Trapped: How Fee-Based GPS Monitoring Puts a ‘Price Tag on Freedom’

William Edwards, released from jail with a GPS tracking device that he has to pay for, is one of thousands of poor defendants left at the mercy of an ‘E-carceration” system increasingly run by for-profit services, writes an attorney who is leading a class action lawsuit combating the practice.


Medical Cannabis and the Law

An ongoing argument about the differences between ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ marijuana is absorbing Michigan courts and politicians. But the debate turns more on politics than science, and is likely to become irrelevant if voters approve full legalization next November, writes a commentator on drug policy.

prison wire

A Solitary Prisoner’s Nightmare

Life in prison is a little easier when you can find a good book to absorb your waking hours. But when you’re in solitary, reading can become an unsettling experience, writes a Washington State inmate.


How the Justice System Can Learn From ‘Frequent Fliers’

For some Americans, health care and criminal justice are not two separate systems, but components of one big system that too often fails them. Frustrated cops call them “frequent fliers” because they regularly cycle between jail and hospital, so why do we  think we can fix one without the other?  


Inside Prison, Racial Pride Often Looks Like Hypocrisy

Many incarcerated individuals develop a cultural or racial consciousness they ignored when they were free—and prison authorities encourage it as a healthy way to build character. But there’s a dark underside, says a Washington State inmate.

Emma Gonzalez

Making Sense Out of Justice Tragedies

Can a process developed to analyze serious mishaps in the US Forest Service be applied to justice? Its creator believes that the “Learning Review,” now used in medicine and other fields to learn from accidents, incidents and normal work, without trying to affix blame, is ideally suited to criminal justice as well.

marijuana protest

Classifying Pot as ‘Dangerous Drug’ Undermines Federal Policy

Even though a majority of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, it remains on the federal government’s list of the most harmful drugs, alongside heroin. That makes little sense, according to an addiction expert, if we hope to regulate its use to protect health and public safety.


What Alternatives to Incarceration Mean for Moms

It’s not just moms and kids who benefit when mothers involved in the justice system are provided with opportunities to serve their sentences under community supervision.  Public safety does too, according to a researcher at the R Street Institute, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C.


Why Can’t We Redeem the Sex Offender?

Restrictions on sex offenders, regardless of the details of their cases, have created a huge population of people whose potential contributions to society have been foreclosed. It’s time to give them the same chance as other returning citizens for full reintegration when they pose no further threat, says a former sentencing mitigation researcher.