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Arizona woman cleared after 22 years on death row: ‘This is not happiness’

Posted on Mar 25 , 2015 in News

Arizona woman cleared after 22 years on death row: ‘This is not happiness,‘ The Guardian, Lauren Gambino, March 24, 2015.

Excerpt:”An Arizona woman who spent 22 years on death row after being convicted of conspiring to murder her son in a case that rested on the work of a detective with a history of misconduct says regaining her freedom was vindicating but bittersweet. On Monday, a judge formally dismissed murder charges against Debra Milke, ending what her lawyers called a “living nightmare” that spanned nearly half her life. After her son was found dead, the now-discredited Phoenix police detective Armando Saldate claimed Milke confessed to arranging her son’s murder, even though there was no witness or recording.” Continue>>

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Healthcare System Failing Young African-American Men

Posted on Mar 23 , 2015 in News

Healthcare System Failing Young African-American Men, WAMC, Dave Lucas, March 20, 2015.

Excerpt: ” Green’s organization has taken a unique approach to address some of the problems. The Center is collaborating with a number of community organizations and groups, forming “The H.E.A.D. Project”   : “…Health, Education and Diversion. The interest is in diverting people from arrest. It’s a pre-arrest type program that would put people into drug treatment and also deal with mental health issues. We’re trying to educate the community as well about the problems of health, particularly looking at the intersection between race, crime, criminal justice policy and health. Because there’s some serious problems amongst the population that particularly end up in our jails and prisons.” The program has opened an Albany outreach office at 153 South Pearl Street.   Green says “We’re looking at all of the problems that result from, not only drugs, but being incarcerated, because we incarcerate the poorest, the unhealthiest, the sickest segments of our population. They come with a lot of different problems and issues. So we’re trying to make some connections between what’s happening to these people while they’re in jail and when they come back out into the community. We’re hoping that the Affordable Care Act can be used to provide more services and give people access to medical care.” “Continue>>

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Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition

Posted on Mar 20 , 2015 in News

Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition, Center for Community Alternatives, March 2015.

About: This report builds upon CCA’s 2010 study, “The Use of Criminal History Records in College Admissions Reconsidered.” It makes clear how the criminal history box on college applications and the supplemental requirements and procedures that follow create barriers to higher education for otherwise qualified applicants. We focused on the State University of New York (SUNY), and found that almost two out of every three applicants who disclosed a felony conviction were denied access to higher education, not because of purposeful denial of their application but because they were driven out of the application process by the stigmatizing questions and the “gauntlet” of additional requirements. Continue to full Report>>

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Attorney General Holder Announces the First Six Pilot Sites for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

Posted on Mar 20 , 2015 in News

Attorney General Holder Announces the First Six Pilot Sites for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, The United Sates Department of Justice, March 12, 2014.

“As part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect, Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday announced the first six cities to host pilot sites for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.  This $4.75 million initiative will seek to assess the police-community relationship in each of the six pilot sites, as well as develop a detailed site-specific plan that will enhance procedural justice, reduce bias and support reconciliation in communities where trust has been eroded.” Continue>> 

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Ex-Rikers guard, who served time for selling drugs to inmates, also pimped out female officers as ‘copstitutes’

Posted on Mar 20 , 2015 in News

Ex-Rikers guard, who served time for selling drugs to inmates, also pimped out female officers as ‘constitutes’, Black Liberation Army Newspaper, March 20, 2015.

“A disgraced former correction officer — convicted of smuggling drugs onto Rikers Island — claims in a sensational new book that he also pimped out a trio of female colleagues to inmates and jail bosses. Gary Heyward called the jailhouse sex workers “copstitutes” — law enforcement officers who turned tricks. His illicit hustle behind bars earned him so much cash, his city job was merely icing on the cake.” Continue>>

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The Right Investment? Corrections Spending in Baltimore City

Posted on Mar 20 , 2015 in News

The Right Investment? Corrections Spending in Baltimore City, Justice Policy Institute, February 25, 2015.

Excerpt: “Justice Policy Institute and the Prison Policy Initiative, Maryland taxpayers are spending $5 million or more to incarcerate people from each of about half of Baltimore’s communities (25 of 55), with total spending of $288 million a year on incarcerating people from Baltimore in Maryland’s prisons.” Continue>>

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Video released of Dallas police shooting mentally ill black man dead at home

Posted on Mar 20 , 2015 in News

Video released of Dallas police shooting mentally ill black man dead at home, The Guardian, Tom Dart, March 18, 2014.

Excerpt: “Video footage has emerged of Dallas police shooting dead a mentally ill black man holding a screwdriver six seconds after encountering him at his home. According to a legal filing, Jason Harrison’s mother, Shirley Marshall, called emergency services on the morning of 14 June 2014, telling the dispatcher that her son was bipolar and schizophrenic and that she was worried about him, and he might need to be hospitalised.Within two minutes of the officers’ arrival at the house, Harrison lay dying. He was killed by six gunshot wounds to the chest, arm and back, an autopsy found.” Continue>>

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H.E.A.D Project

Posted on Mar 20 , 2015 in News

The new H.E.A.D Project office is located at the Center for Law and Justice, 153 S. Pearl Street.  The office is concerned with educating local urban populations about the intersection of race, crime, criminal justice policy, and health.  H.E.A.D Project will also collaborate with law enforcement, health care systems and social service organizations to teach prevention, define drug abuse as a health issue, and seek to divert large numbers of people from prosecution and incarceration into treatment and health and social services.

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Report: Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition

Posted on Mar 06 , 2015 in News

Report: “Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition,” Center for Community Alternatives, March 2015.

Excerpt: “This study helps to explain how the use of the criminal history box on college applications and the supplemental requirements and procedures that follow create barriers to higher education for otherwise qualified applicants.Continue>>

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The 12 key highlights from the DOJ’s scathing Ferguson report

Posted on Mar 06 , 2015 in News

The 12 key highlights from the DOJ’s scathing Ferguson report, The Washington Post, Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery, March 4, 2015.

Excerpt: “Seven months after a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old, the Justice Department has issued a searing report into policing and court practices in the Missouri city. Investigators determined that in “nearly every aspect of Ferguson’s law enforcement system,” African Americans are impacted a severely disproportionate amount. The report included racist e-mails sent by police and municipal court supervisors, repeated examples of bias in law enforcement and a system that seemed built upon using arrest warrants to squeeze money out of residents.” Continue>>