Despite the majority of Americans supporting the legalization of cannabis, the most recent federal legislation has hit deadlock in Congress. The DOJ could deschedule and decriminalize marijuana and Biden could pardon federal prisoners of cannabis charges, but there is no indication either agency or president will act. Arizona Mirror (April 20, 2022)
A department of justice investigation “uncovered evidence of systemic violations that have generated a violent and unsafe environment for people incarcerated at Parchman.” The department began investigating after a January story detailed gang control and subhuman living conditions. MCIR (April 20, 2022)
The mother of an incarcerated person in Alabama is calling for change after her son died of a suspected flakka overdose. Flakka is a notorious drug in the state’s prison system which acts much like bath salts. WBRC (April 18, 2022)
Trans people with felony convictions in Illinois are fighting to be able to change their legal names. One woman’s experience of using her deadname that she believes led to housing discrimination. Injustice Watch (April 21, 2022)
A Texas crime stopper organization is turning millions of donors and state backed grants to attack judges it labels “activist judges.” Many of the judges it attacked, cut into the organizations revenue by “curbing a common practice requiring many people sentenced to probation to pay a $50 fee that goes to Crime Stoppers. The nonprofit’s revenue from those fees has fallen by half since Democrats swept the county’s judicial races in 2018.” The Marshall Project and The New York Times (April 21, 2022)
The justice department says it is moving to change a tool that it uses to predict a inmates risk of returning to prison after release. Critics have pointed to it over predicting the number of Black women who will go back to prison compared to white women. If an inmate rates high of reoffending risk they can be denied early release. NPR (April 19, 2022)
Who Speaks for Me? launches hosing pilot in D.C. for five female and LGBTQ+ returning citizens.
Liberal leaning and reform minded prosecutors must combat conservative “hard on crime” rhetoric to survive politically. An oped from Allison Pierre, an expert on using data to help DAs prove reform works.
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