About Bruce Reilly

Bruce Reilly has been a member of Direct Action for Rights & Equality since the inception of its Behind the Walls prison committee in 1999. Bruce was a jailhouse lawyer for 12 years inside, became an activist once paroled in 2005, and is a steering committee member of the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement. His poetry, screenwriting, and PIC commentary has appeared in numerous places over the years, and now he attends Tulane Law School. His testimonies on legislation at the RI Statehouse should never be missed, as they are both colorful and informative.

Terminal Illness in Prison

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Bruce Reilly: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 2001 and 2011, cancer and heart disease were the leading causes of over 3000 annual deaths in state prisons.

When Candidates Oppose the Right to Vote

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Voter Rights Denied — People who are encouraged to be part of the community are more likely to abide by the law.

Are Schools Violating the American With Disabilities Act Every Time a Kid Goes to Court?

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American With Disabilities Act — Naming a child’s case as “difficult” does not release school officials from their responsibilities.

Confession of a Drug Dealer

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Drug Dealer — My vision for post-prison was to help negotiate the peace. It is not a war on drugs, but a war against people.

Did Zimmerman’s Girlfriend Attack Him?

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Bruce Reilly: What it looks like is that George Zimmerman can kill all the Black teenagers he wants, just as long as he doesn’t hurt a woman.

Stop and Frisk: Dispelling the Myth of NYPD Victory

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Bruce Reilly: People want and deserve highly trained and highly effective individuals being constructive in the community. This means more than simply training police as soldiers. We don’t need any more war in America.

Still Marching: 50 Years Later

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Bruce Reilly: Fifty years after the March on Washington, reports indicate we are more segregated than ever, with a greater class disparity than any country except India.

A Former Prisoner’s View: “Orange Is the New Black”

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Bruce Reilly: It is time to get past the controversy over who created the show and use it for advancing discussion on mass incarceration in ways that only mass media can accomplish.

Hunger Strikes, Force Feeds, and Solitary Dreams

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Bruce Reilly: While the California prisoners enter their fourth day of hunger strikes, the people of Guantanamo enter their 40th. Meanwhile, Herman Wallace has spent over forty years in solitary confinement in Louisiana.

Undoing Racist Crack Cocaine Sentencing

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Bruce Reilly: Our criminal justice policy in America, particularly the drug prohibition, is akin to our slavery policy of 1859. Most people realize it is anywhere from problematic to catastrophic.

The Lowdown on Accidental Racism

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Bruce Reilly: The sensational buzz around country star Brad Paisley’s song “Accidental Racist” is perfect fodder for a Twitter blurb — but is this the extent of racial analysis we can muster in America?

Torture, or Mental Health Treatment? Leaked Video Shows American Prison Conditions

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Bruce Reilly: Few Americans are privileged to see the “help” a mentally ill prisoner can expect to receive if they are acting out or “decompensating,” to use the medical term. This incident is nothing special; similar procedures happen in every prison across the nation.

Redskins: Is Racism Really This Blind?

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Bruce Reilly: All the Super Bowls and all the Quentin Tarrantino films will never turn a slur into an acceptable label, no matter how common the usage. People aren’t out on the Rez saying, “Yo, what up Redskin?” Nobody of Native American heritage ever introduced themselves as a Redskin.

Expecting Black Men to Play in Stadium Named After Prison

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Bruce Reilly: I highly doubt any of the 99 players of the Florida Atlantic Owls were consulted about playing in The GEO Group Stadium next year, named after the world’s largest prison-owning corporation. I also doubt I need to illustrate the percentage of the Owls roster who are Black, or the percentage of The GEO Group’s “roster” are Black.

The Tragedy We Know Obama’s Gun Control Moves Will Accomplish

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Bruce Reilly: School police have been key builders of the School to Prison Pipeline. Fistfights and the joint in the bathroom no longer result in detention or suspension anymore: now they are imprisonment, expulsion, and an often insurmountable mountain to climb towards any “normal” adult lifestyle.

Why Big Banks Will Pay The Piper in 2013

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Bruce Reilly: 2013 is poised to become the most important year of the subprime aftermath. The five-year statute of repose, the window within which cases are arguably eligible under the Securities Act, will close.

New York City’s Approaching Revolt of the Guards

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Bruce Reilly: Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are expected to live under a regime of total authority, and simply go about their business when 90% of the time the police find no illegal behavior.

Stop and Frisk Policy Not Preventing Crime

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Bruce Reilly: The NYPD is stopping more Black and Latino people than actually live in the city, harassing nearly 700,000 people last year alone.Statistics show that the more you Stop and Frisk, the less crime goes down.

The Feds vs. The States: Supreme Court Must Decide Death Penalty Fight

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Bruce Reilly: This legal battle will cost the taxpayers about a million dollars, just to see what will happen to Jason Pleau, a man that none of them likely care an iota about.

6 Rules for Becoming a Prosecutor

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Bruce Reilly: Hardly any new prosecutor will get a made-for-TV movie case, write a book, and get on the speaking circuit. The real job is very repetetive, threatening to jade and bleed your soul.

Elderly Veteran Shot: Is This How We Support Our Troops?

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Bruce Reilly: After 68-year-old Marine Kenneth Chamberlain told police he was alright, over the course of 15 minutes, they finally broke in his door and killed him immediately.

Selling State Prisons

Louisiana's Angola Prison, know as "The Farm"

Bruce Reilly: ALEC and for-profit prison lobbyists are fighting to stop the decriminalization of marijuana, to lengthen sentences, eliminate Good Time credits, curtail parole, incarcerate immigrants, maintain mandatory minimums, and increase Three Strikes laws because these efforts will increase their profits. But is this in the public’s best interest?

America’s Top Lobbyists on Criminal Justice Reform: Legal? Proper?

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Bruce Reilly: For years I watched the full-time lobbyist of the Attorney General, their legislative specialist, testify against practically every attempt to reform the criminal justice system.

Should We Crash the Prison System by Demanding Trials?

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Bruce Reilly: If everyone refused a plea bargain and went to trial, the system would crash. This maneuver is not new. I could have never organized these men to refuse plea bargains and go to trial for several reasons.

Dead Under the “Custody and Care” of…

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Bruce Reilly: Christian Gomez was one of thousands in California struggling for things such as food, sunlight, and changes to the segregation policies — the everyday torture in America’s prisons.

How to Confront a Candidate

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Bruce Reilly: The key to getting your issue on the map is to ask the candidate in public, with voters and media in the room. Even if you are creating your own media, the key is to get them “on the record.”

Santorum, Romney Square Off on Felon Disenfranchisement

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Bruce Reilly: Romney, at first, beat around the bush. “I don’t believe people who have committed violent crimes should be given their right to vote.”

National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

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Bruce Reilly: Imprisonment itself is a form of torture. The typical American prison, juvenile hall and detainment camp is designed to maximize degradation, brutalization, and dehumanization.

California Prisoners on Lockdown in Mississippi

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Bruce Reilly: California is under court order to reduce its prisoner population, as they have long-since reached an overcrowded level of inhumane conditions. Renting space elsewhere, although costly, is their answer. They have over 10,000 prisoners currently out of state… and climbing.

California Ending Funding of Child Prisons

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Bruce Reilly: I am not too troubled possible financial bankruptcy due to prisons, particularly child prisons. The possible moral bankruptcy, however, runs much deeper than any bottom line.

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