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criminal legal system

59 posts in ‘criminal legal system’

conclusion

All of the Above

Prosecutors alone won’t end mass incarceration. But their interventions can mean the world to people staring down the many harms of criminalization.

Premal Dharia

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advocacy

Not a Fix-All

Electing progressive prosecutors is but one tool in a multifaceted, collaborative approach to ending mass incarceration.

David Ayala

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system actors

The Best Prospect

Not all so-called progressive prosecutors are doing enough to dismantle mass incarceration. But they’re better than the alternative.

Angela J. Davis

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Politics

Power to the Voters

Progressive prosecutors have delivered tangible and rapid wins to a grassroots movement seeking to end mass incarceration.

Larry Krasner

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Beyond Reform

Maybe, If . . .

Believing that prosecutors can play a role in ending mass incarceration requires imagining a prosecutor whose goal is non-reformist reforms.

Bennett Capers

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interventions

The Problem Solvers

Prosecution can be redefined to focus on effective problem-solving through policies and initiatives that make us a safer, healthier community.

Mary Moriarty

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lead essay

The Prosecutor Paradox

Can a prosecutor, even a progressive or reform-minded one, really help dismantle mass incarceration?

Premal Dharia, James Forman Jr. & Maria Hawilo

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recommendations

The Year in Books

As 2023 draws to a close, a look back at the books that informed, inspired, and empowered us to work for a world without mass incarceration.

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In Depth

When ‘Community’ Isn’t Actually the Community

The crisis of youth incarceration won’t be solved by cynical attempts to co-opt the language of grassroots organizing.

Sarah Cate

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Essay

On Resilience

In the criminal system, having your life constrained and restricted, even after your sentence is over, has become a fact of life.

Jeff Noland

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Crimmigration

Deconstructing Immigrant Binaries

To truly provide justice for those with criminal records, we must question harmful binaries that separate “good” from “bad” immigrants.

Sarah Tosh

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book review

The Gun of Incarceration

Probation and parole in the United States don’t work. A longtime reformer and advocate has drawn a blueprint to end them.

Cristian Farias

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advocacy

Chained by Debt

Erasing court costs and fines is a relatively small change that would have an outsize impact on those harmed by mass incarceration.

Shivani Nishar & Sarah Martino

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recommendations

Our End-of-Summer Reading List

Decarceral ideas and essays that have moved our readers in the past year.

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roundtable

Keeping Each Other Safe

Acting within the criminal legal system cannot be the solution, on its own, to the existence of the carceral state.

Jocelyn Simonson

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roundtable

Radicalized in Service of Others

Organizing and collective acts of resistance allow us to not only imagine new understandings of justice and safety, but to live them out.

Jocelyn Simonson

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Film review

Reframing Our Outrage

A new film reminds us that caring about survivors means working to prevent and respond to all violence—including carceral violence.

Ieshaah Murphy

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Essay

The Power of Fiction

More people impacted by the criminal legal system can and should share their stories through fiction—and through those stories change minds and public policy.

B.L. Blanchard

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Essay

The Recall: Reframed

A short film asks how we can offer justice for survivors of sexual violence without perpetuating the harms of mass incarceration.

Rebecca Richman Cohen

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Crimmigration

Exploited No More

How organizing workers in immigrant detention can serve as a foundation for abolition and liberation for all.

Lisa Knox, Hamid Yazdan Panah & Serafin Andrade

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In Depth

Forced Laborers

The carceral state molds and enforces worker compliance, vulnerability, and insecurity—both within and beyond prison walls.

Erin Hatton

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public history

The House of D

In the history of a shuttered lockup for queer women in New York City, a reminder that incarceration has always been a form of social control.

Hugh Ryan

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organizing

An Organized Community

ICE entanglement in local law enforcement is just one iteration of a bigger system meant to police our communities. And we can fight it.

Felicia Arriaga

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interventions

No Justice, No Pleas

Imagining the decarceral possibilities of plea strikes and defendant unions.

Andrew Crespo

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public health

Care and Carceralism

Disentangling medical care from policing, prisons, and other punitive institutions remains an imperative—now more than ever.

Ji Seon Song

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In Their Words

A Community Judge

As a newly elected judge assigned to misdemeanor court in Los Angeles, a former public defender sees her new role as serving those impacted by the system.

Holly Hancock

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Beyond Reform

Procedural Justice Isn’t Enough

In immigration court and beyond, fair process matters. But fair laws, fair legal systems, and fair societies matter far more.

Maya Pagni Barak

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Beyond Reform

Poor People Lose

Gideon v. Wainwright is the wrong cure for the reality that the carceral system is designed to target poor people.

Paul Butler

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organizing

Harnessing Union Power for Public Defense

As public defenders, we are not “fighting the system”—we are the system. Because of this, we have power, and the numbers, to change it.

Kiyomi Bolick

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A closer look

Choice of Counsel

People assigned a public defender are the only ones deprived of the right to choose their lawyer. This often intersects disastrously with racial bias.

Alexis Hoag-Fordjour

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