The Ugly Truth of Mandatory Drug Sentencing

clarence aaron

Seth Ferranti: Clarence Aaron is serving three life terms for a small-time college cocaine deal, another victim of heinous mandatory drug sentencing laws. If he’s waiting for Obama—or anyone else—for help, he’ll be waiting a long time.

Mass Incarceration: Points of Agreement on the Right and the Left

susan burton

Diane Lefer: When a community sees daily injustice and doesn’t see the rule of law equally applied, it becomes morally and ethically easier to choose to live in a lawless way.

The New Jim Crow: Our Role in Incarceration Nation

Michelle Alexander

Diane Lefer: Judge Gray referred to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who, in looking at the entire criminal justice system in which we hold the world record for the number of people incarcerated, concluded either we are the most evil people in the world or we are doing something seriously wrong.

African-Americans Have Seven Times Greater Chance of Imprisonment

Marc Mauer, the Prison Project

Sherwood Ross: It is far more likely that in the late twentieth century, in contrast to earlier time, patterns of discrimination reflect unconscious biases rather than blatant attempts to oppress African Americans.

Is Secure Communities Making our Communities Secure?

thumbprint

A new IPC report, The Secure Communities Program: Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns, released today highlights early evidence from Secure Communities—and experience with other ICE programs—that suggests this new program may not be living up to its name and may not be effectively making our communities more safe.

The People’s Budget Fix

death-row

The “Prison Population and Budget Reduction Package” proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is like a drunk person walking home from a bar – it knows where it wants to go but oftentimes you find it stumbling off the sidewalk or turning down the wrong street.

Is Obama Serious About Ending Failed War on Drugs?

drug-wars

Efforts by President Obama to put an end to the nation’s failed “War on Drugs” can’t come an hour too soon—if that’s his intent. From his actions, it’s hard to know. Drug offenses account for about half the 200,000 Federal prison inmates behind bars, compared to just 15% of prisoners convicted of violent crimes involving [...]

Close Down Guantanamo? What About Our Own Hellholes?

Senator Jim Web (D-Virgina) with wife Hong Le Webb

As Tom Paine once opined on this subject: “When it shall be said in any country in the world, ‘My poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive’— when these things can be said then may that country boast of its constitution and its government.” Folks, we gotta ways to go.

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