May 16, 2019

SB 1008 proposes a more humane youth justice system that focuses on accountability for youth and safety for our communities. SB 1008 is scheduled for work session in the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, 5/20/19.

NOW is the time to inform yourself

and to make your opinion known.

The important reads expanding on the following excerpts can be found here. 

When youth serve time at adult facilities, public safety decreases. 

Young people who serve Measure 11 sentences only at DOC OR who start their sentence at OYA and finish at DOC are twice as likely to recidivate, compared to those who serve Measure 11 sentences only at OYA. 

Young people—even those who co...

April 23, 2019

Woop Woop - APRIL is National Second Chance Month!! The result of a bipartisan national movement to unlock brighter futures for the millions of Americans who have repaid their debt to society. The following article is a good jumping off point to better understand why addressing the struggles of former offenders is a matter of redemption, human dignity, and smart social and economic policy. 

Second Chance Month: Affording Former Offenders the Redemption They Deserve      

December 16, 2016

The New Yorker follows a group of prisoners who have used their time in prison to educate themselves and eventually get admitted to the University of California, Berkeley.  The piece does an excellent job of providing readers a glimpse of the difficulties that these individuals faced both inside and outside of prison, and shows the ways that they can teach other students as well.

"Building a Prison-to-School Pipeline"

December 13, 2016

The New York Times is publishing a series that examines the use of diversion programs, which are designed to allow people to avoid the harsh consequences of the criminal justice system for first-time and minor offenses.  However, since these programs are run by local prosecutors, there is unequal treatment.  Often, this leads to a substantially different treatment of poorer people.

"After a Crime, the Price of a Second Chance" 

In the second part of the series, the paper takes a closer look at one county in Alabama and demonstrates the ways that unequal treatment by the prosecutor has affected several citizens. 

"Alabama Prosecu...

December 10, 2016

The Pew Research Center published a report that chronicles President Obama's grants of clemency during his time in office.  Obama has granted more requests than any other President since Lyndon B. Johnson; however, the percentage of petitions granted ranks among the lowest of the past hundred years, ahead of only his predecessor, George W. Bush.

"Obama has used clemency power more often than any president since LBJ"

November 25, 2016

Vox takes a look at President Obama's use of the pardon power to push back against years of policies that promoted mass incarceration, and also examines the prospects of the thousands of prisoners still waiting to hear about their petitions.

"Why hundreds of people, not just turkeys, are celebrating the pardon power this Thanksgiving."

September 29, 2016

Vox published an essay that looks at how the incarceration of a family member has lasting effects on everyone else.  It's a moving and emotional account that looks beyond just the simple physical absence of a parent from a child's life.

"My dad spent years of my childhood in prison.  His incarceration punished me too."

September 23, 2016

This month, prisoners across the country have gone on strike to protest substandard wages and conditions.  They hope to draw attention to the nature of the prison labor industry and how inmates are forced to work for wages that can be as low as a few cents an hour--if they are even paid at all.  Mother Jones provides details of some of the specific protests in different states and Wired documents how prisoners were able to coordinate the strike, despite the limited communication with others that they are allowed.

The strike began on September 9 to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riot.  Recently, The New Yorker published...

September 13, 2016

Vox published an editorial from a public defender who argues that the push for tougher sentences will have unintended consequences that would affect the most vulnerable groups in society.

"Get angry about Brock Turner's crime.  But don't use it as a reason to pass bad laws."

August 23, 2016

Here is a personal essay on the lessons learned in the years since leaving prison.

"I spent 11 years in prison.  Here's what I wish I'd known before I got out."

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