Archives

News Article The Huffington Post July 6, 2018

More Democrats Want To Abolish ICE. Decriminalize Migration? Not So Much.

This article by Huffington Post reporter Roque Planas quotes Justice Strategies’ Executive Director Judith Greene, pointing out that at the root of the current family separation crisis is the criminalization of migration itself.  The article recounts the origins of this practice to a 1929 law introduced by South Carolina Senator Coleman Livingston Blease and embedded in the anti-Mexican and segregationist legacy of the times.  Despite calls from current day Congressional Democrats to end the Trump Administration’s practice of family separation, few are willing to call for an end to the racially charged practice of criminalizing migration.

News Article NPR All Things Considered June 19, 2018

The Last "Zero Tolerance" Border Policy Didn't Work

In this story on the “Zero Tolerance” border policy by NPR’s All Things Considered reporter John Burnett, Judy Greene, Justice Strategies’ Executive Director, discusses the role of Operation Streamline and its failure to deter migration.  Read the original article or listen to the story by following the provided link.

JS Publication June 21, 2018

It's Time to Decriminalize Immigration

This Texas Observer article by Executive Directors Judy Greene, of Justice Strategies, and Bob Libal, of Grassroots Leadership calls on Congress to repeal the law that allowed the Trump Administration to separate children from their migrant parents, and for an end to the criminalization of migration.   In it the authors provide the historical links of this destructive policy to the mass incarceration tactics of the failed War on Drugs, now used in a new War on Immigrants, the growing for-profit private prison industry, and increasing attempts under the Trump Administration to federalize local and state criminal justice enforcement mechanisms.  These policy choices have led to a federal court docket 45 percent of which is occupied with the criminal prosecution of migrants for entry into the United States, a misdemeanor, and re-entry, a felony that carries a penalty of from two to five years in federal prison.

JS Publication November 10, 2017

Elections 2017: Beginning of the End of Willie Horton Politics?

In this article for The Crime Report, Justice Strategies' Director, Judith Greene, raises the prospects that the 2017 elections may indicate signs that we are turning the corner away from politicizing crime. The results in off-year gubernatorial elections indicate that urban/suburban voters in both Virginia and New Jersey are no longer swayed by “penal populism.” Republican candidates were soundly defeated despite their attempts to gain political capital by stoking fears of an immigrant crime wave which does not exist.

News Article All Things Considered NPR.org April 13, 2017

San Francisco Program Aims To Make Smaller Fines More Fair For Poor

The abuse of traffic fines as a municipal revenue scheme endemic to the tensions that flared up in Ferguson have prompted jurisdictions like San Francisco to examine the fairness and impact of their fines on the poor. In this NPR story Judy Greene discusses her previous work on the topic and how a fairer fines structure can not only help the poor but can make it possible for government to capture a greater share of the fines they issue. 

News Article Huffington Post December 22, 2016

‘Tis The Season For Miracles: Eight-Year-Old Darina Tries To Get Her Incarcerated Dad Closer To Home

This article, by Patricia Allard, of Justice Strategies, and Lillan Hewko, Attorney & Co-founder of the Incarcerated Parents Project of the Washington Defender Association, and equally moving embedded video by Silicon Valley De-Bug, relates the story of Darina, an eight year old whose wish is to have her incarcerated father moved to a federal facility nearer her home so that she could "just drive" to see him.  In three years Darina has been able to make the 2,000 mile journey to see her father in Texas only once.  In this season of compassion and caring for others, we are reminded by Darina's story that our criminal justice system should and can do better to ensure that, yes, justice is done but in a manner that takes into account the burdens placed on the children and families of the incarcerated, and preserves parent-child bonds important for successful re-entry back into family and community life. 

News Article The Intercept December 17, 2016

Fatal Corrections: Inside the Deadly Mississippi Riot That Pushed the Justice Department to Rein In Private Prisons

Justice Strategies' Director, Judith Greene, is quoted in this recent Intercept article about the deadly riot that occurred on May 20, 2012 at the Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, Mississippi, a facility run by the Corrections Corporation of America, now know as CoreCivic.  The author, Janosch Delker, traces the events leading to the Natchez private prison riot, including complaints by prisoners about the inadequate medical care, substandard food and poor supervision that led to fatal consequences for prisoners prior to, and for staff, that day.  The riot at CoreCivic's Natchez prison, and similar events elsewhere, prompted investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and a call by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, in August of 2016, for ending the use of private prison contracts by the federal Bureau of Prisons to house immigrants.  During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump called for increasing the use of private for-profit prisons.  The Natchez Adams County Correctional Center private prison riot was the subject of a Justice Strategies' report released in Sept. 2012 entitled Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive, Undafe, Unnecessary. 

News Article Huffington Post November 22, 2016

Trump Has Not ‘Softened’ His War On Immigrants

Judith Greene and Grassroots Leadership's Bob Libal explain why we should expected an unprecedented deportation regime from Trump, who has not "softened" his vision for the war on immigrants.

"Some news reports have offered an unjustifiably charitable interpretation of Mr. Trump’s recent statement to suggest that he is becoming more “targeted.” Mr. Trump’s numbers are wrong, and his vision is anything but “soft.” To realize these numbers during a four-year term, to say nothing of a shorter “immediate” timeframe, would require deportation rates never before experienced in this country."

News Article PBS NewsHour November 4, 2016

New York City defied national trends, cut incarceration rate in half, study finds

In this story by PBS NewsHour's The Rundown, Ryan Connelly Holmes quotes Better By Half  co-authors Judith Greene and Vincent Schiraldi, as they question the efficacy of mass incarceration as a crime control strategy, and point to how community activism for diversion and sentencing alternatives, changes in police enforcement and District Attorney charging practices, as well as the 2009 Rockefeller Drug Law reforms, have led to a reduction of better than 50 percent in NYC's jail and prison populations, over two decades.  The study points the way for other jurisdictions to follow, the authors state.

News Article The Marshal Project October 28, 2016

Better by Half: How New York City Cut Crime and Incarceration at the Same Time

In this Op-Ed penned by Better by Half co-authors Vincent Schiraldi and Judith Greene, we describe the changes in New York State drug sentencing reforms and New York City policing and prosecutorial practices, from 1996 to 2014, that led to unprecidented reductions in the City's combined jail and prison incarceration rates of fifty-five percent, while, at the same time, serious index crimes were reduced by fifty-eight percent.  Follow the links provided to read the editiorial and our related publication Better by Half.