Criminal Justice System
The United States has the largest prison population of any developed country in the world. A disproportionate number of people in the nation’s prisons and jails are low-income, undereducated, low-level, nonviolent people of color with drug convictions. Our system of mass incarceration is due almost entirely to the War on Drugs and its disproportionate focus on low-income, people of color. The system must be reformed so that it is no longer racially and ethnically discriminatory and incorporates more alternatives to incarceration.
February 17, 2017 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
Sen. Ben Cardin, D. Md., on Thursday reintroduced legislation – S. 411, the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (ERRPA) – that would prohibit profiling by federal, state, local, and Indian tribal law enforcement authorities on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
January 19, 2017 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
Days before he leaves office, President Obama on Tuesday granted 209 commutations and 64 pardons, bringing his total number of clemency recipients to 1,597 – 1,385 commutations and 212 pardons. His volume of commutations is greater than the previous 12 presidents combined.
August 3, 2016 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
Exactly two months after granting clemency to 42 people in June, President Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of 214 people who are currently serving time in prison under outdated sentencing laws, bringing his total number of commutations to 562 – more than the last nine presidents combined. It was also the most granted in one day since at least 1900.
March 30, 2016 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
President Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of 61 people who are currently serving time in prison under outdated sentencing laws, bringing his total number of commutations to 248 – more than the last six presidents combined.
March 17, 2016 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
By Peter Wagner
The Federal Communications Commission’s historic October 2015 order expanding its regulations of the prison and jail telephone industry goes into effect today. It’s a little complicated because prisons and jails have different effective dates, and part of the FCC’s order has been stayed by the federal courts. And on March 16, the FCC issued a public notice — which if the companies stay true to form, they are likely to challenge in court — reminding the companies that in-state calls are also to be capped. Barring new rulings from the court, here is what the families of incarcerated people can expect.
January 25, 2016 - Posted by Julie Faust
The Supreme Court ruled Monday in the case of Montgomery v. Louisiana that anyone sentenced to life imprisonment for murder as a juvenile must have a chance to argue for parole.
January 12, 2016 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved by voice vote the bipartisan Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 3406), a bill introduced by Reps. James Sensenbrenner, R. Wisc., and Danny Davis, D. Ill., to reauthorize the Second Chance Act.
December 22, 2015 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
On December 18, President Obama commuted the sentences of 95 individuals and granted pardons to two, marking the highest number of commutations he has granted at one time and more than doubling his total since taking office. Obama has now granted 184 commutations, which is more than the last five presidents combined.
December 17, 2015 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
On December 15, the U.S. Department of Justice released new guidance for combatting gender bias in law enforcement response to sexual and domestic violence.
More Information On
Social Justice Brief: A Social Work Perspective on Drug Policy Reform - National Association of Social Workers
Reclaiming Our Rights: Reflections on Racial Profiling in a Post-9/11 America - Rights Working Group (2011)
The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs - The Sentencing Project
A 25-Year Quagmire: The War on Drugs and Its Impact on American Society - The Sentencing Project
Critical Condition: African American Youth in the Justice System (pdf) - Campaign for Youth Justice
In The News
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