WOMEN IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
The number of women in prison, a third of whom are incarcerated for drug offenses, is increasing at nearly double the rate for men. These women often have significant histories of physical and sexual abuse, high rates of HIV infection, and substance abuse. Large-scale women's imprisonment has resulted in an increasing number of children who suffer from their mother's incarceration and the loss of family ties.
July 1, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Alabama and Texas Address Lifetime Federal Public Benefits Ban
Efforts to reinstate federal ban in other states: Pennsylvana, Missouri, and Maine
Other news: Alaska, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Virginia
In recent months there has been legislative reform to modify the federal food stamp ban in states like Alabama and Texas. In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) imposed a lifetime denial of federal benefits for cash and food assistance to people convicted in state or federal courts of felony drug offenses; the ban is imposed for no other offenses but drug crimes. States can opt out of the federal ban or modify it by authorizing legislative reform. States that have not authorized a legislative remedy include Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming. During 2014, Missouri modified the federal ban and California opted out of the full ban.
June 1, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Grassroots Strategy to Address Mass Incarceration
Reinforcing broad support to address mass incarceration has been a priority for several state advocacy organizations. This year, grassroots organizations in California, Maryland, and North Carolina organized lobby days in support of policy goals to scale back harsh criminal justice practices.
April 17, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Connecticut Governor calls for "Second Chance Society"
Connecticut: Governor Leads Effort for "Second Chance Society"
Kentucky: Addressing Sentence Lengths for Persons with Prior Felony Convictions
Massachusetts: Advocates Support Felony Reclassification and Reinvesting Savings
Other News: Alabama, Maryland, Missouri, and more...
March 16, 2015
Race and Justice News: Girls in the School-to-Prison Pipeline
School-to-Prison Pipeline: Compendium of Suspension Trends for Grades K-12
Girls in the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Reforms: School Discipline Reforms in Texas, Minneapolis, New York, and California
Iowa's Racial Impact Legislation Having Modest Impact
Juvenile Justice: Unwarranted Racial Disparities and Increasing Punitiveness in Juvenile Justice
Drug Law Enforcement: Racial Differences in Drug Arrest Rates Cannot Be Explained by Drug Offending or Community Contexts
March 3, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Advocacy Campaign Leadership
Addressing Upstream Policies
Unlocking the Vote
State legislatures are in full swing. This year, legislation has been introduced in Kentucky to reclassify certain felony offenses to misdemeanors, eliminating prison as a sentencing option. Lawmakers in Maryland and Minnesota are considering expanding voting rights to persons on felony probation or parole. And advocates in Missouri are working to scale back the state's truth-in-sentencing provision for certain offenses.