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The Criminal Justice Caucus has been sending out a lot of emails lately.  That can be overwhelming for the inbox.  However lots of emails means a lot is going on!  Criminal justice issues, of which there are a lot, are being discussed, explored, challenged, and addressed.  This is awesome and it is important that it continues if we want to see the transformative change this country needs.  

In an effort to lighten the loads of your inboxes we are trying something new.  Included in this post is recent information and events that caucus members have heard about through their various networks.  Check out whatever interests you, pass it on, and keep the conversation going.

Judge Lippman Feb. 14th State of the Judiciary address

  • This might not sound interesting but this is a judge who believes New York needs to catch up with the times and stop putting 16 and 17 year-olds in the adult criminal justice system. The first three sections of his address are of particular interest: “Rethinking Juvenile Justice,” “Preventing Wrongful Convictions,” and “Enhancing Indigent Defense.”

Slavery By Another Name

  • “The New Jim Crow” is the buzz phrase these days to explain part of the mass incarceration phenomenon.  Unfortunately it is no surprise to many of us that people in this country have and do use “law” to oppress and repress certain populations.  
  • This video on PBS is about how the South utilized the 13th Amendment’s slavery exception clause to reassert control over Black labor via the Southern Criminal Justice System (or old-fashioned community service)
  • 13th Amendment – “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States…” [emphasis added]. -U.S. Constitution, Amend. XIII

Incarcerated Until Proven Guilty

  • February 23, 2012 | 5:30PM – 8:00PM
  • CUNY School of Law Auditorium 65-21 Main St. Flushing, NY 11367
  • Presented by the CUNY Law Review and the Black Law Students Association.
  • In the United States, the money bail system is heavily relied upon to ensure a criminal defendant’s future appearance in court. Recent national and local attention to the inherent problems of the money bail system has exposed the system’s disparate impact on New York City’s most vulnerable communities. This panel will bring together members of the bar working at the forefront of this issue. Panelists will discuss topics such as the populations most negatively impacted, the different forms of bail available, judicial training on bail setting, the uses and necessity of bail, and the alternatives to the money bail system.
  • Panelists include:
    • Richard Celestin, Program Manager, Supervised Release Program, Criminal Justice Agency
    • Honorable George Grasso, Judge, Criminal Court of the City of New York, Kings County
    • Justine Olderman, Managing Attorney of Criminal Practice, The Bronx Defenders
    • Honorable John Walsh, Acting Justice, Kings County Supreme Court
    • Moderator: Michael Oppenheimer, Supervisor, The Bronx Defenders
  • Dinner will be provided

Private Prison Corporation Offers Cash in Exchange for State Prisons

  • Article in the Huffington Post about Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest operator of for-profit prisons, which has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for “challenging corrections budgets.” In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full.

Why Mass Incarceration Matters to Social Workers

  • CJC’s NEXT EVENT – February 29th!

Removing the Bars: TAKE ACTION 

  • An interdisciplinary conference on Criminal Justice at Columbia University
  • Registration opens SOON!  Space is limited!

Click here for updates on the conference! Registration coming soon!

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