criminal justice reform

  • April 29, 2016

    by Jim Thompson

    Proponents of the “Ban the Box” campaign have started targeting colleges and universities, seeking to protect students from being asked about their criminal histories during the application process, writes Juleyka Lantigua-Williams at The Atlantic.

    At The Marshall Project, Eli Hager assesses the negative consequences that judicial vacancies have on the criminal justice system, including “unresolved motions, habeas corpus petitions waiting years to be heard (or being handled by law clerks instead of judges), judges spending less time on each case, and defendants pleading guilty because they believed a trial would not get the timely attention it deserved.”

    Legislation to repeal sentencing enhancements for certain drug crimes failed to pass before the California State Senate on Monday, reports Andrew M. Ironside at Civil Rights Law & Policy Blog

  • April 26, 2016

    by Jim Thompson

    Illinois State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D) has introduced legislation that would limit solitary confinement in the state to no more than five consecutive days and five total days during a 150 day period, writes the Chicago Tribune.     

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Monday that states should make it easier for formerly-incarcerated individuals to obtain state-issued identification after leaving prison, says the Associated Press

    At The American Prospect, Justin Miller reports that Uber has agreed to pay $84 million to settle two class-action lawsuits from its drivers and consider whether the ride-hailing company’s business model is legal. 

  • April 25, 2016

    by Jim Thompson

    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Friday restoring voting rights over 200,000 formerly-incarcerated individuals, reports Angela Bronner Helm at The Root.

    At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Angela Morrison blasts the senseless legal challenge to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration in United States v. Texas.

    The city of Cleveland will pay $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice two years after the teen was shot to death by a police officer, says Mitch Smith in The New York Times.

  • April 22, 2016

    by Jim Thompson

    The Obama administration sent a letter to all 50 states on Tuesday warning that any effort to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood will be treated as a clear violation of federal law, reports Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly.      

    At The Marshall Project, Simone Weichselbaum explains why the “Chicago Policing Model” has not rescued the city or its struggling police force.

    At Slate, ACS speaker Dahlia Lithwick talks with music executive Jason Flom about America’s appalling cash bail system, a system that punishes low-income citizens for being “too poor to pay the government for getting arrested.” 

  • March 28, 2016

    by Jim Thompson

    Conservative political action committees are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in media advertisements defending the obstructionist strategies of Republican senators, reports Nathalie Baptiste in The American Prospect.

    Ralph Ellis at CNN lauds Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) for announcing his intent to veto a dangerous “religious freedom” bill that would legalize discrimination against LGBT individuals.   

    At Mother Jones, Stephanie Mencimer explains how Justice Samuel Alito’s misunderstanding of health insurance could undermine women’s access to birth control.   

    A law passed by Congress two decades ago imposing a lifetime ban on cash and nutrition assistance programs for anyone formerly convicted of a drug felony leaves thousands of Americans hungry every year, says Jeremy Haile at The Nation