criminal justice system

Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI)

Less than 1 in 500 defendants enter a plea of NGRI, and over 90% of defendants that do enter this plea are found guilty. When a defendant is found NGRI they are not released back into society. Rather, he or she is sent to a specialised forensic hospital for a designated period of time. Depending on the offence, this can actually be longer than the sentence would have been if the person was found guilty and incarcerated. As with competency, being unable to understand the nature and consequences of the offence is not an easy threshold to reach. The defendant must be unduly impaired. In most cases these individuals are so out of contact with reality that they were not aware that they had committed a crime or that what they were doing was wrong. Those found NGRI, for this reason, usually have extensive histories of mental illness.

community-created online masterlists for what to do before January


I’ve see a couple of living document masterlists created by folks for what to do in preparation for Trump’s presidency. I have linked them below.

These are community created and have a lot of great information, but are not comprehensive, all-knowing guides. I know there’s many going around, so please reblog and link the ones that you know of as well. We will try to reblog your resources to keep this updated. The more information, the more options, the better it can be for all of us.

Sending y’all love, fight, healing, and resistance.

Oh shit! The what should I do before January guide

Concrete Suggestions in Preparation for January


Traffic violators are being held in grotesque conditions in de facto Missouri debtors’ prison

The city of Florissant, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, is being sued by five named plaintiffs and others who have been targeted by the city’s de facto debtors’ prison system. Those targeted most often tended to be black and poor, and are arrested using trivial municipal codes and petty justifications.

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Charles Jason Baldwin was only 16 years old when he was convicted of the murders of three young children along with two of his friends, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols. Over the course of their trial the media dubbed them the ‘West Memphis Three’, and their guilt has been hotly debated.

In August 2011 the three were released after using the Alford plea to bargain for their freedom. It is worth noting that this still constitutes a guilty plea, and as a result the case is still closed and no new lines of investigation can be opened. This is in spite of the Supreme Court ruling that every member of the west memphis three had been conclusively excluded from the DNA evidence present at the crime scene.

Baldwin was the only member of the West Memphis three to hold out on accepting the plea, stating that he was innocent and that, as a matter of principle, he would not plead guilty to a crime he never committed. He did eventually relent, stating that this was because his friend Damien Echols was facing the death penalty for these crimes, and he wanted to do whatever he could to prevent his execution.

The statistics won’t come as a shock to those aware of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a series of policies and practices that push students, especially those most at-risk, from classrooms to the criminal justice system at a young age. 

It’s time we change the conversation and the policy that leads to more incarceration, inequality and hopelessness for so many.

Join the Issue Time discussion on the school to prison pipeline. 

Ask our experts a question by Wednesday 10/5 and follow @the-movemnt for the answers this Friday 10/7!


This Making A Murderer Revelation Is Absolutely Agonizing

“(The juror) told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty,” filmmaker Laura Ricciardi shared. “They believe Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion it should take place far away from Wisconsin.”




Kalief Browder’s mother has spoken out on her son’s death 

The mother of Kalief Browder is speaking out against what she said was the systemic failure of the United States justice system to protect her son, who committed suicide at her home earlier this month after a long period of incarceration at New York’s Rikers Island. Watch her full interview.

feminismandmedia  asked:

What exactly is the school to prison pipeline? What studies have proven the practices within this to be true?

The school-to-prison pipeline is the process by which some youth are at an elevated risk of contact with the criminal justice system due to the growing alliance between our systems of education and criminal justice. Beginning in the late 1990s, many urban school districts began to implement and enforce disciplinary policies, using a “zero tolerance” approach, that would use severe penalties, usually suspension and expulsion, for even minor violations of a school’s code of conduct. Around the same time, public school systems began incorporating a “universal carceral apparatus” into the schools by using metal detectors, surveillance cameras (e.g., in Chicago Public Schools video feeds go directly to the Chicago Police Department), embedded police officers with arrest authority, etc. to provide “safety and security.” However, it has become clear that strict zero-tolerance policies and a highly visible police presence do not contribute to learning environments, and many of these penalties are disproportionately punishing our most marginalized youth. As I argue in my book, Unequal City, not only are these contacts with police in the institutional setting of a school shaping young people’s perceptions about police and the legitimacy of the criminal justice system, they are also shaping their life trajectories. For some youth, particularly those who are the bottom of America’s racial/social strata, the contacts with police in school are simply the beginning of what are likely to be repeated contacts with the state and its representatives at deeper and deeper levels of severity.

The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the specific practices of punishing students, particularly young people of color, in ways that put them in direct contact with jails and prisons. These practices include the overuse of suspensions and the inclusion of police officers in school, who can arrest students for school-based infractions.

Several reports have established the existence of the school-to-prison pipeline, including this report that analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Education and found that the pipeline starts as early as preschool.

One great resource if the ACLU’s guide on how it works. Similar resources include this Justice Policy report and UCLA’s Civil Rights Project. Here’s another one from the Advancement Project with helpful visuals.

The school to prison pipeline is a set of policies and practices in schools that push kids out of the education system and into the criminal justice system. It includes excessive use of detention and expulsion, and has law enforcement address student misbehavior that when I was growing up would have been handled by teachers and parents.

By bringing students into the criminal justice system, we also see the mirror effect of the criminal justice system coming into schools, which more and more resemble prisons rather than places of learning, with metal detectors, heavy surveillance, and other tools that make students feel like they are constantly being punished. The Sentencing Project and others have looked at the detrimental effects of these policies.

The “school to prison pipeline” refers collectively to practices that push students out of the education system and into the criminal justice system. Punitive practices like suspension, removal to an alternative school, and arrest are applied, too often for minor infractions like “disruption” or “defiance.”  When students experience these consequences, they miss out on educational time and it can be hard to catch up. Experiencing punitive discipline can also make students feel less attached to their school, a critical factor in school success and graduation. Often, punitive discipline takes the place of positive supports as a very short-term solution to behaviors that may result from a disability or from other physical or psychological stresses in a young person’s life. This can end up exacerbating challenging behaviors. Rather than working to keep young people educationally engaged, the school to prison pipeline pushes them out. It’s not very surprising then, that students who experience exclusionary discipline like suspensions are less likely to complete school and more likely to have future contact with the juvenile and criminal justice system. Sometimes, the criminal justice system end of the pipeline actually reaches into schools.  For example, some schools have police officers regularly patrolling the halls, and breaking a school rule can become a criminal violation.

Students of color and students with disabilities are more likely to be harmed by the school to prison pipeline.  There is a large body of research demonstrating disparities in school discipline.  The most recent data collection from the U.S. Department of Education found that, across the U.S., Black students were 3.8 times more likely to receive a suspension than were white students.  This included Black girls, who were 8% of students, but 14% of suspensions. American Indian or Alaska Native, Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and multiracial boys were also disproportionately suspended. Students with disabilities were more than twice as likely to be suspended.  One factor that contributes to the school to prison pipeline is implicit bias.  For example, one study found that Black students were more likely to be disciplined for less serious and subjective offenses (categories like “disrespect,” which depend upon personal perception) and that fewer disparities existed in categories of more serious and objectively defined offenses (something like alcohol possession).

there were 574,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2015

that’s 68,319 more than there were for murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault combined. 

137,000 men and women are currently incarcerated for drug possession

there is one drug arrest every 25 seconds

more than 78% of people thrown in jail for felony drug possession had less than a gram of a controlled substance

black adults account for 14% of actual drug users, but make up roughly a third of those arrested for drugs

there are 116 people in Texas prisons serving life sentences for drug possession

at least seven of those sentences are for possession of less than four grams

more signs the war on drugs is an abject failure

For such dealings with criminals, white or black, the South had no machinery, no adequate jails or reformatories; its police system was arranged to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso facto a member of that police … the police system of the South was originally designed to keep track of all Negroes, not simply of criminals; and when the Negroes were freed and the whole South was convinced of the impossibility of free Negro labor, the first almost universal device was to use the courts as a means of reenslaving the blacks. It was not then a question of crime, but rather one of color, that settled a man’s conviction on almost any charge.
—  W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

Tamir Rice’s mother joins call for a look at prosecutors nationwide

Samaria Rice is taking the role of leader seriously. Earlier this year, Rice helped lead the call to replace Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, who declined to bring criminal charges against the two police officers who shot her son. 

Now, she’s the face of a nationwide effort to look more closely at prosecutors in cities and counties across the country, 95% of whom are white and more than 70% of whom run unopposed. In the fight to curb police violence, prosecutors are uniquely positioned to hold officers accountable for their actions.

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