Category Archives: Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Policies in the Virginia Democratic Primary

This Tuesday marks Virginia’s gubernatorial primaries. For the Democratic Party, there are two nominees, Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam. In the race, both candidates have been typecast (and to some extent, have typecasted themselves). Perriello is a progressive while Northam is a pragmatic. Perriello, a

The Path Forward After Rikers: Decarcerate New York City?

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the city plans to close carceral facilities on Rikers Island within ten years and instead create a system of new jails throughout the five boroughs. While the decision to shutter Rikers is commendable due to

Carceral Complicity: Princeton’s Failure to Divest

This week, in an effort close to my heart, the Princeton Private Prison Divest (PPPD) campaign reached a critical juncture. Over the past year and a half, students, faculty, and staff from a coalition of on-campus groups have organized to pressure the University to remove

Petey Greene Prison Tutoring

Reimagining the Classroom in Carceral Settings

Classrooms in prisons and jails can return to people what the penal system works to strip away—space and opportunities to self-express, self-advocate, and affirm their own humanity and the humanity of others around them. Performing this function of rights-restoration is not the limit of education

Beyond the Bars: Arts and Humanities Education in Prison

The prison classroom feels strangely sterile. The linoleum floor tiles have a polished sheen. The lights are harsh and yellow. The air feels thin and particularly odorless. Everything is in drab colors: the brown floor, the whitewashed walls, even the khaki scrubs the incarcerated students

Commentary on “President Obama’s Criminal Justice Legacy: What Went Wrong”

This commentary is inspired by Dustin Palmer’s piece “President Obama’s Criminal Justice Legacy: What Went Wrong”, which can be accessed at: In the last days of his presidency, Barack Obama published a lengthy article in the Harvard Law Review (HLR). The publication’s former head

President Obama’s Criminal Justice Legacy: What Went Wrong

Last month, President Obama published a commentary in the Harvard Law Review (HLR) titled “The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice.”1 Noting that American presidents “can exert substantial influence over the criminal justice system,” he highlighted reform efforts from the last eight years, including: encouraging

Privatized Prison Services: Food

Much ink was spilled in the days after the election over how the stocks of the two largest private prison companies, GEO Group Inc. and Corrections Corp, jumped in the wake of Trump’s victory. High hopes for the companies’ bottom lines rest primarily on the

A Virginia Killing: A Case Against the Death Penalty

A few weeks ago, my home state of Virginia executed Ricky Gray. He was the first individual to be killed by the State of Virginia since October 1, 2015, and only the fourth since 2011. The execution by lethal injection has played at the back

A Response to “The Cracking Brazilian Mirror”

I thought the piece on the Brazil prison riots brought up an interesting parallel with the past. Maintaining order in its prisons, while striving to be more humane, definitely seems to be a problem in the Brazilian system – and is just the tip of the