Lenses

Bipartisan Support

Nationwide polls continue to confirm that criminal justice reform is a bipartisan issue, and that significant majorities of Republican and Democrat voters favor a fairer and more compassionate criminal justice system. Robert Blizzard, Key Findings from a National Survey of 800 Registered Voters, January 11-14, 2018 (Washington, DC: Justice Action Network, 2018).

Top Things to Know

  1. New Jersey enacts landmark bail reform; other states follow suit.
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  2. The connection between gun violence and intimate partner violence gains recognition.
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  3. Progress is made in processing evidence of sexual assault.
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  4. Attorney General Sessions seeks return to “tough on crime” policies, including an emphasis on mandatory minimums.
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  5. Louisiana adopts sweeping justice reform, and Massachusetts moves closer.
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  1. In Washington, DC, bipartisan sentencing reform dies and is (maybe) reborn.
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  2. Iowa passes second sentencing reform bill in two years.
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  3. The nationwide movement to reduce the use of solitary confinement gathers steam.
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  4. Voting rights restoration for people with felony convictions gains momentum in several states—and loses momentum in others.
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  5. Graduation day arrives for “Second Chance” students.
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  6. Left-right coalition seeks to ease occupational or professional license restrictions for people with past justice involvement.
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  7. Georgia and Michigan pass laws revamping probation.
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  8. The “Raise the Age” movement sees important gains.
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  9. Conservative support for public defense grows.
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  10. Reforms have notoriously high Oklahoma County jail population at all-time low.
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On Our Radar

  • Procedural justice continues to receive considerable attention.
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  • A landmark federal law is reauthorized by the House and Senate and awaits its fate.
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  • The formerly incarcerated are “Leading With Conviction.”
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