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New Orleans’ Jail Population drops to its lowest point since 1979

As the City of New Orleans marks its tricentennial, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced today that the city’s jail population has reached its lowest level in nearly 40 years.  This is a remarkable accomplishment for a city that just a few years ago held more people in jail per capita than any other urban jurisdiction in the country.  For the last 12 yea...

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  • Corinna Yazbek
    Corinna Yazbek
  • Mathilde  Laisne
    Mathilde Laisne
April 24, 2018
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  • Nancy Fishman
    Nancy Fishman
June 30, 2018

American Jail

On Sunday evening, CNN will premiere American Jail, a documentary film by Roger Ross Williams that explores the modern tragedy of mass incarceration from both a very personal and a political angle.  Williams, who grew up in and then fled Easton, PA, a small ci...

  • Rebecca Neusteter
    Rebecca Neusteter
  • Mawia Khogali
    Mawia Khogali
June 29, 2018

Vera’s Policing Program Releases a Special Edition of “Emerging Issues in American Policing” Quarterly Digest

Recent efforts to develop and expand alternatives to enforcement highlight research-informed strategies to more effectively promote public safety and decrease police agencies’ reliance on arrests.

  • Benjamin  Weber
    Benjamin Weber
June 27, 2018

Beyond Money Bail

A sign for Free Me Bail Bonds Connection in New Orleans. Photo: William Widmer for The New York Times. | See, When Bail Feels Less Like Freedom, More Like Extortion.

  • Anton Robinson
    Anton Robinson
June 12, 2018

Supporting Bail Reform Is Good Business

There is no doubt that New York’s bail system is broken.  Over 16,000 New Yorkers across the state are incarcerated because they cannot afford to post bail, at a cost of over $350 million a year to taxpayers to hold them in jail. Advocates, reformers, policyma...

  • Jessi  LaChance
    Jessi LaChance
May 24, 2018

Give Progress a Chance

Less than one year ago, Louisiana passed a historic Justice Reinvestment Package (JRI), with the goal of finally shedding its infamous title of incarceration capital of the world. With help from the analysis conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew), the bi...

  • Leah  Pope
    Leah Pope
  • Rebecca Neusteter
    Rebecca Neusteter
May 23, 2018

For Mental Health Month, a New Initiative Focused on Serving Safely

In their role as first responders, police officers interact frequently with people with mental illnesses and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities.  It is conservatively estimated that up to 10 percent of calls to police involve persons with a serious...

  • Common Justice
May 18, 2018

Common Justice launches new digital series “Ever After: Stories of Violence, Accountability, and Healing”

Common Justice has launched the digital series “Ever After: Stories of Violence, Accountability, and Healing”. This project is a series of short videos with people who have survived or committed violence in order to elevate new and more complete stories about ...

  • Lindsey Price Jackson
    Lindsey Price Jackson
May 15, 2018

Series: Two Societies

Education: The Key to Equality

In 1968, the Kerner Commission’s landmark report acknowledged that black Americans faced persistent “economic and educational barriers.”  It revealed that, on average, black Americans completed fewer years of education and were twice as likely to be unemployed...

  • Aaron T.  Kinzel
    Aaron T. Kinzel
May 11, 2018

Prison Education Saved My Life and Stopped an Environmental Cycle of Incarceration

Studies have shown that expanding access to postsecondary education for people in prison improves their chances of securing a job upon release.  This in turn decreases the likelihood they will reoffend and equips them to become productive, tax-paying members o...

  • Khusbu Bhakta
    Khusbu Bhakta
May 09, 2018

Reckoning with America’s History of Lynching and Racial Terrorism

As I was weaving through a six-acre field recognizing over 4,500 black people who were lynched and tortured in America from 1877 to 1950, I realized, as a person of color, that I was more indebted to the black Americans that came before me than I ever imagined...

  • Preety Aujla
    Preety Aujla
May 07, 2018

Series: Two Societies

Contemporary Models of Equal Access to Housing

A key area of focus of the Kerner Commission was equal and high quality access to housing.  The authors of the Kerner Report saw clearly how the huge shift in American culture from city dwelling to suburban homeownership left behind many Americans—mostly peopl...

  • Albert  Zhang
    Albert Zhang
May 02, 2018

Dignity for All

As I sat in the lobby at the Vera Institute of Justice last November, awaiting my interview for a communications internship, I felt horribly unprepared.  My hair was combed, I had arrived 15 minutes early, and I was even wearing a tie. But there was still one ...