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An Inmate’s Story: How I Turned Into the Person I Feared Most

As an 11-year-old he was bullied by classmates. Thirty years later he looked back with regret on the choices that turned him into a violent gang member serving life in prison, in this essay produced for “The Beat Within” justice writing workshop in San Francisco.

archive archive
Joe Biden

Biden’s ‘Quiet Revolution’ Puts More Public Defenders on Federal Bench

Traditionally, presidents have picked former prosecutors and corporate lawyers for top judgeships. President Biden has changed the trajectory, with a record 17 appointments of public defenders to the federal judiciary so far. If we want a more well-rounded system, he shouldn’t stop there, write three leaders in the prosecution reform movement.


Jailed for ‘No Good Reason’

The chaos at New York’s Rikers Island facility, where reports of deaths and brutality once again grabbed headlines this month, should compel a long-overdue rethinking of what jails are used for, and how they can be transformed to meet the needs of the justice-involved, write two of the country’s leading advocates of incarceration reform.


How Predictive Policing Can Criminalize Kids’ Online Searches

An algorithm-based program operated by the UK police identifies youth who have displayed an online interest in cybercrime tools, with a view to staging an early intervention. Such “predictive policing” technologies, which are also used to identify potential gang members, have potentially harmful impacts, writes a London solicitor.


The Collaborative Courtroom: A Proposal

However much it may rankle them, prosecutors can’t do justice alone. Defense attorneys limit the excessive harms the criminal system could inadvertently inflict. So why shouldn’t they collaborate? asks TCR’s legal affairs columnist.


At Rikers, Youth ‘Abandoned to Darkness’

Waiting for New York City authorities to fulfill their promise to close down the notorious Rikers Island detention facility is costing lives, warns psychologist Jeffrey Schwartz, who was commissioned to study conditions at the Rikers detention facility in 2015.


Why Fixing Infrastructure Will Make Us Safer

The huge infrastructure bill awaiting a House vote Friday is about more than repairing bridges and highways. It can create the conditions for restoring trust between at-risk communities and police, writes a criminologist from the University of South Dakota.