayoral counterparts in Portland, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York, Lightfoot has condemned police violence outside her borders, while using law enforcement to suppress demonstrations in her own city.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Sep 03, 2020
A state investigation found that Detroit police officers fabricated evidence that helped convict a 14-year-old boy. A judge threw out his conviction after he spent nine years in prison, but the officers are still on the job and haven’t been flagged as unreliable to testify in court.
Kira Lerner Aug 19, 2020
Life Sentence For Missouri Woman Convicted Of Assaulting Police Officer Is ‘Extremely Distressing,’ Justice Advocate Says
Nicole Poston was sentenced in July for punching a police officer after she slipped free from a handcuff. Life sentences, even for nonhomicide offenses like Poston’s, are ‘a major factor’ in mass incarceration in the U.S., a criminal justice expert said.
Lauren Gill Aug 14, 2020
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan jailed the 15-year-old, known as Grace, for violating her probation by not completing schoolwork. Last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered Grace’s immediate release, which Brennan said left her without the means to ‘issue consequences.’
Dawn R. Wolfe Aug 11, 2020
After 78 Days, Michigan Teen Who Was Jailed For Failing To Complete Her Homework While On Probation Is Released
The Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her immediate release pending an appeal of a circuit court judge’s decision to jail the teen, known as “Grace,” in mid-May.
Dawn R. Wolfe Aug 03, 2020
Lawyers and activists are calling on prosecutor Kym Worthy to dismiss charges against those who have been arrested. As of July 29, 451 Detroiters had been arrested for violating Michigan’s concealed carry law, an increase of 190 percent compared to July 2019.
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan sent the 15-year-old, known as Grace, to juvenile detention in May for violating her probation by not completing online schoolwork. On Monday, the judge said Grace was ‘blooming’ in the facility, despite arguments by Grace that she is falling behind.
Dawn R. Wolfe Jul 21, 2020
The frustrations of residents in the Powderhorn neighborhood, not far from where George Floyd was killed, have gotten some national coverage. But the homelessness crisis in the city isn’t new, and it could soon get worse.
Rachel M. Cohen Jul 15, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has hampered the process of installing a police oversight council, activists say, despite making it a major part of her public safety platform during her mayoral run.
Maya Dukmasova Jun 23, 2020
Two people, arrested and detained in Cincinnati after protesting the police killing of George Floyd, recall being held at the jail, outside, for hours.
Caleb Brennan Jun 22, 2020
Coroners and police departments have cited the condition in cases across the country, often clearing officers of wrongdoing when people die in their custody. In Floyd’s case, experts say, the diagnosis is irrelevant to his death.
Tana Ganeva Jun 11, 2020
Amid One Of The Nation’s Worst Coronavirus Outbreaks, A Shortage Of Ankle Monitors Kept Some People In Jail
Advocates question why Chicago judges continued to order people to home detention instead of releasing them on their own recognizance.
Kira Lerner Jun 02, 2020
Oakland County Jail Ordered To Identify Prisoners Who Should Be Released To Protect Them From COVID-19
A U.S. district court judge said the Michigan jail has demonstrated ‘deliberate indifference’ to the lives of ‘medically vulnerable’ prisoners who are at particular risk of the novel coronavirus.
Dawn R. Wolfe May 21, 2020
As COVID-19 deaths mount in Michigan prisons, the review of questionable convictions has slowed, leaving prisoners vulnerable to the disease.
For weeks, two houses in Illinois’ Vienna Correctional Center ran on generator power and had intermittent failures, multiple prisoners told The Appeal. The outages made it harder to use the shared bathroom, one of the few places they could wash their hands.
If the U.S. Supreme Court or the state’s governor doesn’t step in, Barton’s would be the first execution carried out in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lauren Gill May 19, 2020
A district court judge who issued a temporary restraining order in the case said jail officials had not ‘imposed even the most basic safety measures recommended by health experts.’
Dawn R. Wolfe May 15, 2020
An appellate court says officials at Federal Correctional Institution, Elkton, must begin identifying prisoners vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.
Marcia Brown May 05, 2020
Prisoners say the jail, which has seen more than 800 confirmed cases, is a ‘death trap’ plagued by sanitary issues and a lack of testing. Their testimonies stand at stark odds with the sheriff’s office, which says it is keeping ‘staff and detainees as safe as possible.’
Maya Dukmasova Apr 28, 2020
Governor Mike DeWine, critics say, ‘is risking turning low-level prison sentences into death sentences.’
Dawn R. Wolfe Apr 16, 2020
Federal Judge Blocks Michigan From Enforcing State’s Sex Offender Registry ‘Until COVID-19 Crisis Has Ended’
Michigan was one of several states requiring registrants to report to local police stations in person despite the risk to public health from coronavirus.
Dawn R. Wolfe Apr 09, 2020
Voting Rights Advocates Sound the Alarm About Disenfranchisement of Black Voters in Wisconsin’s Primary
'We literally held an election during a pandemic.'
Kira Lerner Apr 07, 2020
It took a prisoner’s death ‘just for them to pass out a single extra bar of soap,’ one incarcerated man said.
ICE has adopted no policies aimed at releasing any of the 38,000 people it keeps in county jails and private detention centers across the country.
Chris Gelardi Apr 01, 2020
Prisoners are “especially vulnerable to contracting and spreading COVID-19,” Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker wrote in his executive order.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 27, 2020
With one term under her belt as Chicago's top prosecutor, Foxx says she has more work to do to right a system that has been "unfair, and totally unjust."
Mari Cohen Mar 16, 2020
Judicial responses to the pandemic have varied and are changing rapidly.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 13, 2020
More than 100 people signed an open letter to Eric Holcomb requesting that he begin releasing people most likely to be seriously harmed or killed by the coronavirus.
Joshua Vaughn Mar 10, 2020
A complaint filed in 2013 on behalf of 500 currently and formerly incarcerated youth alleged that they were assaulted and harassed by incarcerated adults and corrections staff in adult prisons and jails across the state.
Eric Schmitt should follow the lead of a Pennsylvania prosecutor who acknowledged that a man deserved a new trial, even when it meant reversing a murder conviction.
Ben Miller Feb 25, 2020
A Man Shot by Chicago Police Is Receiving $10 Million From the City. In 2013, Rahm Emanuel Praised the Officers Responsible.
The former mayor issued a city resolution honoring officers for their ‘bravery’ in a shooting that paralyzed Tarance Etheredge, who will receive a payout from a civil rights lawsuit.
Joshua Vaughn Feb 21, 2020
The authors reported that 29.4 percent of the possession cases involved Black individuals in a county where Black people make up only 8.9 percent of the population.
Criminal Justice Group Drops Support For Pretrial Risk Assessment Tools As Ohio Justices Seek To Block Their Use
Reform advocates say the risk assessments are racially biased and are not effective at their key tasks: predicting the likelihood someone will return to court.
Dawn R. Wolfe Feb 12, 2020
A bipartisan group has recommended substantive changes to the state’s legal justice system, including cash bail reform and proposals to divert people living with mental illnesses away from incarceration.
Dawn R. Wolfe Feb 03, 2020
Republicans are leading an effort to get rid of blanket restrictions on where some people with sex-offense records can live. A Democratic governor is blocking them.
Steven Yoder Jan 03, 2020
According to a complaint, police in Oak Lawn, a suburb of Chicago, subjected Tylus Allen Jr. to invasive searches, all of which turned up nothing.
Aaron Morrison Dec 19, 2019
Chicago’s Gang Database Can Have ‘Devastating’ Consequences, But There’s No Way To Be Removed From It.
Social media posts, tattoos, or the unvetted word of an officer can lead to inclusion on the list, which is overwhelmingly composed of people of color.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Dec 18, 2019
Vaidya Gullapalli Dec 16, 2019
The suit is the latest of at least three complaints filed against the Portage County Jail this year.
Officers at the Cuyahoga County Jail in Ohio are accused of pepper-spraying and assaulting a man for merely asking about his release date.
Joshua Vaughn Dec 12, 2019
In a federal lawsuit, Hardel Sherrell’s mother accuses the staff at a Minnesota jail of allowing her son to die.
The Supreme Court Ruled That Sentences Like Hers Are Unconstitutional. Prosecutors Are Fighting To Keep Her Incarcerated.
Prosecutor Jessica Cooper of Oakland County, Michigan, has aggressively pursued life without the possibility of parole for children, critics say. She recommended the sentence for Barbara Hernández, who at 16 was a ‘slave’ to an abusive boyfriend who drew her into a plan that ended in murder.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Dec 09, 2019
Even after a major class action suit required Illinois to revamp its prison healthcare system, doctors whose alleged neglect resulted in major injury or death still remain on the prison system payroll.
Taylor Elizabeth Eldridge Nov 08, 2019
Vaidya Gullapalli Nov 04, 2019
Earlier this year, Danville prison removed about 200 books, many of which dealt with race issues. But the new rules don’t go far enough, says one advocate.
The mayors of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco wrap themselves in the language of progressivism, but when it comes to the criminal legal system they’re Trumpian.
Vaidya Gullapalli Oct 25, 2019
District Attorney Michael O’Malley’s 2016 election was viewed by some as a win for Black Lives Matter, but the number of children transferred to adult court in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, has increased more than 100 percent.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Oct 22, 2019
A Prisoner Review Board memo released in July requires a minimum of 12 hours of movement with ankle monitors, but some people say they’re still being given far less.
Kira Lerner Oct 18, 2019
His legal team had pushed for clemency, arguing that Bucklew’s previous attorneys mishandled his capital murder case.
Lauren Gill Oct 02, 2019
Vaidya Gullapalli Sep 23, 2019
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that his execution, which experts have said will be bloody and gruesome, does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. But problems with his case started long before that, his attorneys say.
Lauren Gill Sep 20, 2019
Nearly half of all arrests in the state are drug or alcohol related, compared to just 29 percent nationally.
In a rare move, a federal court vacated Anastazia Schmid’s murder conviction, saying she’d received ineffective assistance of counsel and had been mentally unfit to stand trial. But Schmid, who’d spent 18 years in prison, remained locked up for three months more.
Victoria Law Sep 06, 2019
Advocates warn that overuse of ankle monitors and other forms of electronic monitoring produce consequences of their own.
Kira Lerner Sep 05, 2019
Kansas City news outlets called scores of people ‘violent criminals’ based solely on the word of police and the federal government.
Adam H. Johnson Sep 03, 2019
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is partnering with a technology nonprofit to expunge tens of thousands of minor marijuana convictions. Other jurisdictions could follow.
Kira Lerner Aug 30, 2019
How high or low bond is isn’t a measure of how severe the state considers a crime.
Adam H. Johnson Aug 28, 2019
A 10-year-old was charged with assault for throwing a ball at a classmate. The case was dropped, but its effect is still felt.
Raven Rakia Aug 22, 2019
In the wake of the Dayton shooting, Gov. Mike DeWine proposed creating more space in psychiatric hospitals by removing some people who are court-ordered to be there.
Kira Lerner Aug 14, 2019
Children as young as 4 years old are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, the complaints say.
In Cook County, Illinois, 99 percent of defendants deemed ‘high risk’ for pretrial violence don’t reoffend.
Ethan Corey Aug 08, 2019
A new report shows that a progressive approach, like the one advanced by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, can help decrease jail populations—and crime.
Kira Lerner Aug 05, 2019
Four transgender women say clinicians and staff deny them gender-affirming care and see their identity as in conflict with sex offender treatment.
Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard Jul 15, 2019
Outlets ran over 200 articles covering the vandalism. The outsize attention will likely damage young lives.
Adam H. Johnson Jul 11, 2019
A company in Cleveland County exemplifies how for-profit legal services affect poor and vulnerable individuals.
Kira Lerner Jun 26, 2019
Vaidya Gullapalli Jun 12, 2019
Chicago hands out millions in settlements and legal fees for police misconduct. Its newly inaugurated mayor should take a dollar from the department’s budget for every dollar the city spends settling with its victims.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem May 29, 2019
An autopsy blamed the sleeping situation, but forensic experts aren’t so sure. And the same Ohio county just charged another mom in a similar case.
Cassi Feldman May 28, 2019
At least two people have killed themselves in jail after waiting for more than a week to be appointed a lawyer.
Mario Koran May 20, 2019
A newly amended class-action lawsuit accuses the Cuyahoga County jail of neglect and mistreatment.
Raven Rakia May 14, 2019
Two sheriffs in Missouri have cut off all in-person visitation in favor of costly video technology.
Teresa Mathew Apr 22, 2019
Adrianna Thurman said she was informed by jail staff after her release that she had ‘slipped through the cracks.’
Katie Rose Quandt Apr 19, 2019
Cook County has a new contract for juvenile ankle monitors that critics say are an invasion of privacy.
Kira Lerner Apr 08, 2019
Andrew Mitchell, a former officer in Ohio who was recently indicted on charges he kidnapped women and forced them to have sex for their freedom, will soon face a grand jury for killing Donna Dalton during a prostitution arrest.
Melissa Gira Grant Mar 28, 2019
There are more than 2,700 people on electronic monitoring in Cook County, Illinois, alone.
Kira Lerner Feb 28, 2019
Jason Van Dyke’s sentence for the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald is approximately half the average sentence for a person convicted of second-degree murder in Cook County, Illinois.
Rob Arthur Feb 25, 2019
Josie and Clint talk to Cook County's head prosecutor.
A lawsuit challenging cash bail in St. Louis could help close a notorious jail.
Kira Lerner Feb 19, 2019
Lawmakers are debating whether to let people with felony convictions vote—but there could be a catch.
Kira Lerner Feb 07, 2019
Family of Donna Dalton, Who Was Shot By a Columbus Police Officer During Arrest, Demands Independent Inquiry
Advocates say the case hasn’t been handled fairly and there’s little hope for justice.
Melissa Gira Grant Feb 01, 2019
A new proposal to abolish small police forces seeks to end the cycle of debt and incarceration.
Teresa Mathew Jan 18, 2019
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam just granted clemency to Brown, who was forced to trade sex for money, but Ohio’s governor declined this week to do the same for Martin.
Melissa Gira Grant Jan 11, 2019
Lawsuits that challenge mental healthcare and medical care for incarcerated people advance in Illinois.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Dec 05, 2018
Attorneys for a Honduran woman are suing over the widespread jailhouse practice of honoring ICE requests to hold incarcerated immigrants for pickup.
Debbie Nathan Dec 03, 2018
In internal documents obtained by The Appeal, the vice unit’s supervisor admits no specific complaints were lodged against Daniels or the club before the police took action.
George Joseph Nov 12, 2018
A lawsuit accuses Illinois of cutting off LGBTQ prisoners’ lifeline to supporters.
Raven Rakia Nov 08, 2018
No Cook County judge has lost a retention election in 28 years.
Bryce Covert Nov 05, 2018
With writer Kelly Hayes.
Adam H. Johnson Oct 11, 2018
The women, who were arrested alongside Stormy Daniels in July, allege that they were smeared by arresting officers, but they’re just the latest to raise concerns.
Melissa Gira Grant Oct 05, 2018
Judges are still setting bail at unaffordable levels, and more people are being held without bond.
Protesters blasting everything from punitive prosecutors to police brutality should be remembered for their role in upsetting the Windy City's political status quo.
Kelly Hayes Oct 02, 2018
Rep. John Becker doubles down on his recent comments about the tasing of an 11-year-old for allegedly shoplifting.
Melissa Gira Grant Sep 14, 2018
Between 2001 and 2017, the department justified officers in 99 percent of use-of-force cases, according to data released through a public records request.
Community outrage mounts over Officer Andrew Mitchell’s killing of Dalton during an attempted prostitution arrest.
Melissa Gira Grant Aug 30, 2018
A white cop joked about bringing explosives to a Black Lives Matter protest in Columbus with no consequences. A black cop joked about ‘black on black’ crime and may be fired.
George Joseph Aug 13, 2018
Several candidates are vying to become Milwaukee Sheriff in the wake of Sheriff David Clarke's resignation last fall. But will they truly spurn his legacy of jail deaths and cooperation with ICE?
Raven Rakia Aug 10, 2018
Taking electronic monitoring to the next level.