Think Justice Blog


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  • Olive Lu
November 10, 2017

Large Cities Drive Nationwide Jail Population Decline; Jails in Most Rural Counties Still Growing

After more than four decades of continuous growth, the U.S. jail population has been on the decline since 2008.  In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, the average daily jail population declined yet again, slightly, by 2.4 percent. The Vera...

  • Navena Chaitoo
    Navena Chaitoo
November 07, 2017

Getting to 5,000: New tracking app helps keep tabs on the New York City jail population

On any given day, about 9,200 men and women are held in New York City’s jails.  Most of them are housed on Rikers Island, which is notorious for its deplorable conditions and history of violence. The mayor, the city council, and the Independent Commission on N...

  • Karina Schroeder
    Karina Schroeder
  • Kevin  Keenan
    Kevin Keenan
November 06, 2017

More States Are Restoring Voting Rights for Formerly Incarcerated People, and That’s a Very Good Thing

This Election Day, Americans will go to the polls to cast their votes and make their voices heard. But not everyone will be able to vote. Thousands of people who want to vote will be denied this right because of their criminal histories. While laws differ from...

  • Cymone  Fuller
    Cymone Fuller
  • Ja’Vaune Jackson
    Ja’Vaune Jackson
October 30, 2017

Without Youth Voices, There Can Be No Youth Justice

“The system has always treated youth and families as the problem, but without getting to know us, our families, and our situations, they won’t be able to figure out the right solutions.” —Ja’Vaune Jackson, member of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice ...

  • Matthew Lowen
    Matthew Lowen
October 23, 2017

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

Oprah Spotlights Solitary Confinement as Movement to Rethink its Use Picks Up Steam

“Why does an inmate deserve hope?” Sitting in a now-empty pod of Secure Housing Unit (SHU) cells—perhaps better known as solitary confinement cells—inside California’s infamous Pelican Bay Prison, Oprah Winfrey asks this question of California Corrections Secr...

  • Lindsay Rosenthal
    Lindsay Rosenthal
October 20, 2017

Making Space for Girls

In 2016, a sixteen-year old black girl named Gynnya McMillen died in the cell of a Kentucky juvenile detention center, after officers forcibly restrained her to remove her hoodie.  Unlike Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, who rightly became househ...

  • Rebecca  Neusteter
    Rebecca Neusteter
October 16, 2017

Stronger Together: Vera’s Policing Program Works to Bridge the Divide between Police and Community

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) has a longstanding history of collaboratively working to improve policing practices, policies, and police-community relations.  Since pioneering several early innovations in American policing, including one of the first com...

  • Krista Larson
    Krista Larson
  • Ryan Shanahan
    Ryan Shanahan
October 13, 2017

This Youth Justice Action Month, a Focus on Treating All Kids in the Criminal Justice System as Kids

Over the past 15 years, the number of children locked up each year in the United States has been cut in half.  According to a new analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts, between 2006 and 2015, the share of adjudicated youth in residential facilities declined ...

  • Corinna Yazbek
    Corinna Yazbek
October 09, 2017

Using Diversion to Leverage Justice System Reform

In New Orleans, people arrested for prostitution should have the opportunity to be diverted.  Until recently, however, most were arrested and charged with state misdemeanor or felony prostitution, making them unable to access social services and other assistan...

  • John  Bae
    John Bae
September 29, 2017

Developing Reentry Programs

Access to safe and affordable housing is a human right.  It provides a foundation for everyday tasks such as employment, offers a place to spend time with family, and can offer a place of sanctuary and reprieve. However, this right is often not afforded to for...

  • Léon  Digard
    Léon Digard
August 15, 2017

Video Visits in Prisons Enhance Connections, But at a Cost

It’s easy to take for granted the million ways in which technology makes our lives easier.  Many of us can access and share information at lightning speeds and talk with family and friends across the globe at a moment’s notice—a fact that almost feels unremark...

  • Vedan  Anthony-North
    Vedan Anthony-North
  • Leah  Pope
    Leah Pope
August 11, 2017

New White House Report Outlines Recommendations to Stem the Tide of Drug Overdose Deaths

Last week, the president’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released an interim report outlining a series of preliminary recommendations that are intended to stem the tide of the growing public health crisis around drug overdose dea...