Think Justice Blog

Target 2020

Justice Solutions for a New Decade

The 2020 election cycle offers a unique inroad to achieve monumental justice reform policy. Now more than ever, voters around the country and across the political spectrum recognize that gross inequities and failed policies are significant features of the American criminal-legal system. They want to see meaningful policy proposals that tackle and remedy those problems. Rather than incremental steps, we need a bold approach: ideas for reform should move us toward decarceration; address and dismantle the harm done by the War on Drugs/tough-on-crime era, especially for communities of color; center the voices of justice-involved individuals; and be rooted in human dignity.

At the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), we are committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities. That is why Vera has created this blog series: to share the solutions & policy recommendations that we believe will provide fundamental change to a variety of issue areas, such as expanding access to counsel, creating alternatives to money bail, transforming conditions of confinement, and much more.

All Posts

  • Logan Schmidt
    Logan Schmidt
March 23, 2020

Series: Target 2020

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

As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, skyrocket in the United States, we are just beginning to see cases in jails, prisons, and immigration detention facilities. These populations are uniquely vulnerable because of the crowding typical ...

  • Logan Schmidt
    Logan Schmidt
January 27, 2020

Series: Target 2020

Getting Rid of Private Prisons Isn’t Enough

As the field of presidential nominees narrows, the candidates have been honing their policy recommendations. Across most issues, we’re seeing the shift from high-level talking points to more detailed, tangible ideas.

  • Logan Schmidt
    Logan Schmidt
January 09, 2020

Series: Target 2020

Federal Leadership Needed to Transform Conditions of Confinement

Six hundred thousand—that’s the approximate number of people in the United States who will return to their community from prison every year. Another way to look at it is that 95 percent of those who are currently incarcerated will be released. How then are pri...

  • Krystin Roehl
    Krystin Roehl
  • Logan Schmidt
    Logan Schmidt
January 02, 2020

Series: Target 2020

The Shocking Lack of Due Process for Immigrants

After Mariana, a mother of three, was detained by ICE, she described the experience as “horrible, so, so stressful. . . . When I was first detained with ICE there were so many thoughts in my mind. . . . I was so, so stressed out . . . because I put my whole li...

  • Micah  Haskell-Hoehl
    Micah Haskell-Hoehl
December 16, 2019

Series: Target 2020

Time for a New Federal Commitment on Rural Jail Incarceration

Across America, in rural communities and small cities, jail incarceration is rising at an alarming rate. We are learning more and more about the federal role in local jail growth. Yet this crisis at mass incarceration’s front door—local jails—has failed to cap...

  • Nicholas Turner
    Nicholas Turner
November 25, 2019

Series: Target 2020

A Monumental Missed Opportunity for Criminal Justice

In this Democratic primary season, justice reform has been a prominently and refreshingly competitive topic. Conspicuously, during the debate, there was almost zero concrete or illuminating discussion of reforming or transforming the American criminal legal sy...