Colorlines

Criminal Justice

Reproductive health in lockdown

by Michelle Chen on March 12 2009, 6:08PM

For many women behind bars, barriers to reproductive health follow them from their communities to their prison cells. A study published in the current issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health found that an incarcerated woman’s ability to…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Health

New York’s uphill climb to drop the rock

by Michelle Chen on March 6 2009, 3:55PM

All eyes are on New York as it moves toward reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The mandatory-sentencing statutes have reshaped the prison population since the 1970s by drawing in thousands of people of color and low-level and nonviolent offenders….

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Targeting Another Generation of Black Men

by Ali Winston on March 2 2009, 12:00PM

Despite lawsuits, review boards and more, Oakland fails to reform its police department.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Juvenile justice report

by Michelle Chen on February 12 2009, 1:56PM

Some interesting recent twists at the intersection of youth and the prison system. A dozen young people in the custody of Massachusetts Department of Youth Services could soon be liberated, thanks to a Supreme Judicial Court decision striking down a…

Topics: Criminal Justice

What stimulus could mean if it included the formerly incarcerated

by on February 11 2009, 12:14PM

Fourteen months ago, Vincent, a slim 46-year-old Black man with a youngish face and a pressed plaid shirt, worked as a maintenance technician in Detroit. He’d been with the company for almost three months, but five days before he…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Targeted neighborhoods, pt. 2: NYPD stop and frisk

by Michelle Chen on January 16 2009, 5:23PM

A new, disturbingly timely report by the Center for Constitutional Rights documents glaring racial disparities in the stops and searches carried out by New York City police. The analysis is hardly surprising, but the data does provide statistical muscle to…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

The Bronx Defenders

by Momo Chang on January 6 2009, 12:00PM

Changing the criminal justice system

Topics: Criminal Justice

Bobby Jindal is No Reformer

by Guest Columnist on December 17 2008, 10:39AM

Editor’s note: As Bobby Jindal tries to create a national image, to possibly run for president in 2012, the Louisiana justice system remains in shambles when it comes to serving Black people and protecting our basic rights. Denouncing the…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Prop 69: Tough on Crime on the Backs of Women and People of Color

by Guest Columnist on December 5 2008, 7:50AM

Prop 69: Tough on Crime on the Backs of Women and People of Color Truc Thanh Nguyen, Generations Ahead In January 2009 California will begin the inclusion of felony arrestees into the state DNA database. The inclusion of those simply…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire

by Dom Apollon on November 1 2008, 12:00PM

A law professor tracks policies that fail prisoners and their families.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Two Words That Can Get You Life in Prison

by Raj Jayadev on November 1 2008, 12:00PM

Prosecutors are labeling more people as gang members. Congress considers if it should take similar measures.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Troy Davis Granted Third Stay of Execution

by Jonathan Adams on October 27 2008, 10:50AM

Troy Davis, 40, was scheduled to die Monday at 7 pm (2300 GMT) by lethal injection for the 1989 killing of 27-year-old white policeman Mark Allan MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. He has repeatedly claimed he did not kill McPhail…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Post-Racial?

by Tammy Johnson on October 27 2008, 10:32AM

AP Photo/Matt Slocum Jacquline McClelland poses with a photo of her son Brandon McClelland, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008, in Paris, Texas. Brandon, a black man, was on a late-night beer run across state lines to Oklahoma with two white…

Topics: Criminal Justice

UPDATE: Troy Davis Granted Stay of Execution

by Jonathan Adams on September 23 2008, 5:07PM

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a stay of execution for Troy Anthony Davis less than two hours before he was to be put to death by lethal injection. Davis’ family and supporters, who for years have pressed for…

Topics: Criminal Justice

A few angry thoughts on the possible government sponsored murder of Troy Davis

by Tammy Johnson on September 23 2008, 10:05AM

Oh my god. They are going to kill this man. A possible, a probable innocent man. Amy Goodman just asked John Lewis what it means that there is a possibility of this country electing a Black man President while…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Not giving up: DNA, Rights and Justice

by Guest Columnist on September 10 2008, 1:22PM

By Truc Thanh Nguyen from Generations Ahead This past weekend, during breakfast with some friends, the topic of genetics popped up in conversation. That happens a lot these days as people ask me what it is that I do….

Topics: Criminal Justice

Another Storm Brewing in Jena, LA

by Terry Keleher on September 4 2008, 6:23AM

Courtesy of Jeff Haller/New York Times Just as news about the shameful saga of the Jena 6 has been waning, there’s a new reason to keep the spotlight on Jena, Louisiana. When the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Katrina

Picking the Wrong Black Man

by Jonathan Adams on August 13 2008, 4:50PM

via Stereohyped 1n 1984, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino wrongly identified, Ronald Cotton, an innocent black man, as her rapist, while her guilty black assailant went free. Years later, DNA evidence proved Cotton’s innocence, and he was released. Thompson-Cannino and Cotton are…

Topics: Criminal Justice

New Efforts to Address Racism in the Criminal Justice System

by Terry Keleher on July 31 2008, 7:36AM

Earlier this year, Iowa and Connecticut enacted promising laws requiring the preparation of racial impact statements when state legislators are considering new sentencing legislation. Just as environmental impact statements and fiscal assessments are often used to inform policy decisions,…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Taser Kills Young Black Man, Reminds Residents of Jena Injustice

by Jonathan Adams on July 21 2008, 3:24PM

In Winnfield, La, forty miles from Jena, another town with a history of corruption is simmering with racial tension after the death of a young Black man by a white police officer and his taser gun. Baron “Scooter” Pikes was…

Topics: Criminal Justice