Criminal Justice Reform

Man in orange hoodie and blue jeans walks in front of storefront window with red and blue and white letters surrounded by white wall

LISTEN: Podcast Explores How 'Justice in America' Really Works

Attorney Josie Duffy Rice partners with educator Clint Smith III to examine the criminal justice system’s devastating impact on marginalized communities.

A Black man wearing a white shirt and gray shorts stands with his hands in cuffs, holding an orange mesh bag and a white and red bottle

House Approves Controversial Prison Reform Measure

But the FIRST STEP Act faces an uphill battle. Criminal justice reform advocates say any meaningful bill must include sentencing reform, and Republicans and Democrats in the Senate agree.

NYC marijuana arrests

New York City Officials Vow to Revamp Marijuana Policy

The mayor and district attorneys promise to limit prosecutions for most offenses, but reform advocates remain weary in absence of codified law.

A black incarcerated person makes a phone call at a reintegration center as he faces a wall painted in monochrome blue and white with the American flag at the top

Why Reentry Is Incredibly Hard for Formerly Incarcerated Black and Latinx People

Colorlines talks to Bruce Western, author of  “Homeward: Life in the Year After Incarceration,” which follows the journeys of 100+ formerly incarcerated people as they navigate the challenges of racial, health and socioeconomic inequity.

Five incarcerated men in orange jumpsuits are locked in a cell. There is an American flag hanging above the cell.

House Advances Controversial Bill to Reform Federal Prison System

But several civil rights organizations—and Senators—say the measure would do nothing to address sentencing reform that Black and Latinx people desperately need.

National Black Mama's Bail Out Seeks to Reunite Families for Mother's Day

“We are committed to building a community-based movement to end pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration.”

Overdose survey

New York Mayor Endorses Safe Injection Sites to Curb Fatal Overdoses

Black and Latinx leaders celebrate announcement as victory for communities that have experienced disproportionate criminalization during the ongoing war on drugs.

Prison Reforms

New York Governor Restores Voting Rights to Parolees

An estimated 35,000 residents, overwhelmingly Black and Latinx, stand to benefit from Andrew Cuomo’s executive order.

Joe Gratz via Flickr Creative Commons

Washington Is First State to Adopt Comprehensive Anti-Bias Rule for Jury Selection

“This groundbreaking rule for jury selection will reduce the damage done by racial and ethnic bias to the integrity of our judicial system and to communities of color.”

Black boy with brown skin looks at camera while standing in front of high blue walls laced with barbed wire

WATCH: Video Takes Viewers Inside Only Remaining Juvenile Detention Facility in Virginia

Even the director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice wants to close Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center.

75 Prosecutors, Judges and Law Enforcement Officers Petition Supreme Court to Dismiss 241-Year Sentence for Teenage Boy

Judge Evelyn Baker, who sentenced Black teenager Bobby Bostic back in 1997: “I deeply regret what I did.”

Death penalty protests

Death Sentence: Trump Considers Capital Punishment for Drug Dealers

The White House mulls policy change that would allow prosecutors to seek death penalty for drug traffickers.

Orange flames on a black background

The Final Fire: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Kerner Commission [OPINION]

The Kerner Commission concluded that unrest in cities across the country was the result of unaddressed racial and economic injustice. What has—and hasn’t—changed in the last 50 years?

Juvenile prisons

Juvenile Injustice: Racial Disparities in Incarceration Start Early

A new report shows that, just like its adult counterpart, the juvenile justice system is engulfed with overcrowding and racial imbalances.

Donald Trump Addresses Members Of Law Enforcement

Civil Rights Group Sues Trump Administration for Prolonged Detention of Immigrant Children

New York Civil Liberties Union says a policy shift has resulted in the restrictive imprisonment of dozens of young immigrants.

Bright green marijuana leaves

Philadelphia District Attorney Dismisses All Marijuana Possession Cases

Larry Krasner says his office will no longer prosecute people for simple possession.

Black and white photo of young Black boys in striped shirts and pants, working in a field

WATCH: Short Documentary Explores History—and Present—of the Juvenile Justice System

Youth First Initiative: “Youth justice is racial justice—and that’s why this system of oppression needs to change.”

People stand at voting booths, faces covered by black partitions

Federal Judge: Florida's Voting Ban for Formerly Incarcerated People is Unconstitutional

The judge said that civil rights cannot be withheld based on “partisan, religious or racial bias.”

Red garage door with "McFadden's Bail Bonds" painted on it in yellow, "For Rent" sign posted over the lettering

Philadelphia's City Council Calls on Officials to End Cash Bail System

Will the courts and the district attorney’s office take up the challenge?

Blue ribbon with white text sits on darker blue background

ACLU to Premiere Animated Shorts on Criminal Justice at Sundance Film Festival

The three short films will examine mass incarceration and cash bail through the eyes of the formerly incarcerated.