Think Justice Blog


Series: Target 2020

Responding to COVID-19: Focusing on People in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Systems

People who are incarcerated at the following facilities have already tested positive: the Rikers Island jail complex and the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City; the Nassau County Correctional Center in East Meadow, New York; the Larimer County Community Corrections program in Fort Collins, Colorado; the Massachusetts Treatment Center in ...

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  • Logan Schmidt
    Logan Schmidt
March 23, 2020
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  • Christian Henrichson
    Christian Henrichson
  • Oliver Hinds
    Oliver Hinds
April 08, 2020

Series: Covid-19

Use this Data to Hold Your Local Jail Accountable During the Pandemic

On Monday, America crossed the threshold of 10,000 deaths from COVID-19. As bad as things are on the outside, the pandemic pales in comparison with the horrors that are being faced by people behind bars right now. “Prisons are kill-boxes. Incarcerated people a...

  • Jack Norton
    Jack Norton
April 07, 2020

Series: Covid-19

Albany, Georgia Reduces Jail Population by 27 Percent in Response to Coronavirus

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country, high incarceration rates in small cities and rural counties—often overlooked in discussions of mass incarceration—threaten to compound a mounting crisis. Decades of investment in carceral infrastructure, ...

  • Maria Rafael
    Maria Rafael
April 02, 2020

Series: Covid-19

In a Precarious Economy, Governments and Courts Must Take Immediate Action to Reduce Criminal Justice Fines and Fees

Poor conditions, inadequate access to health care, and overcrowding put incarcerated people at a uniquely high risk of infection by COVID-19. But there is also a separate, less obvious threat caused by the pandemic, faced not only by those behind bars but also...

  • Jacob  Kang-Brown
    Jacob Kang-Brown
  • Jasmine Heiss
    Jasmine Heiss
April 01, 2020

Series: Covid-19

COVID-19 Imperils People in Rural Jails

People in jails and prisons are among the most at risk for contracting COVID-19—and rural America is home to a large number of prisons and crowded jails. As the number of COVID-19 deaths grows rapidly in rural counties, people who reside and work in jails are ...

  • Aaron Stagoff-Belfort
    Aaron Stagoff-Belfort
March 27, 2020

Series: Covid-19

Law Enforcement Best Practices Can Help Halt the Spread of COVID-19 by Keeping People Out of Jail

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, hit American correctional facilities this week. Two of the largest jails in the country, Rikers Island in New York City and Cook County Jail in Chicago, have multiple confirmed cases.

  • Erica Bryant
    Erica Bryant
March 25, 2020

Series: Covid-19

Detention May Become Death Sentence for Vulnerable Detainees

COVID-19 has appeared in the United States’ massive immigrant detention system, which holds tens of thousands of immigrants in prison-like conditions that leave them vulnerable to the virus. On March 24, an immigrant who is detained in New Jersey tested positi...

  • Janelle Guthrie
March 11, 2020

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

Looking to Norway for Inspiration on Reducing the Use of Solitary Confinement

Three leaders from the Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) accompanied the Vera Institute of Justice in October 2019 on a study trip to two correctional facilities in Norway for inspiration on reducing the use of solitary confinement (also known...

  • Alicia Fullard
March 06, 2020

Facing Deportation: My Story About the Promise of Having a Lawyer in Immigration Court

My name is Alicia Fullard. I am a mother, grandmother, and aunt. I am a unit supervisor at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing home, where I’ve worked for more than 20 years. I am an immigrant, and I am a citizen of the United States of America. But if it weren’t ...

  • Melissa Garlick
    Melissa Garlick
March 05, 2020

Announcing New Grants for Community Groups Working Toward Universal Representation for Immigrants

Amid increased threats to immigrant communities, community-based organizing and advocacy continues to fuel critically needed progressive state and local policies that foster safe and inclusive communities, center the voices of immigrant communities, and build ...

  • Allison Hastings
    Allison Hastings
February 26, 2020

​Opening the Door to Healing for Crime Victims Who Have Previously Been Incarcerated

Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety, on behalf of the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims (NRC)—a national collaboration funded by the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice—has published a new report, Opening the Door to...

  • Aaron Stagoff-Belfort
    Aaron Stagoff-Belfort
February 25, 2020

What Can A Police Beating in Pittsburgh Teach Us About Racial Bias and Use Of Force?

We sat down to discuss what drives violent confrontations between police and the citizens they serve with Professor David Harris whose new book, “A City Divided”, examines the 2010 police beating of Jordan Miles, an 18-year-old high school student with no poli...

  • Sebastian Johnson
    Sebastian Johnson
February 24, 2020

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

Corrections at a Crossroads

Halden Prison, universally considered the world’s “most humane” correctional institution, is located in a Norwegian town of the same name. For a casual observer from the United States, Halden may as well be on another planet.