Criminal Justice

 
A new report entitled A Way Out: Abolishing Death By Incarceration in Pennsylvania, by the Abolitionist Law Center reveals that Philadelphia County has 2,694 people serving life without parole sentences. This number is more than any other county in the United States and far more than any other country in the world. Black Pennsylvanians are serving at a rate more than 18 times higher than that of their white counterparts.
 
Highlighting the racism that undergirds law enforcement union opposition to criminal justice reform and the release of people in prison to parole supervision.
 
This op-doc focuses on how the law can incorporate lessons learned from brain science and adolescent development to treat justice-involved youths like the children that they are.
 
Discussing a facet of the school-to-prison pipeline that often goes unnoticed and undiscussed: the risk of deportation, not just of students but of their family members, due to the involvement of police in school discipline. The criminalization of black and brown youth in school has devastating effects on children, but the incarceration of the undocumented or those from mixed-status families can destroy families by drawing unwanted attention from federal authorities that may ultimately  lead to deportation. 
 
Discussing a recent study by Carlos Berdejó of Loyola Law School confirming what many have known for a long time: white defendants are offered better plea deals than black defendants. The inequities are driven by a number of factors, often beginning with the cash bail system, which rewards those who can buy their way to freedom and hold out for a better plea offer from a prosecutor. Berdejó also discusses the racial motivation prosecutors often employ while deciding to offer pleas.