California

JS Blog Post September 14, 2019

A "Vision for Justice 2020 and Beyond: A New Paradigm for Public Safety" Released

R.B.H.

“It is time for bold ideas. It is time to achieve the change we desperately need: a fundamental transformation and reorientation of the criminal-legal system” –The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

This September, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Civil Rights Corps. Put out a new platform paper “Vision for Justice 2020 and Beyond: A New Paradigm for Public Safety.” The platform calls upon us to address the root causes leading to our high rates of incarceration and the denial of equal rights to millions. By recognizing that the history of our criminal justice system is rooted in racial and economic oppression from slavery, the black codes, convict leasing, Jim Crow laws to the war on drugs, the platform lays out a vision for public safety that is grounded in human rights and upholds the humanity and dignity of all people. The platform is divided into three parts with 14 “planks” calling for change: Read more »

JS Blog Post October 29, 2018

Oregon State Continues to Lead in Supporting Children of Incarcerated Parents

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Oregon continues to lead in providing support for children of incarcerated parents. A recent training “Incarcerated Parents: Don’t Forget About Me” given earlier this month by Oregon Department of Corrections’ (DOC) Administrator of Programs & Social Support Services and the Department of Human Services (DHS) reflects a tone of changing attitudes often possessed by child welfare and prison staff. Specifically, the second and third slides of the presentation with their beliefs include: Read more »

JS Blog Post October 25, 2017

An Update on Numbers for Native and Latinx Youth Supports Moves for Decarceration

Lill M. Hewko

This month, the Sentencing Project released their second and third fact sheets on racial and ethnic disparities in youth incarceration focusing on Native and Latinx* youth. We highlighted the first fact sheet on the disparities in incarceration for black youth here. Read more »

JS Blog Post May 12, 2017

National Mama’s Bail Out Day: Taking a Stance & Reuniting Families Torn Apart by the Criminal Justice System.

Lillian M. Hewko, J.D.

What is the best way to maintain contact between children and their incarcerated parents? To get them out of jail in the first place! As reported by the Huffington post, this week just before Mother’s Day the Black Lives Matter Movement created “National Mama’s Bail Out Day” to give mothers (queer, trans, immigrant, young, elder and disabled) the greatest give of all—the gift of being with their children instead of being held in jail simply because they cannot afford bail.

Each day the cost of bail is devastating for parents (of all genders), families, and communities across our nation. In California alone, it is estimated that over 60% of individuals are held on pretrial bail—meaning they haven’t been convicted of a crime, they just can’t afford bail. A recent report by Justice Policy Institute found that bail bond companies take billions from low-income people with no return on investment in terms of public safety, and instead, create added costs to communities. Read more »

JS Blog Post April 21, 2017

No Way Out for Parents Charged with Violent Crimes

Lillian M. Hewko, J.D.

“Now that I have a child of my own, I want to be in her life and show her that I have changed into a responsible adult.” –Daniel Loera, 21 years old, Monroe Correctional Facility

Daniel is one of the 45 percent of men in prison under 24 years old who are fathers. Daniel, featured in our last fatherhood blog, wants nothing more than a second chance so that he can help parent his 4-year old daughter, but Daniel has no no way out anytime soon. He is serving a 7.75-year sentence for an assault he committed when he was 16. With no options for an early release and with his daughter in foster care, he may permanently lose his parental rights. Read more »

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. 

JS Publication July 26, 2016

Zero Tolerance: A Case Study of Police Policies and Practices in New York City

This article by director Judith Greene first appeared in the Sage Publication journal Crime and Delinquency in April of 1999.  In it Judith argues that Zero Tolerance produced an increase in Civilian Complaint Review Board filings and lawsuits alleging police misconduct but not the decreases in crime its proponents claimed.  To assert this point the author presents a case study comparing New York City's Zero Tolerance policy with San Diego's problem oriented community policing that produced effective crime control with fewer negative impacts on urban neighborhoods.

News Article Common Dreams July 14, 2016

End 'Operation Streamline': How One Human Rights Disater is Driving Several More

This article by Deirdre Fulton quotes Justice Strategies' director Judith Greene as she calls expanded mirgrant prosecutions under Operation Streamline the latest contributor to mass incarcertion, straining an already overcrowded federal prison system.  The article goes on to cover several of the key findings of Justice Strategies' and Grassroots Leadership's book length report, Indefensible,  the full version of which may be downloaded free here on our website, along with book highlights, our press release, and media and advocates conference call audio conducted July 13, 2016.

News Article The Guardian July 14, 2016

Prosecutioin of illegal entry a driving force in mass incarceration in US

This article by Renee Feltz of the Guardian describes how the prosecution of individuals crossing the U.S. border for entry, a misdemeanor, and re-entry, a federal felony, has become a driving force behind mass incarceration as detailed in Justice Strategies' and Grassrooots Leadership's most recent book length report, Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border, released July 13, 2016.  The book, book highlights, press release and an audio recording of our media and advocacy conference call are available for download free of charge, here on our website. 

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