U.S. Has One Justice System for the Wealthy, and Another for the Poor and People of Color

From: Marc Mauer
Executive DirectorThe Sentencing ProjectI

 

 

want to bring your attention to some of The Sentencing Project’s newest resources on criminal justice reform:

  • In a new report to the United Nations on racial disparities, we explain how the United States essentially operates two distinct criminal justice systems: one for wealthy people and another for poor people and people of color. By creating and perpetuating policies that allow racial disparities to exist in its criminal justice system, the United States is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to ensure that all residents—regardless of race—are treated equally under the law.
  • For nearly 20 years the Justice Department has sponsored a research fellowship program around race and criminal justice in the name of noted sociologist and civil rights leader, WEB Du Bois. In an op-ed for the Guardian, I call attention to the troubling news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has diverted this program towards issues that would make a student of the Du Bois legacy shudder.
  • More than 5.7 million American kids have experienced parental incarceration at some point during their lives, writes Kara Gotsch, Director of Strategic Initiatives, in the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare’s annual CW360 degrees report. The essay outlines the negative impacts mass parental incarceration has on families and communities, and provides recommendations to reduce our prison population and to support the various needs of children with justice involved families.
  • In the American Constitution Society’s blog, Kara also explains why the Trump Administration should address the urgent opioid crisis by prioritizing investments in treatment over incarceration. Ratcheting up already tough sentences for people with drug convictions will produce little public safety benefit while carrying heavy fiscal, social, and human costs.

We hope these materials will be useful to you in your work.

Sincerely,

Marc Mauer
Executive Director