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News Article The Root June 19, 2016

#BlackDadsMatter: Mass Incarceration Is Robbing Children of Their Fathers. Here's How to Fix That

In this article, released on Father's Day 2016, Patricia Allard, Senior Research and Policy Analyst with Justice Strategies, and Glenn E. Martin, founder and President of JustLeadership, argue that #BlackDadsMatter, and point to comprehensive policy solutions that can minimize the negative emotional, social and economic consequences of having a dad incarcerated.  Ending mass incarceration for the millions currently in our jails and prisons is receiving more attention in policy circles than ever before.  But, ending the intergenerational legacy of mass incarceration will require that we act now to address the problems and issues confronted by the five million plus children who currently live without their incarcerated parent. 

News Article Albuquerque Journal May 14, 2016

Immigration offenders jam federal court in NM

Executive Directors Judy Greene, of Justice Strategies, and Bob Libal, of Grassroots Leadership, offer insights into federal court felony prosecution of immigrants for illegal entry and re-entry in New Mexico in the attached Alququerque Journal article. The number of people apprehended for crossing the border illegally has fallen eighty percent in fifteen years.  However, though fewer people illegally cross the border today, those who are apprehended are more likely to be prosecuted and jailed.  Illegal entry and re-entry prosecutions, especially along the border, have skyrocketed in the last twenty years.  From 2011 to 2015 alone, immigration cases in the New Mexico's federal courts have increased by eighty percent.  New Mexico charges nearly one hundred percent of re-entry cases as felonies, and does not allow defendants to plea down to a lesser charge. 

Recent studies suggest that immigrants who have children or relatives in the U.S. are unlikely to be dissuaded by repeated apprehensions, jail time or deportation.  A 2015 study of eighteen thousand illegal re-entry cases by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that half of offenders had at least one child living in the United States at the time of their apprehension.  More than two-thirds had relatives other than children in the U.S. Read more »

News Article The Intercept April 4, 2016

Prisoners in Multiple States Call for Strikes to Protest Forced Labor

Director Judy Greene comments on the growing protest in prisons across the country calling for work stoppages by those incarcerated there and an end to forced labor for pennies per hour and medical co-pays of $100, among other grievances.  The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution banned slavery and involuntary servitude, "except as a punishment for crime..."  This is the basis for a legalized form of slavery through our criminal justice system, prison protesters charge.

News Article Full Frontal with Samantha Bee March 30, 2016

Samantha Bee Makes Serious Points on Private Prison Industry

Samantha Bee of TBS's Full Frontal With Samantha Bee makes some serious points in her comedy show about the private prison industry's effect on our criminal justice system.  Although couched in comedic expression, her video raises important concerns about the threat private for-profit corporations pose when operating within any part of our criminal justice system.  Allegations of kickbacks to criminal justice officials, lobbying legislators for harsher and longer criminal penalties, and a Pennsylvania judge with ties to a private prison corporation found guilty of sending juveniles to prison for profit, should concern all Americans who understand the need for vigilance in the safeguarding of our freedoms, and who expect impartial justice.

JS Publication March 21, 2016

US Sentencing Commission Testimony Mar. 21, 2016

In this joint testimony regarding proposed sentencing enhancements for unlawfully entering or remaining in the US, Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership provide the US Sentencing Commission with insights into the views of the judges, federal public defenders, private attorneys and individuals who, on a daily basis deal with, and have been directly impacted by, these prosecutions.

JS Publication March 16, 2016

Day Fines & The Fare Probation Experiment

This article by Susan Tucker and Judith Greene on the Maricopa County day fines program was first published in 1999 (The Justice System Journal Vol. 21 No. 1, 1999).  Recently, there has been growing interest in day fines from the media, the US Department of Justice, criminal justice reform advocates and academics as a consequence of events in Ferguson Missouri.

News Article Buzzfeed January 20, 2016

The Ticket Machine

In 2012, the eight officer traffic unit of Port Arthur, Texas, a town of only 55,000 collected $2.1 million in fines.  This revenue bonanza however, came at a significant cost to residents.  From 2009 to 2011 over 1,500 people, about 2.7 percent of the town's population, many of who were poor and seventy-five peercent of who were Black, had been locked up for failure to pay their traffic fines.  Judith Greene is quoted in this Buzzfeed article discussing the use of day fines as a possible solution to this problem.

News Article The New York Times October 9, 2015

Instead of Jail, Court Fines Cut to Fit the Wallet

Judy Greene, who directed America's first day fines program from 1987 to 1989 while at the Vera Institute of Justice, is quoted in this New York Times opinion page article by Pulitzer Prize winning author Tina Rosenberg.  The author advocates the use of income adjusted day fines as a fairer intermediate penalty for minor legal infractions, that could also provide a means for courts to avoid the use of costly jails.

News Article Slate.com September 3, 2015

This is a Fundamentally Different Way of Policing

Judy Greene and Patricia Allard, co-authors of The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same, our report on policing practices in Los Angeles, are quoted as saying of that department's efforts at reforming policing practices under the tenure of Bill Bratton as being, "Business as usual, wrapped in a bow" in this Slate.com article about the challenges facing Susan Herman, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative Policing, and the prospects for reversing the Department's troubled policing history with the City's minority communities.  

JS Update July 28, 2015

Immigrant Children Ordered Released

In a rebuke of the federal government's position that a prior consent decree (the Agreement) prohibiting the incarceration of unaccompanied minors in unsafe or secured facilities (detention centers) did not apply to accompanied minors crossing the US Mexico border with their parents, in last summer's refugee crisis, Federal District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the government to show cause, within ninety (90) days, why the remedies she concludes are needed to protect the well being of incarcerated accompanied minors (class members) held by ICE and the US Border Patrol, should not be imposed.  In Jenny L. Flores, et al. v. Jeh Johnson, et al. decided July 24, 2015, Judge Gee grants the plaintiffs motion to enforce the Agreement as to class members and denies the government's motion to amend the Agreement.  In her order, Judge Gee would further require the defendant federal government to comply with the following remedies:
1. Make and record prompt and continuous efforts toward family reunification and the release of minors under the Agreement.
2. Comply with the Agreement by releasing class members without unnecessary delay in first order of preference to a parent, including a parent who either was apprehended with the child minor or presented herself or himself with a class member.