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Alabamians Celebrate a Win for People Leaving Prison

Alabamians Celebrate a Win for People Leaving Prison

Tucked away in the new prison reform law that Gov. Robert Bentley signed last week on May 21 is a big win for second chances in Alabama: an end to the state’s lifetime eligibility bans for SNAP and TANF assistance for people with a past felony drug conviction. It’s a win on an issue that has [...]
Jail Reform Receives $75M From MacArthur Foundation  NEW YORK (AP) — The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is giving 20 jails of all sizes $150,000 each to come up with ways to reduce the number of people unnecessarily behind bars.  The grants are the first step in the Chicago-based charitable group’s plan to spend $75 million over the next [...]
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Military Equipment for Police Is Restricted by ObamaCAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — President Barack Obama ended long-running federal transfers of some combat-style gear to local law enforcement on Monday in an attempt to ease tensions between police and minority communities, saying equipment made for the battlefield should not be a tool of American criminal justice. Grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft [...]
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Punting on Alabama Prison Reform Will Have CostsSpring cleaning sometimes turns up surprises. While reorganizing my desk recently, I found a 25-year-old report on one of today’s hottest policy topics: reform of Alabama’s overcrowded prison system. Sadly, many of its recommendations are still applicable today. Stuffed amid other documents, the 1990 report by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) boasted [...]
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People Tortured by Chicago Police to Receive ReparationsCHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s leaders took a step Wednesday typically reserved for nations trying to make amends for slavery or genocide, agreeing to pay $5.5 million in reparations to the mostly African-American victims of the city’s notorious police torture scandal and to teach schoolchildren about one of the most shameful chapters of Chicago’s history. Chicago has [...]
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‘Decarceration’ Is Focus of National Meeting in Florida  Grassroots advocates from communities of color and immigration groups met this week in Florida for a national gathering to examine private prisons, mass incarceration and the “criminalization” of people.  Their overall goal: To build a national coalition to strengthen neighborhoods and keep residents, especially people of color and immigrants, out of the criminal justice [...]
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It’s Time to Stop Mass IncarcerationIn March, the Justice Department released a shocking report about the Ferguson Police Department and criminal justice system. The report found repeated violations of constitutional rights, including stopping and handcuffing people without probable cause, using stun guns without provocation, frequent racial slurs and a court system that disproportionately imposes fees, fines and imprisonment for debt on people [...]
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‘How Could Anyone Evil Paint Something so Beautiful?’WAYNESBURG, Pa. — The boy loved to walk in the woods. He savored the gurgle of the creek as the water tumbled over the rocks, the sweet melody of birdsong, the wind rustling the leaves in the trees that soared high overhead. It seems a faraway place to him now — now that he has grown into a man, a
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Victims of Chicago Police Torture Offered CompensationCHICAGO (AP) — Victims of police torture under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge would share $5.5 million, receive an apology and see their story taught in school under a reparations package proposed Tuesday that city leaders hope will help close one of the most shameful chapters in Chicago’s history. More than 100 people who [...]
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Seattle Alternative to Jail Works, University Study SaysSEATTLE (AP) — Gailen Lopton was in a downtown alley two weeks ago, having a buddy jab him in the neck with a heroin-filled syringe, when he suddenly found himself in the company of Seattle’s finest. The police officers weren’t looking to lock him up, though. Instead, they offered him a chance to enroll in [...]
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