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Law & Policy

HOW LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY SHAPE MASS INCARCERATION

29 posts in ‘Law & Policy’

excerpt

Repression and Backlash

The tangle of policy responses following the 2020 uprisings over police violence shows that both Republicans and Democrats failed to meet the moment.

Elizabeth Hinton

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interventions

Nullifying Dobbs

Jurors’ conscientious refusal to convict people charged for violating abortion bans is perfectly legal — and what justice demands.

Peter N. Salib & Guha Krishnamurthi

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public health

Letting Kids Be Kids

Prosecution, incarceration, and surveillance don’t stop child sexual abuse. But prevention can.

Elizabeth Letourneau

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In Depth

Federal Time

Congress' rush to respond to recent mass shootings will criminalize Black and Brown communities the hardest, repeating historic mistakes that contributed to mass incarceration.

Kyana Givens, Michael Carter & Laura Ginsberg Abelson

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Crimmigration

Court-Assisted Expulsions

Immigrants fighting their deportations need lawyers. That doesn’t mean federally funding their defense should be a movement goal.

Angélica Cházaro

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Decarceral Pathways

Welfare Check

Here’s how federal cash assistance for low-income youth impacts whether they come in contact with the criminal legal system.

Manasi Deshpande & Michael Mueller-Smith

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advocacy

Virginians on My Mind

Everyone is redeemable. For that reason, I won’t stop fighting for those people our governor and the legislature have left to die in our prisons.

Juanita Belton

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public health

Policing Health

The surprising link between Medicaid expansion and arrests levels suggests that keeping people healthy also keeps them from the reach of the criminal legal system.

Jessica T. Simes & Jaquelyn L. Jahn

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system actors

Busting the Myth

Many progressive prosecutors promised bold change. In Virginia and elsewhere, reformers are realizing that they’re still actors in the same machinery of injustice.

Brad Haywood

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Policy

‘Something on Women’

Carceral feminists clamored for the Violence Against Women Act. What they got in return was criminalization, incarceration, and more violence.

Leigh Goodmark

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In Depth

A Pound of Flesh

Fines and fees have a devastating effect on Black women and their communities. Abolishing them is the only option.

Alexes Harris, Natasha Hicks & Cortney Sanders

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Big Data

Transgressing Borders

Racist gang profiling on the street becomes hard data, which then feeds a sprawling detention and deportation machine with the imprimatur of law.

Ana Muñiz

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public health

Drug-Induced Panic

Criminalization of so-called drug-induced homicides is yet another manifestation of the failed war on drugs — and far from an adequate public health response.

Leo Beletsky, Emma Rock & Sunyou Kang

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A closer look

And a Public Defender for All

We can celebrate the ascent of Ketanji Brown Jackson, while acknowledging that indigent defense remains woefully inadequate in this time of crisis.

Sara Mayeux

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Race and the Law

Reclaiming Whren

How a committed critical race theorist on the bench might have written one of the worst Fourth Amendment cases in history.

Devon Carbado & Jonathan Feingold

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A closer look

No Compassion

Judge Michelle Childs’ many denials of compassionate release signal a carceralism that should have no place on the Supreme Court.

Matthew Ahn

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In Depth

Home Rule

In weighing the future of thousands placed on home confinement during the pandemic, the government should prioritize where they are now: in their communities.

Jessica Morton & Samara Spence

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In the States

Moving Forward

After a clean sweep in November, Republicans are now running Virginia. But the prospect of more progress, and justice, remains within reach for all Virginians.

Brad Haywood & Andy Elders

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Crimmigration

The Border State

Our nation’s turn toward punitiveness for people arriving at the Southwest border coincided with the modern era of mass incarceration.

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

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interventions

More Than a Number

Older New Yorkers are dying in state prison at an alarming rate. Once and for all, they need to come home to their families.

Wilfredo Laracuente

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In Depth

Carceral Wisdom

Like the value they bring to the classroom, people who have experienced the harms of the penal system have much knowledge to bring to our nation’s jury trials.

James M. Binnall

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In Depth

Follow the Science

Federal law enforcement has long called the shots in the field of drug scheduling. But in the case of fentanyl analogues, Congress has a chance to lead — by doing…

Patricia Richman & Diane Goldstein

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In Depth

‘Organizers Change What’s Possible’

Before bold, decarceral changes can become a reality, community organizers tirelessly move the policy needle in other ways. Here’s how they did it in Illinois.

Sharlyn Grace

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book review

Trials Without Justice

Plea bargaining may be a bad deal overall. But for many Black and Brown defendants, is the alternative any better?

Daniel Harawa

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excerpt

An American Invention

In the struggle to end mass incarceration, one must understand how the criminalization of violence is largely a modern creation.

David Alan Sklansky

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DOJ

Keeping Them Home

During the Trump administration, lawyers at DOJ said thousands of people who were sent home from prison during the pandemic need to be sent back when the COVID emergency ends.…

Jessica Morton & Samara Spence

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Sentencing

Unfinished Business

Reckoning with the lives of all the men I sent to prison is a necessary, though not sufficient, step to reckon with the untold harm of mass incarceration.

Nancy Gertner

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Crimmigration

Immigration Imprisonment Is a Choice

Quickly, legally, and unilaterally, the Biden administration could easily free tens of thousands trapped in ICE detention. Whether it wants to is another story.

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

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Institutions

Where Reform Goes to Die

In its first six months, the Biden Administration has delivered major criminal justice disappointments. The problem: DOJ is calling the shots.

Rachel Barkow & Mark Osler

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