The Center for Law and Justice is leading a campaign for Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation, which is aligned with the Center’s overall goal of Reparative Justice in New York State. The campaign seeks to address, acknowledge, and atone for and act upon the harms that communities of color have faced as a result of past, failed drug policies, including the War on Drugs. The Center seeks to build a cross-system coalition of organizations and individuals that will operate from a racial justice and community-centered perspective to repair the harms of mass incarceration in New York State.
Currently, the U.S. imprisons more people than any other country in the world, largely due to non-violent offenses. In 2012 the Center for Law and Justice released three reports, the first two of which describe the alarming overrepresentation of minorities in the Capital Region criminal and juvenile justice systems. The third report depicts the devastation wrought by arrest sweeps conducted in Albany minority communities by federal, state, and local authorities from 2006 to 2012; as a result of the sweeps, scores of Albany’s young African-American men have been sentenced to more than 600 years in prison for non-violent offenses. Collectively, the three reports document the need for a “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission” charged with examining and addressing the impact of mass incarceration in New York State.
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