Criminal Justice

Felon Enfranchisement: Getting Out the Vote Inside

by Michelle Chen on September 29 2009, 10:52PM

Schools, town halls, and even legislative chambers are feeling increasingly uneasy these days, besieged by an onslaught of racist hostility. Yet civil rights activists are working to open up new space for democracy in one of the least friendly…

Topics: Criminal Justice

NFL Comeback

by David Leonard on September 29 2009, 12:00PM

Race, media and the demonization of Michael Vick

Topics: Criminal Justice

American Indians Look to Sotomayor for Change

by Matthew L.M. Fletcher on September 9 2009, 12:00PM

Justice Sotomayor could make a dent in reversing unjust Supreme Court decisions on tribal law.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Good Gangs

by Michelle Chen on August 31 2009, 8:48PM

Over the past few years, the phenomenon of youth gangs has spawned its own field of criminology—part social science, part political spectacle. Police have been declaring war on gangs for decades, officials have deployed social workers, teachers and “gang…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Beyond ‘Hard-Working’: Rinku Sen Talks About Talking About Race at Netroots Nation [VIDEO]

by Channing Kennedy on August 25 2009, 11:32AM

Courtesy of Sum of Change, here’s our own Rinku Sen (executive director of the Applied Research Center, publisher of ColorLines, author of The Accidental American) at Netroots Nation 2009. Speaking on the “Stepping it up: Creating Powerful Multiracial Alliances…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Immigration, Media, Video & Multimedia

Albany’s Latest Boondoggle: Racial Justice

by Michelle Chen on August 18 2009, 5:01PM

The New York Post—that paragon of journalistic excellence—ran an editorial today blasting the latest piece of pork to come out of Albany. Under the headline “Your Tax Dollars At Waste,” the paper took aim at a State Senate earmark…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Bad (White) Men Punished

by Daisy Hernandez on August 13 2009, 12:00PM

A federal judge honors a 150-year-old treaty between the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the federal government.

Topics: Criminal Justice

“All Races Had Injuries”: Riot at Chino

by Michelle Chen on August 10 2009, 11:04PM

The explosion of violence at the California Institution for Men in Chino was an almost too-perfect snapshot of the crisis engulfing California’s prisons. By Sunday morning, hours of rioting had left dozens hospitalized and much of the facility in…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Prisons: The New Asylum for Youth

by Leticia Miranda on August 10 2009, 3:16PM

A New York Times article reports that more and more courts are ordering mentally ill youth to jail as community mental health programs are facing bigger cuts and thinning resources. “We’re seeing more and more mentally ill kids who…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Reading Race in the Death Penalty

by Michelle Chen on August 6 2009, 8:56PM

The power of racial bias has long loomed over the death penalty, yet has seldom been directly confronted in the courts. But in North Carolina, a race analysis of capital punishment is now being written into law. The passage…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Crunch Time for California’s Prisons

by Michelle Chen on August 5 2009, 5:35PM

Capping several years of litigation, a federal court on Tuesday ordered California to reduce its prison population by 43,000 inmates within two years, giving the state 45 days to produce a plan to comply with constitutional standards. The ruling…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Do Unto Others: the Moral Slope of Hate Crimes Laws

by Michelle Chen on August 4 2009, 10:07PM

Sometimes, it just feels good to punish someone. That emotional impetus has colored our criminal justice system, and some of the clearest examples are laws that enhance penalties for crimes deemed especially heinous. But the eye-for-an-eye mentality can also…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Oped: Boston’s race problem

by Talia Whyte on July 29 2009, 12:00PM

In one survey, 17 percent of respondents said they’d experienced racial discrimination from police.

Topics: Criminal Justice

“Bad girls”

by Michelle Chen on July 24 2009, 6:27PM

Zoot suit riots, West Side Story, Bloods and Crips—America has long had a fascination with the deviant teen. While the dramatic narrative has always been threaded with race and class struggle, the gender dimension of youth “delinquency” is often…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Hate v. Death in the Matthew Shepard Act

by Michelle Chen on July 21 2009, 4:56PM

Senator Jeff Sessions took a strong stance on hate crime today—in a way that only an unabashedly bigoted lawmaker could. He has tacked an amendment onto the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (passed by the Senate last week),…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Facing racial profiling

by Michelle Chen on June 30 2009, 9:28PM

Civil liberties advocates told the United Nations today that racial profiling continues to tear away at the social fabric of American communities. In a report to the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the ACLU and Rights…

Topics: Criminal Justice, National Security

Arrest of Gang Intervention Leader Alex Sanchez Raises Questions, Concerns in Community

by Guest Columnist on June 25 2009, 10:20AM

By Roberto Lovato This post originally appeared on Of America. Today’s FBI arrest of Alex Sanchez, one of the most respected gang intervention leaders in the country, has raised major concerns in Los Angeles and around the country. As his…

Topics: Criminal Justice

David Kao’s Murder Shows Anti-Asian Hate Crimes are Real

by Guest Columnist on June 17 2009, 6:07AM

by Christina Chen Four teens were charged last Thursday with the strangling death of 49 year old Chinese account executive David Kao, in Flushing, New York. Under questioning the teens, aged 16 and 17, confessed to dragging, choking, and beating…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Drug Policy is a Race and Poverty Issue — Let’s Push for Action

by Channing Kennedy on June 15 2009, 4:11PM

Ethan Nadelmann, director of Drug Policy Alliance, addressed the America’s Future Now conference last week, calling for broader and stronger involvement by progressives against draconian drug laws that disproportionately affect communities of color. From his remarks: The issue of race…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Why Deport Formerly Incarcerated Immigrants? Is the System Broken?

by on June 15 2009, 11:32AM

ColorLines magazine is in Jamaica this week investigating the devastating effect of American deportation policies on families. Check back for more updates soon. Christopher Johnson, 38, was deported from Washington, DC to Jamaica six weeks ago, after he finished…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Immigration