On Thursday, the Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The proposed legislation would prohibit the use of shackling during pregnancy and address the maternal care needs of imprisoned women during pregnancy, labor, delivery and post-partum periods.
As many people start to reimagine criminal justice and public safety, Homeboy Industries, an LA-based nonprofit, is setting a powerful example of what the justice system could look like if rehabilitation was prioritized over mass incarceration.
In February, the L.A.-based Youth Justice Coalition successfully lobbied the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to vote to eliminate most court-related fines and fees, including probation. Three other counties in California’s Bay Area—San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa—have passed similar measures since 2018. But L.A. courts have continued to collect probation fees and other court-related debts.
“We’ve been trying to collect money from people who don’t have it, and they often end up in jail, or harassed or shaken down. We’re trying to fund our governments on the backs of communities of color, and in a post-COVID world, that is just going to be impossible. I shudder to think of the more draconian collection practices to come.”
Produced by Al Jazeera Contrast, and created by Zahra Rasool, Sarah Springer and VR 360 writer and director Naima Ramos-Chapman, “Still Here” meditates on the prison industrial complex, urban gentrification and the experience of formerly incarcerated women.
On Monday, a judge denied a motion to release Grace, a 15-year old Black girl who has been held in custody since May for not completing her schoolwork. The Michigan teenager’s incarceration has begun to receive nationwide attention since ProPublica Illinois published a story about her last week.
Deanna Van Buren is co-founder, executive director and design director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an Oakland-based architecture and real estate development nonprofit working to end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that redefines the entire criminal justice pipeline.
“There’s an entire infrastructure for criminal justice; we could create an entire infrastructure for restorative justice.”
The lack of needed legislation to protect prisoners is acting as the judge, jury and executioner. Having a proper and humane plan during crises means the difference between life and death.
The #JustUs campaign urges each state to adopt and institute an emergency management plan to protect incarcerated populations.
Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population. How do they fit into the criminal justice movement? And how dire is COVID-19?
Youth lockups are supposed to rehabilitate kids, not punish them. The pandemic is making that harder than ever.
“Does anyone believe that rehabilitation can occur in a locked facility during a pandemic? What are we actually doing still holding children in facilities?”
Introducing “Tutwiler,” a new Marshall Project/Frontline documentary about women in an Alabama prison who support each other through pregnancy, labor and saying goodbye to their newborns.