By appointing a reformer to replace the outgoing Xavier Becerra, Newsom has the chance to begin dismantling a sprawling, bloated system of prisons and jails that incarcerated nearly a quarter-million people as of 2018.
Jay Willis Jan 14, 2021
Courts must not overrepresent the viewpoints of the most powerful at the expense of the communities they serve.
Sarah Fair George Jan 08, 2021
The historical connections were on full display during Wednesday’s violence at the Capitol.
It’s time for political leaders, no matter their party, to listen to voters—and provide financial relief from the pandemic.
By winning a narrow majority in the upper chamber, Democrats could at last stop the Republican assault on voting rights—if its centrist members have the courage to do so.
Jay Willis Dec 18, 2020
In the new year, every prosecutor’s office should commit to protecting victims and workers, holding police accountable, and keeping families together.
Chesa Boudin Dec 17, 2020
As a staff member of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, I fight for all children, especially those impacted by systemic racism in our criminal justice system.
Catherine Jones Dec 15, 2020
The Court’s willingness to infer discrimination against Judeo-Christian religions from poorly articulated remarks that accompanied a public health response to COVID-19 may make other laws and policies vulnerable to claims of religious discrimination as well.
Leah Litman Dec 09, 2020
The CDC must immediately extend its emergency eviction moratorium to give the Biden administration and Congress time to provide additional emergency rental assistance.
Progressive policies face a committee structure that distorts democracy and favors corporate-backed centrists.
Zephyr Teachout Dec 04, 2020
With aggressive legal maneuvering, the incoming head of the Justice Department can reverse some of Trump’s most lasting harm and take steps toward a more humane immigration system.
The Rittenhouse case raises particularly pointed questions about what we are really talking about when we talk about bail.
Cori Bush Nov 24, 2020
In North Carolina, Attorney General Josh Stein’s Republican opponent painted him as soft on crime. Voters re-elected him anyway.
Jay Willis Nov 18, 2020
A Democratic president who politely listens to progressive rhetoric while failing to act on it is one who just watches the planet burn a little more slowly.
Jay Willis Nov 12, 2020
Party leaders have blamed progressive left policies for disappointing electoral results. A close examination of winners and losers suggests otherwise.
Aidan Smith Nov 09, 2020
Members of The Squad are already among the Democratic Party’s most influential voices.
Jay Willis Nov 04, 2020
Grown adults have voted their way into the current morass in this country. Now is the time for a younger generation to lead the way.
David A. Love Nov 03, 2020
If Democrats win control of the Senate, allowing this archaic tradition to survive will make everything of significance the party hopes to accomplish virtually impossible.
Jay Willis Nov 02, 2020
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
In a presidential election likely to take weeks or months to decide, the race to name a winner on Nov. 3 could do tremendous damage to the integrity of the vote-counting process.
Jay Willis Oct 14, 2020
Truitt Watts, who is serving a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole at Oregon State Correctional Institution, describes the programs that helped him recover from addiction and address his past.
Truitt Watts Oct 13, 2020
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
President Trump has appointed a quarter of active federal appellate judges, and they have decisively hampered legal efforts to force prisons and jails to address the coronavirus.
Samuel Weiss Oct 06, 2020
Research has shown only that police can be sufficient, not that they are necessary.
John Pfaff Oct 02, 2020
Mayors of liberal cities love to criticize the president’s incendiary law-and-order rhetoric, but do precious little to check police violence and bloated budgets in their own backyards.
Jay Willis Sep 30, 2020
Governor Newsom should sign the CRISES Act into law this week and invest in community partners who support people in crisis situations.
Asantewaa Boykin Sep 29, 2020
Under the guise of restoring public confidence in law enforcement, President Trump’s secretive and regressive Commission on Law Enforcement is stacked with old-guard failed tough-on-crime thinking that precipitated the crisis of confidence we now face.
Rebalancing the nation’s highest court is a reasonable, proportionate response to a system that failed a long time ago.
Jay Willis Sep 25, 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
The Trump administration mishandled COVID-19, creating conditions that left transgender people even more vulnerable to housing instability than before. Now it’s pushing for a rule change that would allow homeless shelters to discriminate against trans people.
California just made it a tiny bit easier for formerly incarcerated people to become civilian firefighters. But the law still leaves many obstacles in their path.
Jay Willis Sep 15, 2020
Sports venues like the new SoFi Stadium have been crushing poor communities around the country for over a century.
Jonny Coleman Sep 10, 2020
Tenants and progressive leaders who cried out for a national action must now grapple with two truths: This eviction moratorium will save lives, but everything about it is a page out of Trump’s re-election playbook.
Tara Raghuveer Sep 02, 2020
The president’s fearmongering over mail-in ballots is part of a long history of politicians denying members of marginalized communities, and particularly Black people, the right to vote.
Athletes should demand more than prosecutions of police officers who kill Black people. The criminal legal system is a guilty system responsible for our oppression. It cannot also be the guardian of our liberation. Here are three racial justice demands that athletes can support right now.
Derecka Purnell Aug 27, 2020
The execution of Mitchell against the will of the Navajo Nation only perpetuates the U.S.’s dreadful history of colonial violence and oppression of Indigenous peoples.
Ruth Hopkins Aug 19, 2020
A lawsuit alleges Breonna Taylor died because Louisville was trying to arrest its way toward economic redevelopment. Research shows this is common.
Brenden Beck Aug 04, 2020
The presence of police in schools is emblematic of America’s carceral approach to governing.
Aaron Stagoff-Belfort Aug 03, 2020
To decarcerate New Orleans, we must defund the police department.
Federal agents have been unfairly arresting Black and brown people for decades. Now that white Portlanders are seeing it up close and personal, they are outraged. Better late than never.
Qualified immunity is just one obstacle of many that incarcerated people face when seeking to hold correctional officers accountable for misconduct.
Joshua Manson Jul 23, 2020
If the justice system’s goal is to produce healthy, safe, and productive members of society, then it must begin with support from corrections staff and healthy relationships with peers.
Anthony Richardson Jul 22, 2020
From crackdowns on Black students decades ago to more recent arrests during protests against neo-Confederates, the department has served as a tool for enforcing white supremacy.
Cam Calisch Jul 21, 2020
Tens of thousands of people in Los Angeles County are at high risk for becoming homeless after the temporary halt on evictions is lifted—one of the largest mass displacements the region has ever seen.
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
As criminal justice reformers take steps to defund police departments and limit qualified immunity, it’s important to consider the role of universal and special duties in policing.
Eric Kennedy Jul 15, 2020
COVID-19 is disproportionately putting Black and Latinx people at higher risk of eviction, fueling a housing crisis that is already in progress.
Jay Willis Jul 14, 2020
Attorney General Bill Barr has scheduled executions for four people on federal death row in July and August. That’s more federal executions in one month than in the entire modern history of the federal death penalty.
Ben Cohen Jul 13, 2020
Prioritizing bar examiners’ gatekeeping function during a pandemic and economic crisis means putting aspiring lawyers at risk and making it harder for nonwhite and low-income people to enter the legal profession.
The nation has an opportunity to take advantage of this transformative event and pursue an alternative to the current system.
David A. Love Jun 30, 2020
The July 4th event will only serve to endanger the Black Hills National Forest, spread contagion, and continue the president’s pattern of sowing hatred and division.
Ruth Hopkins Jun 29, 2020
Law enforcement super PACs are spending big money on district attorney races and local elections from California to New York—and respected Democratic consulting firms are helping them.
For decades, the Court has been carving out generous exceptions and crafting new rules that limit the Miranda warning’s real-world impact.
Jay Willis Jun 23, 2020
As the country reopens, we can’t quickly forget these failures of government, which have disproportionately harmed Black, Latinx, and Native people.
David A. Love Jun 12, 2020
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.
James ‘Bumpy’ Bennett, who had twice survived cancer, was 71 and had served 48 years of his life without parole sentence.
Robert Saleem Holbrook Jun 11, 2020
Mark Zuckerberg could engage in criminal legal reform by bringing Facebook's policies in line with CZI's mission and allow people to request that their mugshot be taken down.
Sarah Esther Lageson Jun 10, 2020
The use of excessive force against nonwhite communities and people protesting police brutality is further eroding public confidence in policing.
Ellison Berryhill Jun 05, 2020
This weekend’s string of errors is just the latest in his career of cruelty.
Jonny Coleman Jun 04, 2020
The killing of George Floyd demonstrates that incremental police reforms are insufficient in the absence of a comprehensive plan to transform law enforcement and its stated purpose.
A president who openly endorses police brutality struggles with a nation rejecting it.
Jay Willis Jun 03, 2020
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.
Cops who turn marches against police violence into parades don’t actually want substantial changes to policing.
Derecka Purnell Jun 02, 2020
More training, more equipment, and more officers will not stop police from killing Black people.
Justin Brooks Jun 01, 2020
While 80 percent of state health departments are recording race as part of their COVID-19 statistics, around half are not including Natives and are simply labeling them as “other.”
Ruth Hopkins May 26, 2020
During a Boston radio show where Rachael Rollins accused defenders of harming Black and Brown communities, the DA demonstrated that she misunderstands the role that prosecutors play in the criminal legal system: caging those very people.
The City Council must not let Mayor Eric Garcetti’s unconscionable priorities dictate how Los Angeles responds to the COVID-19 crisis.
May 21, 2020
The Courier Journal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on Governor Matt Bevin’s commutations sensationalizes crime at the expense of future clemency efforts.
States must fund stable housing for all formerly incarcerated people to neutralize the spread of COVID-19 and create equitable opportunities for social reintegration.
Demar F. Lewis IV May 18, 2020
Hepatitis C has ripped through prisons and jails, despite more effective treatments for the disease. It is a comorbidity to COVID-19, and the pandemic threatens to cut already weak state funding for prisons to treat those with the disease.
Samuel Weiss May 14, 2020
We did it in San Francisco. If we are smart about how we respond to COVID-19 in the criminal legal system, then we can simultaneously tackle two crises.
Cristine Soto DeBerry May 12, 2020
Governor Kristi Noem’s threat to sue two South Dakota tribes shows the callousness of her coronavirus plan, which seems to encourage exposure and prioritize the economy over the lives of at-risk Natives.
Ruth Hopkins May 11, 2020
Several states and the District of Columbia have postponed their bar exams because of the pandemic, creating a deadly delay for poor people in need of public defenders.
In Hillsborough County, Florida, the jail population is bloated by cash bail, fines, and fees, perpetuating health inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem May 04, 2020
The federal government is not going to lead the way on addressing the economic pain caused by the shutdowns. But states have the power to do something about it now.
David A. Love May 01, 2020
As COVID-19 spreads, Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio are slashing budgets, but leaving funding for police and prisons largely untouched.
Ross Barkan Apr 30, 2020
Using language evoking pernicious stereotypes about immigration and crime, the Court’s conservative majority clears the way for the Trump administration to deport legal permanent residents for crimes committed long ago.
Jay Willis Apr 29, 2020
Faced with inaction on the part of state and corrections officials, incarcerated people in jails, prisons, and detention centers are protesting their treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cayce French, who is serving life in prison at the Oregon State Correctional Institution, describes how getting clean and participating in rehabilitation programs has transformed his identity.
Elected officials need to stop making excuses for not getting unhoused people into hotel rooms.
Jonny Coleman Apr 24, 2020
Intentionally disqualifying millions of American citizens from much-needed stimulus funds during this unprecedented health crisis is both unnecessary and cruel.
A trio of cases in Wisconsin and Texas illustrates how Republican judges are feigning helplessness in the face of a public health crisis while furthering their own ends.
Jay Willis 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.
Towns like Homer, Louisiana, have huge prisons, a tiny populace, and few public health resources—a potentially lethal combination as COVID-19 spreads.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Apr 21, 2020
Ramos v. Louisiana is a long-overdue affirmation of the constitutional rights of criminal defendants—and sets the stage for dramatic Supreme Court fights in the years ahead.
Jay Willis Apr 20, 2020
Neither the coronavirus nor anything else is a ‘great equalizer’ because we aren’t, actually, all in this together.
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò Apr 16, 2020
By letting people out now, we can avoid overwhelming our healthcare system with sick prisoners later.
Oliver Hinds Apr 15, 2020
Taking emergency measures to protect homeless people from the pandemic is simply common sense.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Apr 14, 2020
People are dying in jails and prisons because elected officials hesitated at the worst possible moment.
Jay Willis Apr 09, 2020
On the intersection of two public health crises: housing and COVID-19.
District attorneys in the state could decarcerate quickly by dropping unnecessary cases.
Will Isenberg Apr 08, 2020
Experts are urging large-scale releases. But the Department of Justice often operates contrary to expertise.
As infections and deaths mount, state leaders and law enforcement are turning to tough-on-crime tactics in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Jessica Pishko Apr 07, 2020
Powerful interests exploited Katrina to enrich themselves and transform the city. As a reporter who covered the fallout explains, our government’s lax oversight means the same could happen now, leaving those who most need help behind.
Los Angeles County judges must move quickly to release a broad group of people in custody.
Alicia Virani Apr 02, 2020
Delaying trials will mean more people stay in jail while a life-threatening disease spreads throughout the state.
Kyle C. Barry Apr 01, 2020
There are no good reasons for the president to keep vulnerable people behind bars any longer.
Jay Willis Mar 31, 2020
There’s still a chance to make sure some of the most vulnerable people can benefit from the federal stimulus bill.
We can’t allow “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify leaving some of the most vulnerable people in dangerous conditions.
James King Mar 30, 2020
State governors and the president have the authority to grant commutations and reprieves to people in prison across the country as COVID-19 spreads.
Rachel Barkow Mar 27, 2020
Politicians and the general public are ignoring the health and safety needs of those with disabilities and chronic conditions.
Robyn Powell Mar 25, 2020
The island’s Communicable Disease Unit is already overflowing with quarantined people.
Kim Kelly Mar 24, 2020
New research shows that jails contribute to infectious disease deaths in the greater community.
In Boston, it’s worse than business as usual at the police department as the pandemic spreads. On a recent day, officers arrested people for charges the district attorney has publicly declined to prosecute.
When the dust settles on this pandemic, we need to be clear on what was an emergency response and what is a desirable permanent change.
James Kilgore Mar 23, 2020
The H1N1 pandemic, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and other outbreaks have taught us that blanket policies of solitary confinement and isolation have led to harmful outcomes.
But the proposals on the table are leaving our most vulnerable neighbors behind.
Yonah Freemark Mar 19, 2020
Cascading crises have significantly increased the stakes for the city’s most vulnerable residents.
It should not take a global pandemic for our elected officials to acknowledge that we are all safer if everyone can shower and wash their hands.
Sheriffs wield enormous power, and they can direct it in ways that will help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect incarcerated people.
At a time when it’s vital to reduce jail and prison populations to prevent outbreaks, this data can help advocates identify areas where that is or is not happening.
Oliver Hinds Mar 17, 2020
With few exceptions, news outlets in Harris County, Texas, spotlight singular instances of crime to allege that legal reform policy is a threat to the public.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Mar 13, 2020
Local jails are notorious amplifiers of infectious diseases. If we don’t move quickly to reduce their population, it may undermine our ability to control the new coronavirus, nationally and locally.
Vaidya Gullapalli Mar 11, 2020
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
We need to be more critical of the former New York mayor’s outsize influence on the gun control movement.
Alex Clavering Mar 03, 2020
The Appeal and Oregon Justice Resource Center announce “Left Behind,” firsthand accounts of growing-up in prison from individuals sentenced as children.
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
Vaidya Gullapalli Feb 28, 2020
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.