The Vera Institute in New Orleans Reinventing Justice


It’s 2024, and Slavery Isn’t Over in the U.S.

Although the 13th Amendment seemingly outlawed slavery in 1865, its authors carved out an exception for people convicted of a crime. It’s time to put an end to this injustice.

Eileen Maher was incarcerated for a year on New York City’s Rikers Island because she couldn’t afford bail. During that time, she cleaned bathrooms and showers for only $20 per week in addition to working as a food server, for which she was unpaid. “The title of the person who is giving out the food is ‘feeder,’” she recalled. “In a restaurant, o ...

  • Erica Bryant
    Erica Bryant
June 18, 2024

The Truth about Retail Theft

Shoplifting isn’t actually on the rise, but tough talk by retail giants and politicians distracts from what really creates safety.

In October, retail lobbyists demanded that Congress expand the prosecution and policing of shoplifting, making it easier to charge theft as a federal crime. The National Retail Federation (NRF) claimed that organized retail crime—shoplifting rings that the media has sensationalized—were driving violence in their stores and forcing them to shutter ...

  • Sam McCann
    Sam McCann
June 11, 2024