The U.S.’s criminal justice system — like so many other aspects of American society — is profoundly dysfunctional, cruel, and wasteful.
Thoughtful people have been urging humane reforms for many years. More and more people are advocating positive changes. Here are some reforms we really need now. Grassroots organizing can help to accomplish them.
In order to change the system, we need to change how we talk about it. Some commonly used words and expressions keep us trapped in the unjust status quo. Here are five ways to improve our effectiveness when we talk about criminal punishment and mass incarceration: https://www.afsc.org/blogs/media-uncovered/five-tips-talking-about-criminal-punishment-to-help-end-mass-incarceration?utm_source=weekend060118&utm_medium=email
Here is a bold plan for meaningful, positive changes: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fair-just-prosecution-criminal-justice-reform_us_5aff5a94e4b0463cdba1e59d?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=__Politics__053018&utm_content=__Politics__053018+Version+A+CID_965bc75d3ac39f23bfe3158e6b92f1d0&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=If%20you%20want%20to%20totally%20change%20Americas%20criminal%20justice%20system%20you%20need%20a%20plan&ncid=newsltushpmgnews__Politics__053018
The American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker-based non-profit org that works for peace and social justice — www.afsc.org) says that a new federal law falls far, far short of what’s needed for reforming sentencing and prisons. See AFSC’s article here: https://www.afsc.org/blogs/news-and-commentary/time-transformation-our-criminal-justice-system?utm_source=weekend052618&utm_medium=email
Philadelphia’s police and prosecutors have accumulated a horrible record over the years. Recently Philadelphia’s voters elected a very progressive new prosecuting attorney who is vigorously reforming the city’s criminal justice system from the inside: https://www.thenation.com/article/progressive-change-is-rocking-one-of-the-most-unlikely-places-in-philadelphia-the-das-office/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Weekly%2003022018&utm_term=weekly
And see this article on the same topic, Philadelphia’s progressive new prosecutor: https://theintercept.com/2018/03/20/larry-krasner-philadelphia-da/?utm_source=The+Intercept+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d09fa8795a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e00a5122d3-d09fa8795a-132037737
And here is another article about his vigorous reform efforts: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/03/phillys-new-top-prosecutor-is-rolling-out-wild-unprecedented-criminal-justice-reforms.html
The ACLU of Washington has started a Justice First! project. Here is information about how to connect: https://peoplepower.org/justicefirstwa/?ms_aff=WA&initms_aff=WA&ms=180531_JF2_&initms=180531_JF2_&ms_chan=eml&initms_chan=eml