Think Justice Blog

Getty Images: Joe Raedle

Series: Target 2020

A Monumental Missed Opportunity for Criminal Justice

Vera President, Nick Turner, reflects on fifth round of debates.

Twenty-five years past the 1994 crime bill, we are ready to talk about a new paradigm to address harm and wrongdoing that seeks to provide safety for all communities, does not peddle in fear and racism, and does not mistake excessive punitiveness for accountability. For the people, as we say. We note that the criminal legal system is 90 percent sta...

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  • Nicholas Turner
    Nicholas Turner
November 25, 2019
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  • Aaron Stagoff-Belfort
December 04, 2019

Study Links Solitary Confinement to Increased Risk of Death After Release

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published a study finding that people placed in restrictive housing (also known as solitary confinement) are more likely than their peers to die or be re-incarcerated in the first year after their...

  • Christian Henrichson
    Christian Henrichson
December 03, 2019

Vera’s Incarceration Trends State Fact Sheets

This week we released Incarceration Trends in Local Jails and State Prisons fact sheets for each state.

  • Alex Frank
    Alex Frank
  • Ryan Shanahan
    Ryan Shanahan
    October 26, 2019

    Anchoring Reform in Community Partnership

    Although men of color are disproportionately impacted by the prison system, they’re the least likely to be in leadership positions driving justice reform. As part of Restoring Promise—an initiative to radically transform the living and working conditions insid...

    • Margaret diZerega
      Margaret diZerega
    October 25, 2019

    Voters in Battleground States Favor Restoring Pell Grants for People in Prison

    For years, Vera and many of our partners from across the corrections, higher education, and criminal justice spectrum have been calling for the reinstatement of Pell Grant eligibility for students in prison. And for good reason. The Pell ban is a relic of the...

    • Colin Hernandez
      Colin Hernandez
    October 14, 2019

    We Need More Data to Understand the Impact of Mass Incarceration on Latinx Communities

    Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, is a time to celebrate the history, achievements, contributions, and heritage of Latinx people in the United States. September 15 is the day when five Latin American countries—Costa Rica,...

    • Insha Rahman
      Insha Rahman
    October 08, 2019

    Closing Rikers Island

    On October 17, the New York City Council will consider a historic vote to approve the construction of four new jails to replace the decrepit, decaying facilities that currently exist in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. This is a critical step for t...

    • Jamila Hodge
      Jamila Hodge
    October 01, 2019

    Governors Should Embrace—Not Hinder—Reform-Minded Prosecutors

    Two weeks ago, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued a letter directing state Attorney General Brian Frosh to begin prosecuting more violent crime cases from the city of Baltimore. This directive—which was made to supersede the authority of the city State’s Att...

    • Nicholas Turner
      Nicholas Turner
      September 23, 2019

      A New View

      I’m writing this having pulled my laptop out of the boxes piled up around my new desk in Vera’s new headquarters. Over my shoulder, you can see the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. We’ve moved, and today is day one. After almost two decades of working nea...

      • Hayne Yoon
        Hayne Yoon
      September 19, 2019

      Back to School: A Common-Sense Strategy to Lower Recidivism

      The United States makes up just 5 percent of the global population but is home to 20 percent of the world’s incarcerated people. More than 95 percent of the 1.5 million people in U.S. prisons will eventually be released, regardless of whether they are ready to...

      • Margaret diZerega
        Margaret diZerega
      • Kindred Motes
        Kindred Motes
      September 18, 2019

      “I Can’t Imagine Babies Being Kept from Their Mom”

      Editors’ note: Edited and abridged for clarity Last month, the WNBA All-Star and Phoenix Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner accompanied Vera project director Margaret diZerega and digital strategy director Kindred Motes on a tour of the Estrella Jail—a women’s-o...

      • Leah  Pope
        Leah Pope
      • Karina Schroeder
        Karina Schroeder
      September 11, 2019

      Bringing Back Mental Institutions Won't Stop Mass Shootings

      Last month—following horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio—President Donald Trump made statements supporting an increase in institutionalization for people with mental illness as a means of reducing gun violence. This equation of gun vio...

      • Dan  Slepian
        Dan Slepian
      September 06, 2019

      A Producer's Notebook: The story behind 'Justice For All'

      Editor's note: Last year, Vera led a group of corrections leaders, government officials, activists, and others on a tour of prisons in Germany and Norway, to see what a criminal justice system rooted in human dignity looks like. Dateline NBC producer Dan Slepi...