Over the last 40 years, largely as a result of the war on drugs, our nation has increased its prison population nearly 400% and a disproportionate number of those incarcerated are black men. Today, approximately 2.3 million children have an incarcerated parent and 500,000 black fathers are incarcerated. Over-incarceration in the United States plays a significant role in eroding the black family structure and communities are paying the price. What has not been highlighted as much however is that over-incarceration perpetuates HIV transmission in poor communities of color- a lesson I learned many years ago.
Blog — Criminal Justice
With the onset of social media, effective digital advocacy is critical to the NAACP's success. Thanks to our social media supporters, the Troy Davis case was the second-most talked about topic on Twitter during 2011.
NAACP Criminal Justice Director Robert Rooks sat down with The Loop 21 to explain why he opposes the death penalty.
Troy's execution, the exceptional unfairness of it, will only hasten the end of the death penalty in the United States.
This morning, our worst fears came true. Despite widespread doubt, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles upheld the decision to execute Troy Davis this Wednesday. Still, Troy has refused to have a “last meal" - he has faith his life will be spared.
Despite serious doubts as to his guilt and a lack of evidence, Troy Davis will be executed on September 21 if we don't interfere. As a sign of solidarity and a means of increasing awareness, we're encouraging supporters of justice everywhere to make Troy their Facebook pic and/or Twitter avatar through Troy's clemency hearing on September 19.
We’ve just received terrible news: the State of Georgia has set Troy Davis’ execution date for midnight on September 21, just two weeks from today.
After forty years of the war on drugs, America continues to ignore Dr. King’s lessons on justice, compassion and love.
This year, at the NAACP 102nd Annual Convention, the Criminal Justice Department will host a workshop for the NAACP Youth and College Division titled, “Stop the Violence, Start the Love: Addressing Youth Incarceration and Public Safety.” The workshop will bring together expert panelists who will lead a discussion about the role that youth activists can play in helping implement strategies that decrease our reliance on incarceration, increase public safety, and help heal communities of color that are most impacted by crime, violence, and mass incarceration.
On Monday, July 25, the NAACP Criminal Justice Department will highlight some key components of our work in a workshop entitled "Impact: Understanding the Collateral Consequences of the Criminal Justice System on Communities of Color".
Today the Institute of the Black World brought together a panel of coalition partners working on finding solutions to this never ending war on communities of color. Featured speakers included Hilary Shelton of the NAACP, Jasmine Tyler of the Drug Policy Alliance, Deborah Small of Break the Chains, Neill Franklin of LEAP, and Rev. Jesse Jackson as the keynote speaker. “The current “tough on crime” policies are expensive and ineffective. We need to be “smart on crime” instead,” explained Shelton. “That means we need to stop locking up non-violent drug abusers and the mentally ill, and start treating them.”
What does it mean to be "tough on crime"? Does "toughness" depend on how many people we imprison? Or should the indicator be whether our society combats crime at its root? Current policies point directly at the former option, but we need to be smarter on crime.
On April 26, thousands of students, administrators and public officials from across Pennsylvania gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in response to proposed statewide education budgets cuts that will exceed $1.2 billion.
When a recording artist releases a great song or album, it will not be widely heard until the tune is played by our nation's DJs. DJs are responsible for getting music to the public, getting the crowd hyped at a party and promoting the work of recording artists. Without DJs, good music would be like a tree falling in the forest -- it really wouldn't matter if it made a sound. But I'm not writing to talk about what the music industry needs to do. I'm writing about what those of us who are working to ensure that our children live in a socially just, compassionate and equitable society need to do. We need to be DJs, mixmasters spinning the words of justice into a movement that creates the kind of world that will truly be livable for all Americans.
Victims, advocates, experts and law enforcement and government officials came before a panel of NAACP local, state and national officials last week to talk about police accountability, each from their own perspective and experience, addressing challenges and possible solutions.