53.3 F
San Francisco
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Be a Census Taker!
Tags Drug Policy Alliance

Tag: Drug Policy Alliance

When treatment means punishment

Amidst an overdose crisis of historic proportions, proponents of coercion are deftly adopting criminal justice reform rhetoric to market “alternatives” that simply cloak the mechanics of the criminal justice system in public health interventions. Register for a free conference, “Coercive Treatment – Moving Beyond ‘For Your Own Good,’” to be held May 16-17 at UC Hastings College of the Law, 198 McAllister St., San Francisco.

War on marijuana and disparate policing in communities of color must...

I went into law school thinking that I wanted to be a civil rights attorney. I wanted to use my law degree to fight the many systems of oppression that plagued and terrorized the communities that mattered to me. It wasn’t until my third year of law school, that I recognized current cannabis policies as a legitimate social justice issue – particularly due to the way marijuana prohibition is enforced.

NAACP secures changes to California Marijuana Initiative

With California voters likely to decide by ballot initiative this year whether to become the fifth state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, the state chapter of the NAACP saw an opportunity to address related civil rights issues it has been concerned with for years. After successfully voicing their concerns, the state’s NAACP chapter endorsed the ballot initiative.

In largest one-time release, 6,000 inmates will walk out of federal...

In an unprecedented move, 6,000 inmates will soon be released from federal prisons in what the Washington Post calls history’s “largest one-time release of federal prisoners.” This change is due to last year’s decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to lower sentencing guidelines for drug crimes and apply the change retroactively. Remarkably, this release is only the beginning.

Advocates celebrate Prop. 47 victory against mass incarceration and war on...

On Nov. 4, California voters passed criminal justice reform measure Proposition 47. Proposition 47 changes the lowest level drug possession and petty theft crimes from felonies to simple misdemeanors for some people. Although re-sentencing is not guaranteed, up to 10,000 people in California’s prisons and jails will be eligible for resentencing, and newly sentenced individuals who meet the requirements will be under county jurisdiction.

Sen. Holly Mitchell’s California Fair Sentencing Act, ending crack disparity, becomes...

On Sept. 28, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Sentencing Act (SB 1010) authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles. The legislation eliminates the groundless disparity in sentencing, probation and asset forfeiture guidelines for possession of crack cocaine for sale versus the same crime involving powder cocaine that has resulted in a pattern of racial discrimination in sentencing and incarceration in California. The law takes effect in January.

Alternatives to Jerry Brown’s ‘more cages’ prison plan proposed

Gov. Jerry Brown’s just-proposed plan to ease overcrowding in California prisons without releasing inmates early has drawn quick opposition from prison reform activists across the state and has spawned an alternative approach from a contingent of moderate and liberal Democrats in the state legislature, creating an unusual rift among senior Democrats in the age-old incarceration-rehabilitation divide.

CDCR registers last minute opposition to expanding media access to state...

AB 1270, legislation that would increase transparency and media access to California’s notorious state prison system, is currently facing opposition in the Senate Appropriations Committee. CDCR is formally opposing the bill, citing cost as their main concern. There are two ways that you can help: Attend a Lobby Day on Aug. 9 or phone committee members from home before Aug. 13.

Senate Committee on Public Safety votes to lift the media access...

Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.

Obama’s drug war

Among the very few people celebrating our country’s fiscal crisis are criminal justice reformers. Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance says, “Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity to defund the federal drug war.” But colorblind cost-benefit approaches leave intact the racial attitudes, stereotypes and anxieties that gave rise to the system in the first place.

Scott sisters to be freed! Gov. Barbour demands a kidney for...

At long last the Scott sisters will be free! Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, based on public pressure, used his commutation powers to grant the sisters their freedom. He suspended Jamie and Gladys Scott's double life sentences for taking part in an $11 armed robbery. The women have always maintained their innocence. This good news is the people’s victory! Listen to Minister of Information JR's Block Report with the Scott sisters' attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, broadcast Dec. 30 on Flashpoints.

A holiday miracle for children of incarcerated parents

In Arms Reach in Harlem, directed by Terrance Stevens, who is paralyzed, focuses on mentoring at risk youth and children with incarcerated parent(s), providing one-on-one mentoring, after-school tutoring, college preparation courses, creative development through art and music and free prison visitation services.

Blacks, prison and joblessness

“This system treats us like throw-away people,” says Carolyn Brown, a Seattle volunteer with prison reform group Justice Works! An African American with a record, her effort to find a job is deeply frustrating due to systemic racism.

Educate or incarcerate: why slash schools to keep nonviolent lifers in...

California's extremely overcrowded prison system is draining state funds that would normally be used for education. Yet legislators continue to portray non-violent three-strike inmates as dangerous criminals who deserve to serve a life sentence for crimes that would have ordinarily carried six months to one year in the county jail.

Latest News

Justice demands Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom – not continued imprisonment to appease...

Formerly hidden evidence disclosed by current District Attorney Larry Krasner justifies a new trial and Abu-Jamal’s immediate release. “Abu-Jamal should have been released by Krasner,” declares Pam Africa.

Another death penalty horror: Stark disparities in media and activist attention

Rodney Reed and everyone else on death row are flesh-and-blood human beings who deserve humane and just treatment, not extermination, regardless of whether you believe they are innocent and haven’t had a fair legal process.

New clemency system could turn Rodney Reed’s 20 years of injustice...

Rodney Reed’s scheduled execution has been put on hold five days before he was to be put to death, after more than 20 years in prison. Common sense and 21st century DNA technology could take 20 days, not 20 years, to give an innocent person his or her life back. It is time for a change in who should control clemency.

Urgent action alert: Stop prison officials from blocking Shaka Shakur’s access...

Shaka Shakur is a politically active incarcerated New Afrikan who was transferred on Dec. 18, 2018, from the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) to the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) as part of a campaign by prison officials to neutralize his activism.

Rwanda exports 2,163 kg of gold, UAE imports 12,539 kg of...

The final 2019 UN Group of Experts Report on the Democratic Republic of the Congo confirms that Congo’s eastern neighbor Rwanda remains a haven for smuggling Congolese minerals.