Prison Reform Mississippi Style?

Given the South’s problematic history with equal justice issues, this may be surprising: a Mississippi county may be on its way to becoming a national leader in local prison reform. In May 2015, the Justice Department found that Hinds County, Mississippi’s jails were “in crisis” (which says a lot, considering the very low bar of our poor… Read More

Artificial Intelligence and Criminal Justice

As our country looks for a quick fix to the many problems plaguing our criminal justice system, some courts and police departments are trying to use artificial intelligence as a cure-all. One flawed idea is that technology could be used by courts to take bias out of the equation for fairer sentencing decisions. Police departments could… Read More

Fathers Behind Bars

With Father’s Day approaching this Sunday, I want to take a moment to introduce you to a few of the fathers, sons, and daughters whose parent-child relationships are being crushed by incarceration. Although incarceration may be an appropriate punishment for many violent offenders, we must end the one-size-fits-all solution of locking people up for long prison… Read More

Reentry Needs

Imagine being dropped in a city where you have no job or job prospects, no place to live, no credit cards or finances to fall back on, no car (or even current driver’s license), and almost no cash. And then add to that being saddled with the label ex-offender or convicted felon, which severely limits… Read More

Police Brutality in Lock-Ups

Many people defend police brutality by saying that cops have a tough job to do and sometimes catching the bad guys requires a little roughness.  But while policing is a difficult job, that does not excuse the above-the-law mentality fueling the all too frequent and unnecessary police violence we see. A lack of accountability is at the… Read More

Public Defender Injustice

It’s sad to think about our country having two criminal justice systems: one for people who are wealthy and one for people who are not. But that is the reality. Everyone facing serious criminal charges is supposed to get a lawyer – our Supreme Court decided decades ago that everyone has a right to an… Read More

Life Without Parole for Pot?

A prison sentence of life without parole is the harshest sentence our courts impose short of death, so the crimes that merit sending a person to prison for the rest of his or her life should be some pretty serious crimes. But let me introduce you to Lee Carroll Brooker, a 76-year-old disabled, decorated army veteran… Read More

Compassion for Elderly Inmates

    Americans are increasingly learning about the problem of mass incarceration and the astronomical costs of our country’s incarceration habit – taxpayers every year pay a staggering $39 billion to keep people imprisoned. Here’s a solution to that problem that makes a lot of sense: how about simply releasing elderly inmates? The average price… Read More

2016 Presidential Candidates on Prison Reform and Mass Incarceration

For our final post in our three-part series focused on the 2016 presidential election, we take a look at the candidates’ views on mass incarceration and prison reform. We touched on this briefly in the previous post centered on the Black Lives Matter movement, but today we’ll dive a little deeper into specific initiatives regarding… Read More