Current Thinking

a forum for ideas, opinions, and strategies on justice policy and practice

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Dec 4, 2015 */ The Unlocking Potential: Perspectives on Education in Prison blog series—as part of Vera’s Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project—explores postsecondary education in prison and its benefits—during and after incarceration—through the unique experiences and insight of former students, educators, nonprofit leaders, corrections officials, reentry experts, and more. Michael Carey is the director of College Initiative (CI), a New York-...
Dec 2, 2015 The Addressing the Overuse of Segregation in U.S. Prisons and Jails blog series features the voices of various perspectives—from corrections officials and academic experts to advocates and formerly incarcerated people—examining the issues presented by the use of segregated housing and discussing promising strategies for reform.   Segregation, also referred to as solitary confinement or restricted housing, is a practice widely used in U.S. prisons and jails...

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Nov 30, 2015 It’s no coincidence that the number of Americans with college diplomas is the same as those with criminal records—the relationship between a lack of education and criminal justice involvement, especially for girls and women, is bi-directional, complex, and problematic. For example, youth in the juvenile justice system have very high educational needs; at least one in three is identified as needing or receiving special education services, which is four...

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Nov 23, 2015 In the days since the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, several anti-Muslim acts of violence have been reported across the United States and worldwide. If history is a reliable witness, these hate crimes—criminal acts motivated in whole or in part by bias against a person’s real or perceived race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, or disability—will continue to be on the rise, consistent with the aftermath of 9/11...

Nov 19, 2015 Last week, the White House, in partnership with 20 foundations, announced that it would be investing $118 million dollars to improve the lives of women and girls of color. The news comes just over a year after the White House announced its $200 million public-private partnership for young men and boys of color, “My Brother’s Keeper,” which ignited controversy over the legitimacy of an effort to end racial injustice without including girls of color. The...

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Nov 17, 2015 Last month, the New York Times reported that more than 130 law enforcement officials have launched an initiative to reduce both crime and incarceration, representing a public shift in philosophy from previously popular tough-on-crime rhetoric. As a police officer in Seattle for 31 years and now with the King County Sheriff’s Office for the last year, I have personally witnessed this kind of growing willingness from formerly adversarial—or a least “siloed...

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Nov 13, 2015 */ The Justice in Katrina's Wake blog series reflects on New Orleans' local incarceration practices, the movement to foster fairness in its criminal justice system, and efforts to increase safety for all communities. Kenneth A. Polite is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana and serves as the...

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