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Explainers

The American Eviction Crisis, Explained

Addressing extreme housing precarity requires more than rental assistance; it requires an overhaul of the system and redress of the longstanding discriminatory housing policies that led to this moment.

Illustration of prisoners in boxes.

Risk Assessment: Explained

Over the past decade, a growing number of cities, counties and states have recognized the profound injustice of a cash bail system, in which people who can afford bail walk free while those who can’t are detained. But that awareness gives rise to a thorny question: What should replace it? How should judges decide whom […]

Chicago Police Torture: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers, journalists, and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of […]

Harmless Error: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those […]

Qualified Immunity: Explained

On the morning of Nov. 23, 2004, Malaika Brooks was driving her 11-year-old son to school when Seattle police pulled her over for speeding. When the officers gave her a ticket and asked her to sign it, Brooks refused, believing that she had been wrongly pulled over and thinking, mistakenly, that her signature would be an admission […]

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The Power of Sheriffs: Explained

In September 2018, President Trump stood in front of 44 sheriffs as he began another diatribe against the New York Times and other media outlets that had published stories criticizing his administration. The sheriffs applauded. The meeting was originally scheduled to be between the sheriffs and officials from ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Getting a […]

Charging “Dealers” With Homicide: Explained

In May 2016, 26-year-old Caleb Smith was prepping for medical school entry exams, and ordered what he thought was Adderall off the internet to help him study. After the package arrived at his home in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, his girlfriend, 26-year-old Amanda Leach, asked to try some. Smith obliged, and days later, Leach was found dead […]

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Capital Punishment in the United States

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by […]

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How Fines and Fees Criminalize Poverty: Explained

In Georgia, a man stole a can of beer worth $2 from a corner store. The court ordered him to wear an ankle monitor for a year. The company administering it, Sentinel Offender Services, charged him so much money that he eventually owed more than $1,000. Trying to keep up with his payments, he sold […]

The Shadowy World of Jailhouse Informants: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by […]

The Criminalization of Homelessness: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by […]

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Bail Reform: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by […]

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Faulty Forensics: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by […]

The Epidemic of Brady Violations: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by […]

Civil Asset Forfeiture: Explained

In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by […]

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