Think Justice Blog


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  • Vera Institute of Justice
February 15, 2017

Vera Mourns the Passing of Senior Program Associate Amy Judy: 1962-2017

Vera mourns the loss of Amy Judy, a senior program associate in our Center on Victimization and Safety (CVS), who passed away this past weekend. Amy had been at Vera for almost two years, but has been a part of the Vera family for well over 15 years, lending h...

  • Lionel  Smith
    Lionel Smith
January 26, 2017

Series: Addressing the Overuse of Segregation in U.S. Prisons and Jails

Why We’re Studying the Causes and Consequences of Solitary Confinement

Every day, tens of thousands of incarcerated people are held in restrictive housing (commonly known as “solitary confinement” or “segregation”) in America’s prisons and jails.  Confined to a cell no larger than a parking space for at least 23 hours a day, isol...

  • Krista Larson
    Krista Larson
  • Hernan Carvente
    Hernan Carvente
January 24, 2017

Juvenile Justice Systems Still Grappling with Legacy of the “Superpredator” Myth

In the 1990s, sociologists inaccurately predicted that there would be a wave of the dangerous “superpredators”—young people capable of profound violence and different from any we as a nation had seen before, based on the pseudo-scientific idea that there were ...

  • Sarah  Zarba
    Sarah Zarba
January 19, 2017

Series: Gender and Justice in America

More Incarcerated Women Deserve Clemency

Former President Obama commuted the sentences of more people in one year than any other president in our nation’s history.  The total number of clemencies—including pardons and sentence commutations granted? 1,715. The number of women granted clemency? 106. ...

  • Kristi  DiLallo
    Kristi DiLallo
January 17, 2017

Series: Gender and Justice in America

How the Criminalization of Adolescence Fuels the School-to-Prison Pipeline

In her new play on the school-to-prison pipeline, Notes from the Field, actress and playwright Anna Deveare Smith reenacts interviews with 17 people from the education and criminal justice systems. The school-to-prison pipeline is a national trend in which chi...

  • Allison Hastings
    Allison Hastings
January 13, 2017

Lifting of Funding Restrictions Paves the Way for Incarcerated Survivors of Sexual Abuse to Access Victim Services

On December 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) published a summary of changes to the rules governing how victim service agencies can use Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) assistance funds. The rule changes, which went into e...

  • Laura Simich
    Laura Simich
  • Jacob  Kang-Brown
    Jacob Kang-Brown
December 20, 2016

Police and Communities Must Work Together to Support Victims of Hate Crimes

After the 2016 presidential election, unusually large numbers of children and adults all over the United States have reacted by expressing hate, bigotry, and racism, contrary to our best principles of equality. Hate crime has been unleashed—with swastikas pain...

  • Kristi  DiLallo
    Kristi DiLallo
December 12, 2016

Recent Wins on Marijuana Signal a Change in Drug Policy Nationally

This election season, many Americans overwhelmingly voted in favor of marijuana reform. California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, while voters in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota approved new medical ...

  • Kristi  DiLallo
    Kristi DiLallo
December 09, 2016

Understanding the Needs of Women in the Justice System

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new series of prison reform initiatives, including a push to expand resources for incarcerated women.  The DOJ’s new plans suggest a shift in public understanding about the needs of incarcerated women, em...

  • Kathleen Culhane
    Kathleen Culhane
November 14, 2016

Innovative Reentry Practices for Incarcerated People Coming Home

For an incarcerated person, leaving prison can be both exhilarating and overwhelming: freedom is finally palpable. But, for over 700,000 people leaving prisons and jails annually, the pressure of finding a home is an immediate and paramount strain. The mark of...

  • Cymone  Fuller
    Cymone Fuller
  • Ryan Shanahan
    Ryan Shanahan
October 31, 2016

Tough on Kids and Their Families

Whenever a family member is incarcerated, the entire family suffers. The May issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (the ANNALS) features a series of articles that shed light on the effects of criminal justice policy on fam...

  • Jannette  Brickman
    Jannette Brickman
October 28, 2016

Victims of Domestic Violence Need Greater System Support

As October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end, we can reflect on how far we’ve come since the early 1970s—when shelters gave women the option to leave abusive partners, but separation was considered the only viable option. Today, women who exp...