inclusive economy
How to build an inclusive economy
Our economy was designed to exclude and exploit people of color. These entrepreneurs are working to level the scales.
black owned businesses
Could Gen Z close the racial wealth gap through entrepreneurship?
This American city was ranked one of the worst for the success of black-owned businesses. Can these young entrepreneurs change that?
violence interrupters
“Violence interrupters” combat crime from lawn chairs
Groups of violence interrupters are spending time in dangerous neighborhoods so they can be present to defuse potentially violent situations.
police use of force
It’s not enough to remove "bad apples" from police forces
Police use of force complaints would not dramatically decrease if “bad apples” were fired early in their careers, Princeton and UPenn researchers predict.
less lethal weapons
The CEO of Axon on building safer weapons
After a tragic loss, Rick Smith wanted to find a way to help end gun violence, and in 1993 he brought the TASER device to the market. 30 years later, he believes they’re closer than ever to “making the bullet obsolete...”
incarcerated mothers newborn babies
Minnesota stops separating newborns and incarcerated mothers
The Healthy Start Act makes Minnesota the first state to stop the practice of separating incarcerated mothers from their newborns soon after delivery.
police training vr
Controversial police killings are being recreated in VR
Virtual reality simulations of controversial police killings of Black Americans are being included in a police training program.
Criminal Justice Technology
Series | Catalysts
The missing data in criminal justice reform
This Y Combinator startup is building new, criminal justice technology solutions to sustainably reduce our prison populations.
police reform
What does police reform look like in 2020?
Calls for police reform have resulted in budget cuts, new policies, and a record number of police oversight measures landing on the 2020 ballot.
Robot Lawyer
Robot lawyer helps people connect with incarcerated loved ones
DoNotPay’s robot lawyer can now help people write and send letters to inmates without worrying about violating a facility’s mail rules.
Despite the pandemic, voting rights groups help register voters in jail
Voting rights groups help inmates register and vote, despite hurdles presented by the pandemic.
crisis intervention
Should police respond to mental health crises?
As tensions between law enforcement and the public continue to rise, many are beginning to question whether all 911 calls warrant a visit from armed officers.
bail reform
Cash bail keeps poor people in jail. Here’s how we fix it
Bail reformers say it’s unconstitutional for a person to be imprisoned because they can’t afford bail. Do bail bonds begin punishing the poor before they’re even found guilty?
police reform
Is police reform even possible?
Here are four things we can change to reduce police violence and increase accountability.
police budgets
Police budget meetings are public—if you know where to look
To get more citizens engaged in the local police budget decision-making process, Reinvestin.us posts exactly when and how.
Police Records
Volunteers build first nationwide database of police records
Thousands of volunteers are data scraping public websites to compile police records into a single national database for researchers to mine.
Qualified Immunity
Qualified immunity might not protect police for much longer
The U.S. government is considering changes to qualified immunity, a doctrine that protects police from civil lawsuits.
How Police Spend Their Time
How police spend their time
The New York Times looks at how police spend their time at work, providing insights that could be useful for “unbundling the police” efforts.
de-escalation
Do police de-escalation techniques work?
The public is calling on law enforcement to find alternatives to using force. But do de-escalation tactics actually work?
Police Misconduct
Your smartphone can help end police misconduct
There are now apps, websites, and phone shortcuts designed to help you not only document police misconduct, but also report and protect it.
prisons
Converting prisons into farms, community centers, and shelters
Across the U.S., prisons, jails, and detention centers are being transformed from facilities that confine people into ones that support them.
Juneteenth
Why Juneteenth (June 19) could soon be a national holiday
Across the U.S., companies and governments are starting to officially recognize Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday also known as Black Independence Day.
Public Safety
Rethinking public safety: Are police always needed?
The mobile mental health service CAHOOTS handles public safety calls related to mental or behavioral health for the Eugene Police Department.
Decarceration
This Atlanta jail is being replaced with a "center for equity"
A decarceration project will see a 1,100-bed Atlanta jail transformed into a “Center for Equity” to serve the local community.
Street Medics
Street medics tend to protesters in the midst of a pandemic
Across the U.S., groups of volunteer street medics are dispensing medical care to police brutality protestors in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Criminal Justice Reform
5 must-reads on American police reform
In our weekly roundup, we take you inside the fight to reform America’s criminal justice system, exploring potential solutions to this complex problem.
Confederate Monuments
Cities remove Confederate monuments following George Floyd protests
City officials are removing Confederate monuments in Virginia, Alabama, and several other Southern states in response to the George Floyd protests.
George Floyd Protests
Where the George Floyd protests (and responses) have been peaceful
The George Floyd protests remained largely peaceful in these cities, with protestors and law enforcement occasionally even standing shoulder to shoulder.
George Floyd
Seeking justice for George Floyd
Articles, thought leaders, and organizations worth paying attention to following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota.
Hope after prison
This former inmate is cleaning up his city and helping other ex-cons turn their lives around.
F*ck a false arrest: How to get out of jail free in NYC
Good Call NYC Fights Bad Policing With a Free Lawyer Hotline: 1-833-3-GOODCALL
A day in the life of a 'violence interruptor'
Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in...
Can cognitive behavioral therapy break the cycle of violence?
CBT is a promising way to reduce violence, so why has it been so hard to scale?
24 years for a crime he didn’t commit
When a prisoner serving a life sentence is suddenly found to be innocent, it often makes national news. But what happens after the cameras go away?
Miriam Krinsky
Exclusive interview: how Miriam Krinsky is leading us to a smarter & more equitable justice system
Her organization is bringing together a new generation of prosecutors with a shared vision of fair, compassionate,...
Can a new breed of prosecutor reform our broken system?
Prosecutors are afforded a wide array of discretion within the criminal justice system and wielding that discretion appropriately could mean ending America’s mass incarceration problem.
civilian oversight
Civilian oversight is a solution to police misconduct. But is it effective?
Creating a civilian review board to oversee police conduct seems like a straightforward solution to disciplinary...
Do we need more police or better police?
American cities are safer than they used to be, but they’re still quite violent, and many economists think they’re...
Community policing is back in vogue. But does it work?
As police departments look for ways to rebuild trust with their communities, an increasing number are turning to...
Helping moms in prison read to their kids
Meet the people helping incarcerated mothers read to their kids.
Helping prisoners overcome trauma with dance
Women in prison are regaining a sense of freedom — through dance.
The dad changing how police shootings are investigated
After his son was killed by police, Michael Bell fought for over a decade to change how we investigate police shootings.
Why prisons are showing nature videos to inmates
Watching nature videos in the unlikeliest of places
The exotic zoo run by prisoners
Could zookeeping turn an inmate’s life around? Jeanne Selander who runs the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm thinks so.
Why does officer Tommy Norman have a million Instagram followers?
Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.