archive
drinking fountain

The Unbroken Link Between Slavery, Jim Crow and Mass Incarceration

Belton “Money Rock” Platt, a young, flamboyant drug dealer in Charlotte, N.C., spent 20 years in prison before emerging to become a minister.  In a new book, journalist Pam Kelley places his life story in the context of generations of southern racism, and in a chat with TCR she explains why such stories remain painfully relevant today.

archive
prison

A New Way to Forecast State Prison Populations

The Urban Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union have developed companion tools aimed at helping states understand the factors that drive their prison populations, and fashion policies that can reduce them without affecting public safety. The ACLU says its tool can help produce “transformational change” in the nation’s prison system.

archive
Larry Krasner

Re-think Sentencing for Violent Offenders: Philly DA Larry Krasner

Six months after taking office, Philadelphia’s controversial DA says incarceration levels have dropped as a result of his reforms, with no increase in most categories of violent crime. But he argues that further reductions require changes in the way the justice system deals with individuals convicted of violent offenses.

archive archive archive
jail

Why Jail is No Place for the Mentally Troubled

For lack of alternatives, thousands of mentally ill individuals are trapped in the justice system. In a conversation with TCR, Alisa Roth, author of “Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness,” says change will only happen when we reexamine our attitudes towards mental illness.

archive archive archive

Jail Populations Keep Falling, Down 11.2% in 8 Years

The percentage of U.S. residents in jail dropped 3.4 percent from midyear 2012 to midyear 2016, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. County and city jails held 740,700 inmates at midyear 2016, far below the peak of 785,500 in 2008.

archive
Cassy Taylor

Justice Success Story: How Illinois Cut Its Prison Population

The sentencing overhaul championed by Gov. Bruce Rauner has already cut inmate numbers by 7,000. But reforms at the county level, influencing who goes to prison in the first place, have been a critical ingredient in the state’s success—and could be a model for jurisdictions elsewhere.