Think Justice Blog


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  • Rebecca Neusteter
    Rebecca Neusteter
  • Megan  O'Toole
    Megan O'Toole
December 07, 2018

Why a Michigan Law Enforcement Agency Employs Formerly Incarcerated People to Bridge the Police-Community Divide

A key goal of the Policing Program at Vera is to elevate innovative approaches to policing that employ alternatives to enforcement. The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) in Michigan is doing just that in its community outreach program employing formerl...

  • Kindred Motes
    Kindred Motes
December 04, 2018

To Ensure a Bright Future for LGBTQ Germans, Germany Acknowledges its Dark Past

When he was 19, Sergei fled from his home country of Russia to France, and then went to Oxford University in Britain. It was at Oxford that Sergei fell in love with literature, and he followed that love back to Paris after completing his studies. There, he wor...

  • Kevin  Keenan
    Kevin Keenan
December 03, 2018

Vera Schweitzer – the Vera Institute’s Worthy Namesake

“Events of stupendous magnitude have happened during these past 35 years. Fortunes have been lost and won; our dear ones have prematurely departed from us; our individual happiness has been subjected to trying ordeals. Yet somehow we carry on. And we carry on ...

  • Shyquinn Dix
    Shyquinn Dix
November 23, 2018

Series: Dispatches from T.R.U.E.

Dream Chasers

Shyquinn is a basketball player at the University of Maine in Presque Isle, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in sociology. He is also a former mentee at the TRUE unit in the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Connecticut.

  • William Snowden
    William Snowden
November 20, 2018

Unanimous Juries Bring 21st Century Justice to Louisiana

It is a new day in Louisiana. We have ceremoniously buried another vestige of Jim Crow, removing his 120-year-old perch from the jury boxes of our criminal courthouses throughout the state. On November 6, 2018, Louisiana became the 49th state to require unani...

  • Kevin  Keenan
    Kevin Keenan
  • Karina Schroeder
    Karina Schroeder
November 02, 2018

Jurisdictions Should Embrace Voting Rights for All Americans—Including Those Who Are Incarcerated

This November, an estimated 6.1 million Americans will be unable to vote due to their involvement with the criminal justice system. But a person and a voting machine are not constitutionally deactivated when placed behind bars—and Americans who are incarcera...

  • Karina Schroeder
    Karina Schroeder
  • Kevin  Keenan
    Kevin Keenan
November 01, 2018

States Continue to Make Progress on Restoring Voting Rights for People with Conviction Histories

Update November 6, 2018: Florida Amendment 4 passed with 64 percent approval from Florida voters.

  • Ryan Shanahan
    Ryan Shanahan
  • Kindred Motes
    Kindred Motes
October 17, 2018

“I Thank God I’m Not in an American Prison”

Robert, Calvin, and Yusef are three young men with hobbies and interests similar to most American teenage boys in high school and early college – Calvin loves listening to music, Robert enjoys watching the New England Patriots play football, and Yusef works ou...

  • Kindred Motes
    Kindred Motes
October 14, 2018

Reimagining American Prisons Isn’t a Pipedream

Last week, at a convening of criminal justice experts, academics, advocates, and reformers, a simulcast discussion between a group of incarcerated people and corrections officers in Connecticut and a live audience in New York brought the voices of people who a...

  • Emily Allen
October 11, 2018

Strengthening Family Connections for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

I have worked in a juvenile corrections facility in Sedgwick County, Kansas for nearly 10 years.  In my current role, I am a corrections counselor; my primary job functions include completing admission papers as well as case management for the youth while they...

  • Meg Osborn
    Meg Osborn
October 08, 2018

Revealing the Prisons within Prisons

Isolation is at the core of incarceration.  Prisons—often located in remote corners of the country—are surrounded by high walls that visibly separate those who are incarcerated from the community. Prisons also employ a wide range of housing practices to limit ...

  • Marcela  Betancur
    Marcela Betancur
October 01, 2018

Providence Housing Authority Addresses Reentry

Access to safe, affordable, and equitable housing for all shouldn’t simply be an ideal; it is the core mission of housing agencies at the local and federal level.  Yet, historically, discriminatory policies and legislation have been used to effectively deny th...