This week in the news: Read two human interest stories of people who were previously incarcerated who now hold or are pursuing college degrees, about the newest legislation in criminal justice reform, the wave of banks exiting the private prison industry, a District Attorney’s out-of-the-ordinary reverse on a tough-on-crime stance, and so much more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: July 12, 2019”
Last month, California congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris introduced the Ensuring Quality Access to Legal Defense (EQUAL Defense) Act. If passed, the bill would create a $250 million grant program aiming to establish workload limits for public defenders and pay parity between public defenders and prosecutors. The bill would also authorize $5 million to provide training to public defenders.
Continue reading “Investing in Equal Access to Quality Public Defense”
This week in the news: Read more on the study that shed light on current and retired police officers’ Facebook posts, Booker’s (D-NJ) promise of clemency for thousands of nonviolent drug offenders if he becomes president, how the First Step Act continues to play out, the newly established pro bono effort, the Compassionate Release Clearinghouse, and much more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: June 21, 2019”
Disclaimer: Possible sensitive material. The author discusses the nature of human trafficking situations and means of control.
During my undergraduate years, I embodied the enthusiastic student suddenly emboldened by the idea that I could do something to change the world. When at a campus event, I was shown a video that detailed the (fictional) story of a young woman from Eastern Europe who was kidnapped and brought to the United States for forced work in the sex industry. The woman was moved around the country and was locked in various homes, hidden away from everyone except for her captors and clients. She only managed a dramatic escape by breaking free of her chains and running towards good citizens for help. Like most Americans, this was my introduction to the issue of human trafficking.
Continue reading “How Human Trafficking Myths Hurt Survivors”
This week in the news: Read about a new wave of prosecutorial transparency, the number of people with cut sentences thanks to the First Step Act, the troubling truth about how many people get an opportunity to go to trial in the federal justice system, and so much more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: June 14, 2019”
April is Second Chance Month and, with that, we celebrate the important role legal aid organizations and public defense providers can play in helping people with criminal records. There are tens of thousands civil collateral consequences of having a criminal record, such as having to disclose prior convictions on job applications, difficulty securing an occupational license, or losing one’s drivers’ license. Receiving legal services can help stabilize housing and reduce barriers to employment for the almost 75 million, or one-in-three, American adults facing these consequences.
Continue reading “Civil Legal Aid Offers a Second Chance and Keeps Americans Working”
This week in the news: Read about the benefits of expungement, how more areas in the United States are turning to drug courts, what the US Department of Justice is doing to make sure opioids are responsibly distributed, and how juvenile justice systems in the country are working to give youth a second chance.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: April 19, 2019”
I first learned about the issues that can arise with the over-consumption of alcohol in a freshmen seminar in college. Before that, I had no formal introduction or training on the negative consequences that can result from drinking and driving. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Impaired (DWI) are increasingly becoming a national issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 48 minutes in 2017.”1 People who are proven guilty of DUI/DWI can then end up in treatment courts.
Continue reading “Offering Support and a Chance at Recovery”
It’s finally spring and April – a month our criminal justice community has dedicated as Second Chance Month. At JPO, we join our community in bringing attention to the importance of second chances and the need to ensure that those impacted by the criminal justice system gain opportunities to restore their voting rights, find employment, get a driver’s license, have their record(s) expunged, and more. Continue reading “Spring is a Time for Renewal and for Second Chances”
This week in news: Read about the need to focus on women when considering criminal justice reform and the benefits of expunging records for those who have served their time, hear from JPO Director Ball on treatment courts, find out about Ohio’s new sentencing proposals for drug possession, and more.
Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: March 29, 2019”