We are excited to announce that the Helping Ourselves to Transform fundraising store has gone live. With each purchase, you are helping this organization to continue to provide services and support to our returning brothers and sisters. 100% of the proceeds go directly to these efforts so please don’t hesitate to add something to your…
This Business & Legal Toolkit for Returning Citizen Entrepreneurs is part of a multi-year action research project of the GW Law School Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic (Clinic).1 The Clinic provides free legal services to carefully selected small and microbusinesses, non-profit organizations, artists, and social entrepreneurs.
A private prison in Arizona recently sued the state for having a lack of prisoners. For the sake of saving over $16 million in back pay, the state settled by paying the private prison $3 million. Arizona essentially paid a company $3 million because not enough people are committing crimes.
Once jailed, these women now hold courts accountable — with help from students, retirees and Fiona Apple
From her makeshift home office on the island in her kitchen, Carmen Johnson picked up her phone and dialed the number for the clerk of the court, beginning what had become her near-daily ritual since the pandemic upended the legal system and forced courts to go virtual.
In the United States, we owe formerly incarcerated people. This fact is abundantly clear when you evaluate the status quo. A person who completes their sentenced punishment after being found guilty has paid their debt to society. Unfortunately, laws across the country force formerly incarcerated people to continue to pay for their misconduct long after their release from the criminal legal system. These collateral consequences of incarceration are often unrelated to the person’s crime and dramatically hinder the reentry process. Cultural stigma, legal discrimination, and enhanced trauma describe the reality for hundreds of thousands of people in America because “free” society continues to make formerly incarcerated people pay. Hence, we owe them.
Since August of 2020, the Movement Lawyering Clinic (“the Clinic”) at Howard University
School of Law has observed bond hearings in Prince George’s County District Court. The impetus
of this project came from reports and a lawsuit from Civil Rights Corps, alleging that PG County’s
jail was overcrowded, unsanitary, at risk of a COVID-19 breakout, and teeming with pre-trial
defendants, many who are charged with non-violent crimes.1 The Clinic decided to observe PG
County bond hearings to determine the extent of pre-trial detention in the County, or more
specifically, who was being put in pre-trial detention and why.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an omnibus criminal justice package that (among several victories) makes Illinois the tenth state to end prison gerrymandering. HB3653 ensures that, beginning in 2030, people in state prisons will be counted as residents of their home addresses when new legislative districts are drawn.
What makes people more or less likely to succeed upon release? Readers looking for recidivism data should note that relying too much on rates of recidivism (as opposed to other indicators of success after prison) can result in incomplete conclusions, because recidivism data is skewed by inconsistencies in policing, charging, and supervision.
Returning from prison and jail is hard during normal times — it’s even more difficult during COVID-19
The very same obstacles that make it hard for people released from prison to succeed — homelessness, a lack of transportation, barriers to healthcare, and more — also make it harder to stay safe from the coronavirus.
Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial? And how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs? These questions are harder to answer than you might think, because our country’s systems of confinement are so fragmented. The various government agencies involved in the justice system collect a lot of critical data, but it is not designed to help policymakers or the public understand what’s going on. As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build, however, it’s more important than ever that we get the facts straight and understand the big picture.