Working towards meaningful change is rarely simple, but solutions are possible for those willing to embrace complexity, interrogate the truth, and bridge deep divides.
Fixing Justice Grid
Calls for police reform have resulted in budget cuts, new policies, and a record number of police oversight measures landing on the 2020 ballot.
DoNotPay’s robot lawyer can now help people write and send letters to inmates without worrying about violating a facility’s mail rules.
Voting rights groups help inmates register and vote, despite hurdles presented by the pandemic.
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 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?
Here are four things we can change to reduce police violence and increase accountability.
To get more citizens engaged in the local police budget decision-making process, Reinvestin.us posts exactly when and how.
Thousands of volunteers are data scraping public websites to compile police records into a single national database for researchers to mine.
The U.S. government is considering changes to qualified immunity, a doctrine that protects police from civil lawsuits.
The New York Times looks at how police spend their time at work, providing insights that could be useful for “unbundling the police” efforts.
The public is calling on law enforcement to find alternatives to using force. But do de-escalation tactics actually work?
There are now apps, websites, and phone shortcuts designed to help you not only document police misconduct, but also report and protect it.
Across the U.S., prisons, jails, and detention centers are being transformed from facilities that confine people into ones that support them.
Across the U.S., companies and governments are starting to officially recognize Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday also known as Black Independence Day.
The mobile mental health service CAHOOTS handles public safety calls related to mental or behavioral health for the Eugene Police Department.
A decarceration project will see a 1,100-bed Atlanta jail transformed into a “Center for Equity” to serve the local community.
Across the U.S., groups of volunteer street medics are dispensing medical care to police brutality protestors in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In our weekly roundup, we take you inside the fight to reform America’s criminal justice system, exploring potential solutions to this complex problem.
City officials are removing Confederate monuments in Virginia, Alabama, and several other Southern states in response to the George Floyd protests.
The George Floyd protests remained largely peaceful in these cities, with protestors and law enforcement occasionally even standing shoulder to shoulder.
Articles, thought leaders, and organizations worth paying attention to following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota.
When Will Aliva got out of prison, he’d paid his debt to society - but that didn’t help him pay his bills. Like many ex-cons, he struggled to find companies that would take a chance on hiring him. Too often, this roadblock results in ex-cons winding up back behind bars as they turn to old illegal activities to make ends meet. He decided to tackle the problem head on and founded a landscaping company, Clean Decisions, that...
Late at night on the NYC Subway, he was arrested for the heinous crime...of not having a working subway ticket. Fortunately, he had an ace in the hole - 1-833-3-GOODCALL (1-833-346-6322), New York City’s free lawyer hotline. In America we all have the right to a lawyer. But news flash: not everyone can afford one, and even fewer have a number memorized for the legendary “one phone call” you get when you’re arrested. Now,...
Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in Brooklyn as they responded to a recent shooting in a nearby neighborhood.
Epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says we need to treat violence as a disease and a public health crisis and employ the same types of strategies we use in medicine to treat violence.
CBT is a promising way to reduce violence, so why has it been so hard to scale?
The "Ride Home Program" sends drivers to pick up former inmates on their first day of freedom to help ensure a smooth transition in those first few critical hours.
There are around 2,500 exonerees in the U.S.—people who were convicted of a crime and then later proven innocent by their own doggedness or new evidence in a case. When they are freed from prison, their lives are often saddled by the same issues that hold back people who actually committed a crime—lack of education, no job skills or employment history, and the stigma of having spent years in prison. While their release is...
Richard Bronson’s story could inspire a movie—and that’s not far from what happened. He worked for the firm depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street before getting charged with financial crimes and spending 2 years in prison. While incarcerated, his eyes were opened to the inequities prisoners faced and how daunting re-entry to society was. He decided to do something about it. He started the website 70 Million Jobs, with the aim...
DeVitta Briscoe never had a chance to request a lighter sentence for the man who shot her son.
These key players are working from outside the system to lead the criminal justice reform movement.
Her organization is bringing together a new generation of prosecutors with a shared vision of fair, compassionate, and responsible criminal justice reform.
Emily Bazelon's new book Charged: The New Movement To Transform American Prosecution And End Mass Incarceration is an incredible tour de force that guides readers through America's broken criminal justice system through the eyes of two young people as they go through the system. The book reveals the breathtaking amount of power prosecutors wield in our modern legal system and highlights the ways that some reform-minded...
Fixing Justice With Our Partners
These formerly incarcerated individuals are fighting to give people who’ve served their time a second chance by advocating for change in one of the country’s most notorious justice systems.
A national group called the Alliance for Safety and Justice has set out to rethink America’s criminal justice system, with a focus on healing rather than punishment.
“Society gave up on us” - but this community didn’t. Meet UTEC, the organization breaking the cycle of recidivism by helping hardened previously imprisoned gang members walk a better path in Lowell, Massachusetts. UTEC - or United Teen Equality Center - is a non-profit dedicated to stopping gang violence. Obviously, it’s not easy - in Lowell, MA there are over 25 gangs operating, and many gang members have been in prison...
Chef Chad Houser was a rising star in the Dallas restaurant scene, but after volunteering with kids in the criminal justice system, he felt a calling to do more. He gave up his job to start Cafe Momentum, a restaurant staffed by kids from the criminal justice system. They’re given year-long paid internships where they are taught the skills to succeed in restaurants and society. It’s his way of trying to fix the problems...
Nearly 50% of people released from prison return within three years. But less than 1% of graduates from Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison ever return. By offering college degree programs, their mission is to give people the tools to turn their lives around and give back to their communities when released. Freethink is proud to present this story in partnership with Stand Together. For more information on other...
In the midst of his prison sentence for murder, Sean Pica helped found Hudson Link - an organization dedicated to reducing recidivism and improving lives through higher education.
What do you get when former Bloods and Crips gang leaders come together? Original Gangsters United, a pathway to ending gang opposition, promoting peace, and saving younger generations from senseless violence. Antong Lucky is a former Bloods gang leader in Dallas, Texas. Like most children, Antong never aspired to be a part of a gang or to end up in prison. But sadly, many communities affected by peer pressure and gang violence leave kids with no choice. When Antong left prison, he began working to bring opposing Dallas gang leaders together to put an end to gang violence. And it worked.