Since the pandemic began, vital programs that enable children to receive free meals, such as the National School Lunch Program, haven’t been reaching the families in need of support.
Jamaal Bowman Oct 21, 2020
After defeating long-time incumbents in Democratic primaries, progressive candidates are championing cancelling rent and banning evictions.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Oct 15, 2020
From Criminal Justice Reform To Protecting The Democracy, Mondaire Jones Wants To Bring ‘Big Structural Changes’ To Congress
Jones, who is running in New York’s 17th District, says fighting systemic racism and hyperpartisanship are top priorities.
Lauren Gill Oct 14, 2020
The state representative wants to bar landlords in Pennsylvania from reporting missed or late rent payments to credit agencies.
Joshua Vaughn Oct 13, 2020
An investigation by The Appeal and Spotlight PA found that troopers in three counties have taken big money from drivers, many of whom were never charged.
The city will give advocates 50 vacant homes to be used for permanent housing for low-income residents, according to a tentative agreement.
Joshua Vaughn Sep 29, 2020
In the face of a pandemic and police violence, elected leaders have failed to keep us safe and to champion the voices of marginalized communities like mine. Now it is time to determine our own future.
Tiffany Cabán Sep 23, 2020
Through a series of maneuvers, state legislators narrowed the ambitious scope of Senate Bill 14.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Sep 16, 2020
Documents obtained by The Appeal raise questions about a Pittsburgh-area mass shooting case that fell apart due to prosecutorial misconduct.
Although the new law took effect in January, state data showing how courts are applying it won’t be available until July 2021. And without funding, courts in small towns and villages may never collect the data.
Steven Yoder Sep 09, 2020
The review follows an investigation by The Appeal and Spotlight PA, which found that troopers were using minor traffic stops to illegally detain and search motorists along highways.
Joshua Vaughn Sep 03, 2020
Nikki Addimando, convicted of second-degree murder for the death of her boyfriend, whom she said abused her, petitioned to have her sentence reduced under the 2019 law. But a judge ruled against her. If that ruling is affirmed, state legislators say, it will be ‘insurmountably difficult’ for survivors to ever benefit from the law.
His Brother Called For Help After He Was Acting Strangely. Police Knelt On Him Until He Was Brain Dead.
Body camera video shows that Daniel Prude was complying with police when they knelt on his back and pushed his face to the ground for so long that he stopped breathing.
Meg O'Connor Sep 02, 2020
A review of five years of cases that arose from traffic stops in the south-central region of the state shows that police used underhand tactics to justify holding and searching drivers illegally.
Tom Wolf said Tuesday that legalizing and taxing recreational use of marijuana could help solve fiscal woes that arose from the pandemic, and address long-standing racial injustices.
Joshua Vaughn Aug 26, 2020
Administrative subpoenas—which do not require a judge’s approval—are typically used for the department’s internal investigations, but The Appeal has learned that they are being used in criminal cases.
Ali Winston Aug 25, 2020
What ‘Defund The Police’ Means In A New York Neighborhood With High Homicide Rates and a History of Struggling for Justice
Although there’s a diversity of views about law enforcement in Brownsville, Brooklyn, there’s widespread agreement that the community is still fighting to obtain all the resources it needs to thrive and police itself.
Abigail Savitch-Lew Aug 19, 2020
New York City Pledged to Fund Programs to Stop Domestic Violence Without Involving the Legal System. But There’s Disagreement About How to Do It.
Rates of reporting domestic violence are low in immigrant communities, where survivors of abuse often don’t want to involve the police. As an alternative, the de Blasio administration promised to fund community-based domestic violence programming—but those funds were delayed, and advocates fear programs with strong community ties may not meet the city’s requirements.
Roshan Abraham Aug 18, 2020
The state Board of Pardons recommended last year that hundreds of people’s criminal records be cleared. Months later, more than half are still waiting for Tom Wolf’s signature.
Joshua Vaughn Aug 17, 2020
In New York, fewer people who have experienced sexual assault or rape have sought forensic exams at hospitals during the pandemic. But advocates suggest that’s not evidence of declining sexual violence.
Aviva Stahl Aug 10, 2020
Although the agency has vacant properties, public housing has been out of reach for nearly a decade for many who need it.
Joshua Vaughn Aug 06, 2020
Protesters believe law enforcement is looking for retribution after police arrested a woman Tuesday night and placed her in an unmarked van, a callback to recent events in Portland, Oregon.
Chris Gelardi Jul 29, 2020
The Doe Fund says it pays homeless and formerly incarcerated people New York City’s minimum wage of $15 per hour. But the nonprofit charges weekly fees that can drive their wages below the federal minimum of $7.25.
The advocates describe the reopening as unsafe and unnecessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chris Gelardi Jul 23, 2020
As thousands of people are freed from local jails, a group of nonprofits and activist organizations says the city's housing authority must revamp its policies that banish the formerly incarcerated.
Jerry Iannelli Jul 22, 2020
Advocates Hope New Momentum Around Racial Justice Will Accelerate New York’s Plans To Limit Solitary Confinement
A year after state officials said they would take steps to overhaul solitary confinement rules, prisoners remain isolated in conditions that one says is akin to being ‘buried alive.’
Victoria Law Jul 20, 2020
State law requires all murder charges be automatically filed in adult court, regardless of age.
Public schools have long needed more funding to keep the bodies and minds of teachers, staff, and students safe. But these are not the investments our elected officials choose to make.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jul 16, 2020
Organizations in New York City have stepped in to help families with funeral costs and related matters in communities hit hard by the disease, but their money and resources are strained.
Bryce Covert Jul 15, 2020
An Appeal analysis shows that the percentage of people held without bond remains steady, at roughly 33%, although arrests are down during the pandemic.
Jerry Iannelli Jul 14, 2020
In a moment of crisis, the state Senate and House are slated to be in recess until January.
Jay Willis Jul 10, 2020
Many city residents who’ve served time for sexual crimes have families who want them back, but a 19-year-old law keeps them away.
Steven Yoder Jul 08, 2020
The two men have been awaiting Tom Wolf’s signature for more than six months.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 01, 2020
Amid Calls to Reform Police, New York Activists and Lawmakers Demand An Elected Civilian Complaint Review Board
A representative board is needed to check the power of the NYPD and appropriately discipline officers for misconduct, they argue.
Amir Khafagy Jun 29, 2020
Reductions in budgets related to the novel coronavirus have slowed New York City’s plan to close Rikers by building new jails, and it’s becoming increasingly possible that the city will not meet its January 2027 deadline.
Workers report facing a difficult choice between earning a living and feeling safe and healthy at their job.
Amir Khafagy Jun 26, 2020
The city’s clearance rate for murder, whose victims are disproportionately Black, has hovered around 40 percent for the last several years.
Joshua Vaughn Jun 25, 2020
Legal Experts Question Use Of Federal Law To Prosecute Torching Of Empty NYPD Patrol Car During Protests
Federal prosecutors argue that damaging a police vehicle is a violation of federal statutes in part because the police department receives federal funding. Former prosecutors and law professors say it’s an absurd rationale driven by politics of the Justice Department.
Jerry Iannelli Jun 23, 2020
Massachusetts Court Won’t Block Access To Reports On Who Boston Police May Have Targeted on Social Media
District Attorney Rachael Rollins sought to block the disclosure of records that could show Boston police used Snapchat to target people who are Black or Latinx.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jun 16, 2020
Memos obtained by The Appeal and anecdotes from public defenders reveal how, for a week during protests over police brutality, the NYPD stalled cases by directing officers not to testify in court.
Chris Gelardi Jun 12, 2020
Essential workers say curfews put them at risk of police violence, even though they were exempt.
The New Jersey department received slavish media praise after it was disbanded and reoriented toward community policing. But behind the reformist mask was an embrace of surveillance and broken windows policing.
‘This ruling is a particularly terrible blow because it comes at a time when people are taking to the streets en masse to protest state violence against Black people,’ said Nora Carroll, an attorney for Jalil Muntaqim, who has been imprisoned since 1971.
Victoria Law Jun 08, 2020
Democrats have introduced and reintroduced bills that have languished in the Judiciary Committee, which must approve them before they reach the full House.
Obscure New Jersey ‘Treatment’ Facility Has A Higher COVID-19 Death Rate Than Any Prison In The Country
The detainees already completed their criminal sentences—but they are prevented from leaving for years. And with the coronavirus spreading, their lives are at risk.
Jordan Michael Smith Jun 04, 2020
Lawmakers are targeting a statute that has been used as a cudgel to bat away almost any inquiries into police misconduct.
Under the HEROES Act, the Community Oriented Policing Services program would receive $300 million to fund the hiring of more police. Democratic and Republican leaders alike remain committed to the ideology of increased funding, even under the guise of reform.
Ross Barkan Jun 03, 2020
State Assembly members, senators, and city council members have said they will decline and donate funds from police and corrections officers as New Yorkers fill the streets to protest recent violence by law enforcement.
Bryce Covert Jun 02, 2020
Less Than Half a Percent of Pennsylvania Prisoners Have Been Granted Emergency Release During the Pandemic
Advocates had hoped Governor Tom Wolf would use his executive reprieve power to release thousands of people from prisons in the face of COVID-19.
Joshua Vaughn May 29, 2020
New York attorneys have launched a campaign to release transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary prisoners during the pandemic.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 28, 2020
Nonprofit Landlords Have Gone The Extra Mile To Support Tenants During The Pandemic. But There’s Trouble Ahead.
Many community development corporations assist not only tenants, but also a wider community of low-income people with a range of social services.
Abigail Savitch-Lew May 27, 2020
Parole Reform Might Have Freed Maryland’s Longest-Serving Incarcerated Woman. Instead, She Was Hospitalized With COVID-19.
Eraina Pretty has served 42 years in prison in connection with a 1978 store robbery. A new law that might have led to her release has been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Victoria Law May 21, 2020
On the pretext of conducting ‘transnational gang operations,’ ICE raids have swept up thousands of U.S. citizens.
The women are kept in cramped, unsanitary quarters, the suit says, and are not permitted the same job opportunities as men held at the same facility.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 19, 2020
Coronavirus infections climb at the state’s only maximum-security facility for women, and those held there fear for their safety.
Lyra Walsh Fuchs May 18, 2020
Freddy Butler, Oliver Macklin, and Charles Goldblum are among the 17 people who received recommendations for commutations of life sentences in 2019, but Governor Tom Wolf has yet to sign off on their releases.
Jeremy Hix is serving 70 months in federal prison for a sex offense—a conviction that disqualifies him for a Bureau of Prisons home confinement program, despite a health condition that puts him at risk of the coronavirus.
Joshua Vaughn May 14, 2020
The governor’s requirements for release are too narrow in light of the threat from COVID-19, they say.
Bryce Covert May 13, 2020
Some are striking because they can’t afford to pay the rent. Others are striking in protest against what they say is inhumane treatment.
An Erie County judge said the pregnant 20-year-old would be ‘safer’ in jail from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Victoria Law May 11, 2020
Prisoners Who Test Positive For COVID-19 In Connecticut Are Sent To A Notorious Maximum Security Prison
Faculty members of the Yale School of Public Health, the Yale School of Medicine, and the Yale School of Nursing wrote to the governor that sending patients there is “inhumane and ineffective.”
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 08, 2020
Incarcerated people like John Brookins, who is serving life without the possibility of parole, will have to wait until June or later for a chance at clemency.
Joshua Vaughn May 07, 2020
After a man incarcerated in a New Jersey state prison was hospitalized with COVID-19, he said he was handcuffed for 36 hours. The cuffs got tangled in his IV, causing it to rip out, he said. “It was so painful. You have no idea.”
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 05, 2020
Political concerns are slowing efforts to depopulate prisons in the state, advocates say.
Adam Willems May 01, 2020
Prisoners feel like they are ‘sitting ducks,’ said a woman whose boyfriend is incarcerated at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.
Lauren Gill Apr 30, 2020
Shot By Police, Then Convicted In A Murder He Says He Didn’t Commit. Now He’s Facing COVID-19 Behind Bars.
The 2015 shooting left Keith Davis Jr. with respiratory issues. His defense attorney says that as he appeals his case he should be freed from prison.
Brandon Soderberg Apr 29, 2020
A woman detained by ICE was sick with COVID-19 for days before being removed from a 50-person jail dorm in York County, Pennsylvania, according to women housed with her.
Joshua Vaughn Apr 27, 2020
Coronavirus Is Ready To Explode Inside Fort Dix Federal Prison, Incarcerated People and Their Loved Ones Say
One prisoner says a man collapsed while waiting for a temperature check and was sprayed down with disinfectant as he lay on the floor. BOP denied it.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Apr 23, 2020
The Bureau of Prisons could send those without homes to alternative halfway houses far from D.C. or back to prison at the end of the month.
‘I would go to the hospital very often and they wouldn’t do anything for me.’
The state’s law enforcement agencies failed to implement a 2018 data-sharing law. Now officials are struggling to identify high-risk people to release from county jails.
Ethan Corey Apr 22, 2020
The city has created the structural conditions that have engendered disproportionately high rates of infection and death among its Black and Latinx residents.
Their proposals move beyond Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day eviction moratorium and call for suspending or forgiving rent payments longer term.
Bryce Covert Apr 21, 2020
‘It seems like Black people are still being criminalized and are not free,’ one organizer said.
Lauren Gill Apr 17, 2020
As Coronavirus Spread, Dozens Of Law Enforcement Agents Raided Virginia Housing Projects Over Alleged Small Drug Deals
Despite distancing warnings, more than 80 state and federal agents fanned out in an anti-drug operation that, The Appeal has learned, was based on a series of retail-level drug sales.
Jerry Iannelli Apr 16, 2020
The Pennsylvania Innocence Project was seeking the exoneration of Rudolph Sutton when he died on April 8 from complications related to COVID-19.
Joshua Vaughn Apr 15, 2020
His attorney says the Suffolk County DA’s office tried to send “an innocent man to his death.”
Advocates say the “progressive” city has left them to die.
Rebecca Chowdhury Apr 14, 2020
Tom Wolf said Friday he will use his reprieve power, a form of clemency, to reduce the state prison population.
Joshua Vaughn Apr 10, 2020
A Brooklyn teacher tried three times to get treatment for the coronavirus. Now she’s fighting for her life.
The city’s DA’s office and its public defender association urged judges to adopt video meetings to speed the release of incarcerated people. But emails obtained by The Appeal show that judges took a much more limited approach to decarceration.
Mother Of Slain 4-Year-Old Says Pennsylvania Should Release Death Row Prisoner With COVID-19 Symptoms
Sharon Fahy, whose daughter was murdered in 1988, asked the court to release Walter Ogrod, the man convicted in her killing.
Lauren Gill Apr 09, 2020
Amid COVID-19 Panic, Pennsylvania Republicans Warn Governor Against Taking Executive Action to Release Prisoners
They tell Tom Wolf that taking any unilateral actions to reduce the state’s prison population would endanger public safety.
Twenty-eight people were to attend weeks-long drug treatment programs after violating parole. The COVID-19 pandemic nearly trapped them in jail indefinitely.
District attorneys in the state could decarcerate quickly by dropping unnecessary cases.
Will Isenberg Apr 08, 2020
At the Center of the Coronavirus Pandemic, People Inside NYC Jails Describe Fear, Confusion and a Lack of Supplies
'They're not supplying us with masks, they’re not supplying us gloves, they're not supplying us with decent cleaning supplies.'
The state, which accounts for roughly one-third of all positive COVID-19 cases in the country, is facing a rapid spread of the disease in its jail and prison systems.
Bryce Covert Apr 06, 2020
The emergency program seeks to release a select group of prisoners but does not go far enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, experts and Democratic lawmakers say.
Joshua Vaughn Apr 05, 2020
People Held in New York Prison Say They Face Abuse After Guard In Their Unit Tested Positive For COVID-19
Men in Unit B-2 at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility say staff members have harassed and abused them since they possibly came into contact with an infected officer.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Apr 03, 2020
The Office of General Counsel determined that the governor could likely use reprieves to release vulnerable people from prison to control COVID-19’s spread, but the office is advising against it, according to internal emails obtained by The Appeal.
Joshua Vaughn Mar 31, 2020
People held in Bristol County are ‘extremely agitated and panicking’ due to unsanitary conditions and overcrowding amid the coronavirus outbreak.
New York City Jails Have an Alarmingly High Infection Rate, According to an Analysis by the Legal Aid Society
“Based on this analysis, New York City jails have become the epicenter of COVID-19,” a Legal Aid attorney said.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 26, 2020
“The doctors said they were going to come and do screenings every day, but for the past two days, they’ve just come into the dorm and stood by the front door and yelled, ‘Does anybody have any symptoms?’”
Kim Kelly Mar 25, 2020
“Still no hand sanitizer, no bleach.”
Kim Kelly Mar 24, 2020
The island’s Communicable Disease Unit is already overflowing with quarantined people.
Up to 1,000 people will have their sentences delayed or suspended.
Kira Lerner Mar 23, 2020
Advocates have called on Governor Tom Wolf and state Department of Corrections officials to release elderly and infirm people from state prisons. But the law is limiting how quickly they can move.
While those facing charges appear by video at arraignments, all others—attorneys, officers, the judge—are in the courtroom in close quarters, defense attorneys say.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 20, 2020
Rikers Island Physician Voices Coronavirus Fears As Cuomo Meets With Officials Looking To Scuttle Bail Reforms
Late Wednesday, the chief physician at the Rikers jail complex said on Twitter that judges and prosecutors must not leave New York City's jailed population ‘in harm’s way.’
Lauren Gill Mar 19, 2020
Conditions at the Newark jail where the strike is taking place were dire even before the threat of COVID-19.
A man with multiple medical conditions incarcerated on a technical violation urgently needs to be released, his attorney says.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 18, 2020
The Metropolitan Police Department has discussed reducing arrests, but it has not formally announced any policy changes.
The individual had no contact with people in custody for at least the past month, according to the DOC.
Kira Lerner Mar 16, 2020
Andrew Cuomo, who recently announced the state would employ prisoners to make hand sanitizer, must prepare for the particular vulnerabilities of the state’s prison population to COVID-19, advocates say.
Bryce Covert Mar 11, 2020
Rhode Island prosecutors charged nine people with felony distribution of the addiction treatment drug. Reform prosecutors in other states are declining such charges and instead encouraging access to the drug.
Between solidarity actions and political efforts, Jewish communities have a wide range of options to stop antisemitic violence without relying on a criminal legal system that harms communities of color.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Mar 06, 2020
Montgomery County Chief Public Defender Dean Beer and Deputy Chief Keisha Hudson were fired last month after filing an amicus brief critical of the county’s bail setting practices.
Dennis Sica struggled with substance use disorder and sold small amounts of heroin that prosecutors connected to overdose deaths. Because of an 1980s-era federal law, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Jon Campbell Mar 05, 2020
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who once offered prisoners at his jails as laborers to build the border wall, is one of many sheriffs who partners with the agency.
Ella Fassler Mar 04, 2020
Prison-based gerrymandering takes political power away from Black and Latinx communities—power that could be used to push for more funding for schools, social services, infrastructure, and other important reforms.
Robert Saleem Holbrook Mar 02, 2020
Another Reason To End Prison Gerrymandering: To Identify And Invest In Neighborhoods Most Affected By Incarceration
Vaidya Gullapalli Feb 28, 2020
Advocates, formerly incarcerated people, and lawmakers warned against overhauling the New York law before it has a chance to prove itself.
Bryce Covert Feb 26, 2020
A New York Law Could Reduce Sentences for Domestic Violence Survivors. Why Are Judges Reluctant to Apply It?
The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act allows judges to consider shorter sentences, as well as non-prison sentences, if abuse factored significantly in the crime.
Victoria Law Feb 24, 2020
At least one error led to a wrongful arrest, according to a Freedom of Information Law request, underscoring the need for better oversight of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, advocates say.
Vaidya Gullapalli Feb 14, 2020
Arthur’s story speaks to a troubling tendency in the legal system, reform advocates say: to treat mental health crises as criminal matters, rather than matters of public health.
An Appeal documentary on life without the possibility of parole—and its impact on loved ones—in the state.
Joshua Vaughn Feb 13, 2020
Baltimore Defense Attorneys Claim Surveillance Plane Footage Contradicts Law Enforcement Account Of Police Shooting
Jawan Richards was shot by Baltimore police and hit with gun and assault charges stemming from the incident. His defense attorneys now say video evidence may exonerate their client.
As old audio clips of Bloomberg defending the controversial policing policy went viral, new data showed the practice isn’t fading away in New York city.
In two articles, the Times asserts a ‘spike’ in crime since the passage of bail reform in New York, an increase that the articles themselves note they can’t prove.
A review of charging dockets in Lebanon County shows Ashley Menser was the only person charged with felony retail theft in 2018 to receive a 7-year maximum sentence.