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The Appeal

Jun 20, 2019

Efforts to hold police accountable for violating civil rights frequently come up against a legal roadblock known as "qualified immunity." Invented by the Supreme Court in 1967 and widely expanded in 1982, qualified immunity helps public officials avoid liability for misconduct and even flagrant constitutional...


Jun 13, 2019

In August and September of last year, there were prison strikes in at least 17 states marked by work stoppages and hunger strikes. But what’s happened since? How have things improved or, in some cases, been made worse by the forces of reaction? As we come up on the one-year anniversary of the 2018 prison strike,...


Jun 6, 2019

In an effort to meet public demand to reduce the size of the brick and mortar prison population, some jurisdictions are doing so but reinvesting manpower and money into what activists call “digital prisons.” In addition to electronic monitoring, this increasingly involves surveillance systems that can spy on...


May 30, 2019

Dozens of states have reformed their drug laws in recent years, but Arizona remains a stubborn outlier. In Maricopa County, for example, a recent report found that drug cases represent the "overwhelming majority" of charges filed. Up against powerful County Attorney Bill Montgomery and a culture of tough-on-crime...


May 23, 2019

In April 2016, the NYPD, in concert with the FBI, ATF, DEA, and Homeland Security, descended onto the South Bronx, arresting scores of people in what was described as the largest "gang takedown" in city history. Preet Bharara, then U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, praised what became known as the...