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Katie Jane Fernelius
After more than a year in office—and despite pushback—the San Francisco DA’s policies have kept people out of jails and prisons.
Former Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson’s fiery dissents on mass incarceration and sentencing in America’s most carceral state garnered international attention. But the rise of the first Black woman on the court was characterized by one battle after another with the Deep South’s white power structure.
Many of the 230,000 women and girls in U.S. jails and prisons were abuse survivors before they entered the system. Research for The Appeal shows that at least 30 percent of those serving time on murder or manslaughter charges were protecting themselves or a loved one from physical or sexual violence.
Justine van der Leun
The report found that spread inside correctional facilities contributed to community spread, particularly in California, Florida and Texas.
Legal experts say the IRS is illegally denying CARES Act payments to incarcerated people.
Jordan Michael Smith
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
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.
Both incarcerated brothers are at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19—and one has tested positive.
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
The state is sending virus-positive people to Angola prison—but those numbers aren’t reported on the Department of Corrections website.
Towns like Homer, Louisiana, have huge prisons, a tiny populace, and few public health resources—a potentially lethal combination as COVID-19 spreads.
Doing so will save countless lives, and in the process, they may show us by example how to begin, finally, to dismantle mass incarceration for good.
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.
District attorneys in the state could decarcerate quickly by dropping unnecessary cases.
Josie Duffy Rice and guest co-host Donovan Ramsey talk with Bianca Tylek, executive director of Worth Rises, about the privatization of America’s criminal legal system.
The Metropolitan Police Department has discussed reducing arrests, but it has not formally announced any policy changes.
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."
More than 5,400 people in the state are sentenced to life without parole. This month, The Appeal went inside one prison that helps provide end-of-life care for men.
With Civil Rights Corps founder Alec Karakatsanis
Adam H. Johnson
More than three years after heavy rains and flooding devastated the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, officials have reached an agreement to build a new facility.
His legal team had pushed for clemency, arguing that Bucklew’s previous attorneys mishandled his capital murder case.
As the presidential election approaches, reformers should focus on the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which restricts the ability of incarcerated people to protest their conditions of confinement.
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.
Rodney Reed, set to be executed on Nov. 20, is innocent of a rape and murder, his lawyers say, and untested evidence will prove it. But prosecutors have pushed back, arguing the evidence is contaminated.
Derek Harris awaits arguments in the state Supreme Court about the sentencing, which one judge called ‘unconscionable.’
Young people convicted as adults face a ‘life sentence’ of registry restrictions, attorneys say.
Candidates offered reforms for people accused of low-level, nonviolent offenses, but more than half of U.S. prisoners have committed a violent crime.
Henri Lyles is challenging his life sentence under a statute that penalizes people for prior convictions. A favorable decision by the state Supreme Court would mean that he and a dozen people sentenced to life could one day be freed.
The parole board failed to comply with a new law about notifying victims, the board’s director said.
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.
Jose ‘Lil Joe’ Chapa says one way to make Beauregard Parish ‘great again’ is to stop construction of a new jail and divert resources to services that keep people out of lockup altogether.
16-year-olds won’t have to reappear in adult criminal court if they’re arrested when youth court isn’t in session.
Kansas City news outlets called scores of people ‘violent criminals’ based solely on the word of police and the federal government.
The decline under DA Larry Krasner, who took office in 2018, marks a significant change in juvenile justice in Pennsylvania.
Our response to crime should focus on healing and accountability, not punishment and retribution.
How high or low bond is isn’t a measure of how severe the state considers a crime.
A statewide pattern of discrimination in jury selection has gone largely uncorrected, while lives remain in the balance, advocates say.
The 2020 presidential candidates recently unveiled national criminal justice agendas that reimagine public safety and punishment.
A lawsuit is challenging Mohave County’s practice of charging certain people for mandatory GPS monitoring before trial.
In 1998, prosecutors failed to tell the defense that a key witness in Toforest Johnson’s capital murder trial would receive thousands of dollars in reward money for her testimony, Johnson’s attorneys say. Now a Birmingham judge must decide whether their argument has merit.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics relies in part on states to self-report prison capacity numbers, which can result in a misleading snapshot of overcrowding in the U.S.
Murder rates are at an all-time low in Brooklyn, but one would hardly know it reading the New York Times.
Attorney General William Barr pushed back against reforms by progressive prosecutors—but perhaps his greatest vitriol was reserved for the Boston DA’s attempt to rein in police.
Gloria Williams was in her 20s when she was sent to prison for her part in a robbery that turned deadly. After serving nearly five decades, including one decade in solitary confinement, Williams now has a chance at freedom.
Establishment candidate Melinda Katz declared a narrow victory in the New York City borough’s district attorney primary, but progressive Tiffany Cabán pushed the race to the left on issues like marijuana and sex work.
In California, Texas and Florida, advocates sent letters to district attorneys, demanding that they refuse to work with officers with histories of misconduct.
An organizer in the effort to close New York City’s Rikers Island jails is challenging Cyrus Vance Jr., whom he calls ‘the city’s leading jailer.’
The carceral system fails to heal victims and perpetuates trauma by caging human beings. It‘s time to try something else.
Outlets ran over 200 articles covering the vandalism. The outsize attention will likely damage young lives.
The office of Paul Howard supported early release for a woman convicted of armed robbery. But a judge and advocates questioned the move since thousands of others don’t get that consideration.
Police and prosecutors framed a father of four in a 2007 murder case with local and national political implications.
Kyle C. Barry
The criminalization of poverty in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, has led to a staggering increase in incarcerated people, all at a huge cost for defendants and taxpayers alike.
U.S. attorneys in D.C. have opposed the resentencing of all 14 people who have petitioned for early release under a local law.
Despite accounting for less than 12 percent of the state’s adult population, roughly 40 percent of all bail bonds were issued in cases involving a Black defendant.
Prisoners can shave time off their sentences by participating in shock incarceration programs. More than a dozen former shock prisoners say that comes at a steep cost.
Instead of building ‘humane jails’ to replace Rikers Island, let’s push the NYPD to cut down on arrests.
Rashad McNulty entered a guilty plea in a series of federal gang indictments in New York that have been criticized as racist and overly punitive. But before McNulty was even sentenced, he died in jail. Now, his family is seeking justice.
Attorneys and advocates call for change in Madison County after the deaths of three Black people at its jail and because of what they allege is a system of roadblocks targeting Black residents.
A scandal of falsified drug arrests is spreading at a Florida sheriff’s office that has also spent more than $1.33 million settling excessive force lawsuits and is at the center of the increasingly troubled Robert Kraft case.
In October 2018, Marshall Miles was taken into custody by Sacramento County sheriff‘s deputies outside a convenience store. About 14 hours later, he was dead.
Los Angeles County’s jail system incarcerates tens of thousands of people at a multi-billion dollar cost. The communities most impacted by mass incarceration have had enough.
Trump didn’t start it, but we can end it.
Our staff picks 12 stories worth reading (or rereading) before the new year.
An Oklahoma woman is serving 18 months in prison after being accused of failing to protect her daughter from the girl’s dad.
New York City has reduced its jail population, but those who remain are staying longer.
Josie and Clint talk with the author and journalist about race, politics, and mass incarceration.
Josie Duffy Rice,
Prisons carry enormous, perhaps impossible to measure social costs—but when assessing the system fiscally, reformers should focus on staffing salaries instead of the number of incarcerated people.
Josie and Clint talk with Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.
With activist and scholar Danny Murillo.
With journalist Kira Lerner.
Josie and Clint talk with the artist about criminal justice reform and his #FREEAMERICA campaign.
With journalist Victoria Law.