Criminal Justice Reform

For Father’s Day: A Dad Reflects on His Son and Juvenile Justice

For Father’s Day: A Dad Reflects on His Son and Juvenile Justice

As the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day 2017, Equal Voice News is reposting this August 2014 essay from Ernest Johnson, a New Orleans criminal justice reform advocate. He is a father and grandfather.  “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” — Martin Luther King Jr. This year is […]

Obama on Criminal Justice: How We Treat Citizens Reflects Character

Obama on Criminal Justice: How We Treat Citizens Reflects Character

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama returned to his roots at the Harvard Law Review on Jan. 5, penning an article about progress his administration made in reforming the criminal justice system — and the challenges that remain for the next administration. His commentary, “The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform,” addresses how presidents […]

America’s Next Leaders: A Youth Lifts Up Those Who Were Incarcerated

Each year, Equal Voice News features “America’s Next Leaders”, a series that profiles the recipients of the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Leadership Award. The award honors young people who, in the spirit of Sargent Shriver, have demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice and have transformed that commitment into effective […]

Illinois Creates New Protections in its Juvenile Justice System

Illinois Creates New Protections in its Juvenile Justice System

Grassroots advocates won new protections last week for youth charged with serious crimes in Illinois, including greater access to lawyers and video recordings of interrogations while they are in custody. On Aug. 22, Gov. Bruce Rauner approved legislation (SB 2370) designed to ensure that juveniles younger than 15 have legal representation if they are in […]

News Analysis: The True Cost of California’s Proposition 47

News Analysis: The True Cost of California’s Proposition 47

California has long been seen as a harbinger on crime and punishment. During the tough-on-crime 1980s and ‘90s, California led the charge, passing “Three Strikes” and other harsh sentencing laws that became a model for other states to follow. In California, these laws led to prison crowding so extreme that the federal government put the […]

Families Mark Victory: Raise the Age Louisiana Act Becomes Law

Families Mark Victory: Raise the Age Louisiana Act Becomes Law

Louisiana is making a set of critical reforms to its juvenile justice system, including ensuring that 17-year-olds can be placed in that system instead of adult prisons, delivering an important win for the state’s families. On June 14, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed four bills designed to improve Louisiana’s approach to juvenile justice by creating […]

Supreme Court Upends All-White Jury Verdict and Death Sentence

Supreme Court Upends All-White Jury Verdict and Death Sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court upended the conviction and death sentence of a Black Georgia man Monday because prosecutors violated the Constitution by excluding African-Americans from the all-White jury that determined his fate. The 7-1 ruling in favor of death row inmate Timothy Tyrone Foster came in a case in which defense lawyers obtained […]

Mother’s Day: Bittersweet for Families in the Justice System

Mother’s Day: Bittersweet for Families in the Justice System

Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me—as it is for the thousands of other mothers around the country who have lost sons and daughters to our nation’s merciless criminal justice system. On Sunday, I will gather with my children and grandchildren for a late breakfast. They will give me flowers and, from the littlest, hand-drawn cards. And […]

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