Midterm Results Show Support for Reform Is Strong

Nick Turner Blog Midterm Elections 2018
I know many of us often feel overwhelmed by the task of doing the hard work of reform. But the tonic for that fear and sense of inadequacy is hope.
Nicholas Turner
President and Director, Vera Institute of Justice

I know many of us often feel overwhelmed by the task of doing the hard work of reform. But the tonic for that fear and sense of inadequacy is hope. And the act of exercising hope itself is a discipline. It is not just an abstraction, but a thing that we nurture, own, and put to work intentionally. We at Vera are committing ourselves to carrying out that discipline by exercising it daily, working across the country – with individuals, departments of corrections, local jurisdictions, communities, cities, and states – to enact change and safeguard our country’s most vulnerable residents.

Seventeen years after de Tocqueville said what he said, Fredrick Douglass said – at a time of even more profound crisis than today – “I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation, which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. ‘The arm of the Lord is not shortened,’ and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope.”

Today, and every day, we’re keeping these words in mind. And we have hope. We know there is much work to be done, and we’re honored to be doing the necessary work of reform with each of you standing at our side.


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

But even for people convicted and currently serving time in prison, there is a hint of progress. In 2016, California passed a law allowing people convicted of felonies but serving their time in county jails—rather than state prisons—to vote starting in 2017 (AB 2466). People serving time in state prison for the same offenses, however, remain disenf...

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    Karina Schroeder
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United Toward Justice

Urban and Rural Communities Share Concerns about Incarceration, Fairness of the Justice System, and Public Spending Priorities

Research by the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) has demonstrated rising incarceration rates in small, rural counties and declining rates in large, urban counties—so we wondered: is this the product of a country divided on issues of incarceration and justice? In a moment shaped by narratives of bitter partisan and geographic divisions, one might ex...

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  • Jasmine Heiss
    Jasmine Heiss
  • Jack Norton
    Jack Norton
April 19, 2018
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Majority of Americans Say Voting Rights Should be Restored for People with Felony Convictions

Most Americans believe that people with conviction histories should have their voting rights restored as soon as they’ve completed their sentences, according to a new poll from YouGov/Huffington Post. A solid majority—63 percent—of those surveyed agreed that people with felony convictions should not be permanently barred from voting. This consensus...

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  • Karina Schroeder
    Karina Schroeder
March 22, 2018
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