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Law & Policy

HOW LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY SHAPE MASS INCARCERATION

42 posts in ‘Law & Policy’

campaigns

A Breakthrough on Solitary

Connecting it to the fight for disability rights has helped activists in California to make exciting progress in their effort to end solitary confinement.

Pamila Lew

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Crimmigration

Decriminalizing Migration

Taking criminal law out of immigration enforcement is a step toward safer, healthier communities. But is it enough?

Cristian Farias

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public history

The Suburban Drug War

How white, middle-class youth in the suburbs experienced the war on drugs is a largely untold chapter in the arc of mass incarceration.

Matthew D. Lassiter

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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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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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law & policy

Exceptional Punishments

No one should be made to give up their rights in exchange for being spared from prison.

Kate Weisburd

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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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Policing

Making Cops Pay

Ending qualified immunity won’t solve police violence. But making officers feel the sting of their actions in court can get us a step closer to ending it.

Joanna Schwartz

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interventions

Brady ’s Failure

The rule was supposed to prevent prosecutors from hiding evidence. It hasn’t worked—but there’s a better way.

Thomas Dybdahl

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Policy

Serial Injustices

Millions rallied behind Adnan Syed, whom the system gave a second look. Many others serving extreme sentences deserve a second look, too.

Cecilia Bruni & Destiny Fullwood-Singh

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legal history

Litigious Zeal

One might say incarcerated Muslims sue religiously. And true enough, a deep belief in justice is what moves them to resist oppression this way.

SpearIt

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In Depth

Anything But Petty

Misdemeanors are major sources of overcriminalization and punishment. Requiring jurors to screen them could shake up the system.

J.D. King & Andrea Roth

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In Depth

Jail by Another Name

The rise of pretrial e-carceration in San Francisco has created a new class of people for whom freedom remains elusive.

Sandra Susan Smith & Cierra Robson

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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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