Renita Syas

How a Minnesota County Found Alternatives to Jail

Almost all the jail growth in the U.S. since 2000 has been in pretrial incarceration, but in St. Louis County, a program that allows more pretrial defendants to be released under supervision has bucked the trend. It’s been a life-changer for Renita Syas.

justice scales

Has Plea Bargaining Distorted American Justice?

Every day, in the corridors of most U.S. courts, defense attorneys and prosecutors quietly negotiate plea deals in a system of “underground justice” that often shortchanges defendants. In a conversation with TCR about his new book, Texas scholar William Kelly offers an alternative.


How Our ‘Two-Tiered Justice System’ Exploits the Poor

Some 10 million Americans now hold criminal debt totaling over $50 billion, burdened by accumulating court fines and fees they are unable to pay. It’s a hidden practice that damages communities and ruins lives, but the federal government seems to be looking the other way, writes an FSU law professor.

Dem Presidential Hopefuls Split on Sentencing Reform

A decision to support or oppose the pending bill is a significant policy decision for 2020 hopefuls. The issue has split groups on the left and is sure to come up in presidential primary debates. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (IL), the chief Democratic negotiator, has agreed to move the legislation to the right to mollify Republican critics.