The intense backlash to his recent comments criticizing $2,000 stimulus checks signal the growing momentum for guaranteed income programs—and the emerging power of voters who care more about substantive results than partisan skirmishes.
Jay Willis Jan 22, 2021
The California Supreme Court Justice is motivated not by politics but by making equal justice under the law a reality for all Californians.
Earlonne Woods Jan 18, 2021
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
After decades of harm, wrought by the war on drugs, the federal government has finally listened to the American people by voting to decriminalize marijuana.
Zachary A. Siegel 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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Jay Willis Sep 02, 2020
According to people incarcerated and their loved ones, state officials are ignoring the spread of COVID-19 at New Haven Correctional Center.
Connecticut Bail Fund Hotline Volunteers Aug 05, 2020
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
The Courier Journal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on Governor Matt Bevin’s commutations sensationalizes crime at the expense of future clemency efforts.
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
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.
Elected officials need to stop making excuses for not getting unhoused people into hotel rooms.
Jonny Coleman Apr 24, 2020
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.
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
By letting people out now, we can avoid overwhelming our healthcare system with sick prisoners later.
Oliver Hinds Apr 15, 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.
Experts are urging large-scale releases. But the Department of Justice often operates contrary to expertise.
Shon Hopwood Apr 08, 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.
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
But the proposals on the table are leaving our most vulnerable neighbors behind.
Yonah Freemark Mar 19, 2020
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.
Jessica Pishko Mar 18, 2020
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.
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.
Kelsey Kauffman Mar 13, 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
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
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.
Josh Norman was one of the 17 people to die in Mississippi prisons so far this year. His death raises important questions about the state’s failures.
As a Black child in San Francisco, I learned early that mine and others’ bodies meant nothing to those supposedly tasked with our protection.
Jamal Trulove Feb 19, 2020
The attitude behind the Harris County district attorney’s message to ‘put down your gun and pick up an employment application’ is outdated.
Leading with housing status for homeless people is a common trope in the news reporting business and one in urgent need of re-examining.
Adam H. Johnson Jan 31, 2020
Three Supreme Court justices and others said competent counsel could have saved his life.
Kyle C. Barry Jan 30, 2020
A wave of sensationalist press is not just coming from New York City, but also from county sheriff and city police departments frustrated by bail reform that they claim is ‘too broad.’
Stories that uncritically blame child welfare agencies for the deaths of children at the hands of their parents can contribute to increases in child removals—with devastating consequences for families.
Elizabeth Brico Jan 15, 2020
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal purports to take sexual violence seriously, but it aggressively ignores reality in favor of lazy solutions.
Guy Hamilton-Smith Jan 13, 2020
Many liberals support reform in theory. But when unpopular decisions need to be made, it’s back to the 1990s “Tough on Crime” playbook.
William Barr says the government owes it to the victims and their families to resume federal executions. In doing so, he’s ignoring important facts about the death penalty—and the actual wishes of victims’ families.
As a form of punishment, incarceration does not enhance public safety when it is not balanced against its tendency to make a person’s unfortunate situation worse.
Alex Sherman Jan 03, 2020
More prosecutors are trying to root out wrongful convictions and restore trust in the legal system. They’re meeting opposition on all sides.
Harris’s record as a prosecutor was representative of a politics of the past. The nation has moved on.
Biden believes that the jury is still out on the question of whether marijuana is a gateway to other illicit substances. But the truth is that it is not—and this has long been a matter of settled science.
Paul Armentano Nov 18, 2019
Rather than separating families, child ‘welfare’ agencies should help families get access to the care they need.
Elizabeth Brico Nov 15, 2019
Two bills, awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature, would help reduce the punitive impact of the child welfare system on kids and their families, including formerly incarcerated parents.
Nora McCarthy Nov 13, 2019
A close examination of a poll backed by a business group reveals loaded questions, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and the shortchanging of very real privacy concerns.
Adam H. Johnson Nov 07, 2019
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.
Kelly Hayes Nov 04, 2019
The New York Post used a tragedy to target bail reform activists, rather than point to the challenges of a failed mental health system and poverty.
Adam H. Johnson Oct 21, 2019
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer intend to openly defy a 1975 state Supreme Court precedent that says law enforcement cannot intentionally discriminate against a person or group of people.
Kate Chatfield Oct 03, 2019
Miller's victim impact statement was centered in a recent '60 Minutes' segment on the Brock Turner case. But such statements do not heal victims, and Miller's unfavorable comparison of Turner's sentence to drug offenders only reinforces carceral logic.
Meaghan Ybos Sep 30, 2019
Informants are highly motivated to lie. But jurors don’t always have the information or skills to discern the truth.
Alexandra Natapoff Sep 23, 2019
In a rare case of local media nuance, a Boston TV news station provided a humane and health-focused segment on safe drug use.
Adam H. Johnson Sep 17, 2019
A Pittsburgh public radio piece lacked critical reporting about the many problems with jailing children in adult facilities.
Adam H. Johnson Sep 13, 2019
Even in states where use is decriminalized, child welfare systems continue to treat it as a sign of neglectful parenting, particularly among families of color.
How high or low bond is isn’t a measure of how severe the state considers a crime.
Adam H. Johnson Aug 28, 2019
Murder rates are at an all-time low in Brooklyn, but one would hardly know it reading the New York Times.
Most coverage of police raids targeting homeless people and substance users parroted official—and fraught—talking points.
The New York Times’s coverage of the one-off case of a 77-year-old man omits key facts about how older adults are treated by our punitive legal system.
Adam H. Johnson Aug 09, 2019
The backlash is underway against a recent wave of prosecutors who champion criminal justice reform. Here are some methods of attack.
Sensational and false news reports about the drug are pushing lawmakers to enact harmful policies.
Since the state’s public safety realignment in 2011, sheriffs have used criminal legal reform as a scapegoat for their failure to maintain safe jails—and recent reporting has given county officials a free pass to make that excuse.
The popularity of Axon’s tech soared after the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014, but it may be doing more harm than good in protecting people from excessive force.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Jun 10, 2019
The sensationalist coverage of a handful of fights highlights local media’s misplaced priorities.
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
A former Baltimore officer says the Hopkins plan should be viewed skeptically because campus police have a history of deadly force and its officials come from troubled Baltimore Police units.
Larry Smith May 16, 2019
Low-income women are fueling bail industry profits—and getting harmed in the process.
Joshua Page Apr 04, 2019
A former Baltimore Police officer says it’s time for the department to stop wasteful, harmful marijuana arrests, especially after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement that her office would not prosecute cases of possession.
Larry Smith Feb 11, 2019
Alex Berenson says he’s concerned there’s not enough research into cannabis risks, but his misleading arguments set scientists back.
Our staff picks 12 stories worth reading (or rereading) before the new year.
Dec 27, 2018
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s promise to decline to prosecute several offenses is a rejection of the punitive tradition of prosecutors and perhaps signals a new kind of reform that spurns criminal justice as a solution to public health problems.
John Pfaff Nov 14, 2018
The rocky implementation of New York’s Raise the Age law shows that young people in detention need love, not force.
Rubén Austria Nov 01, 2018