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News Article The Guardian July 14, 2016

Prosecutioin of illegal entry a driving force in mass incarceration in US

This article by Renee Feltz of the Guardian describes how the prosecution of individuals crossing the U.S. border for entry, a misdemeanor, and re-entry, a federal felony, has become a driving force behind mass incarceration as detailed in Justice Strategies' and Grassrooots Leadership's most recent book length report, Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border, released July 13, 2016.  The book, book highlights, press release and an audio recording of our media and advocacy conference call are available for download free of charge, here on our website. 

News Article Univision July 13, 2016

Prosecuting Migrants is an Indefensible Failure

This Univsion Op-Ed by Justice Strategies' Judith Greene, Grassroots Leadership's Bethany Carson, and writer and lawyer Arjun Singh Sethi, makes the case for why Operation Streamline is a moral and policy failure, as described in detail in our most recently released book length report, Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border.  The book, book highlights, our press release and an audio of our recent media and advocates conference call, are available free here on Justice Strategies website. 

JS Publication July 13, 2016

Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border

"Indefensible,” a new book from Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership, examines the costs and failures of over a decade of criminalization of border migration. Operation Streamline was launched in 2005 and added criminal convictions to the previous civil removal process, and is known for the disturbing spectacle of mass courtroom proceedings in which up to 80 shackled migrants are arraigned, convicted and sentenced for misdemeanor improper entry charges. While the Streamline courts have been scaled back in several districts, the legacy continues in federal courts, and includes related massive immigration prosecutions for both improper entry and felony re-entry. In 2015, half (49 percent) of all federal prosecutions were made up of what is essentially a crime of trespassing, in the form of improper entry and re-entry prosecutions. Read more »

News Article The Root June 19, 2016

#BlackDadsMatter: Mass Incarceration Is Robbing Children of Their Fathers. Here's How to Fix That

In this article, released on Father's Day 2016, Patricia Allard, Senior Research and Policy Analyst with Justice Strategies, and Glenn E. Martin, founder and President of JustLeadership, argue that #BlackDadsMatter, and point to comprehensive policy solutions that can minimize the negative emotional, social and economic consequences of having a dad incarcerated.  Ending mass incarceration for the millions currently in our jails and prisons is receiving more attention in policy circles than ever before.  But, ending the intergenerational legacy of mass incarceration will require that we act now to address the problems and issues confronted by the five million plus children who currently live without their incarcerated parent. 

News Article Albuquerque Journal May 14, 2016

Immigration offenders jam federal court in NM

Executive Directors Judy Greene, of Justice Strategies, and Bob Libal, of Grassroots Leadership, offer insights into federal court felony prosecution of immigrants for illegal entry and re-entry in New Mexico in the attached Alququerque Journal article. The number of people apprehended for crossing the border illegally has fallen eighty percent in fifteen years.  However, though fewer people illegally cross the border today, those who are apprehended are more likely to be prosecuted and jailed.  Illegal entry and re-entry prosecutions, especially along the border, have skyrocketed in the last twenty years.  From 2011 to 2015 alone, immigration cases in the New Mexico's federal courts have increased by eighty percent.  New Mexico charges nearly one hundred percent of re-entry cases as felonies, and does not allow defendants to plea down to a lesser charge. 

Recent studies suggest that immigrants who have children or relatives in the U.S. are unlikely to be dissuaded by repeated apprehensions, jail time or deportation.  A 2015 study of eighteen thousand illegal re-entry cases by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that half of offenders had at least one child living in the United States at the time of their apprehension.  More than two-thirds had relatives other than children in the U.S. Read more »

News Article The Intercept April 4, 2016

Prisoners in Multiple States Call for Strikes to Protest Forced Labor

Director Judy Greene comments on the growing protest in prisons across the country calling for work stoppages by those incarcerated there and an end to forced labor for pennies per hour and medical co-pays of $100, among other grievances.  The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution banned slavery and involuntary servitude, "except as a punishment for crime..."  This is the basis for a legalized form of slavery through our criminal justice system, prison protesters charge.

News Article Full Frontal with Samantha Bee March 30, 2016

Samantha Bee Makes Serious Points on Private Prison Industry

Samantha Bee of TBS's Full Frontal With Samantha Bee makes some serious points in her comedy show about the private prison industry's effect on our criminal justice system.  Although couched in comedic expression, her video raises important concerns about the threat private for-profit corporations pose when operating within any part of our criminal justice system.  Allegations of kickbacks to criminal justice officials, lobbying legislators for harsher and longer criminal penalties, and a Pennsylvania judge with ties to a private prison corporation found guilty of sending juveniles to prison for profit, should concern all Americans who understand the need for vigilance in the safeguarding of our freedoms, and who expect impartial justice.

JS Publication March 21, 2016

US Sentencing Commission Testimony Mar. 21, 2016

In this joint testimony regarding proposed sentencing enhancements for unlawfully entering or remaining in the US, Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership provide the US Sentencing Commission with insights into the views of the judges, federal public defenders, private attorneys and individuals who, on a daily basis deal with, and have been directly impacted by, these prosecutions.

JS Publication March 16, 2016

Day Fines & The Fare Probation Experiment

This article by Susan Tucker and Judith Greene on the Maricopa County day fines program was first published in 1999 (The Justice System Journal Vol. 21 No. 1, 1999).  Recently, there has been growing interest in day fines from the media, the US Department of Justice, criminal justice reform advocates and academics as a consequence of events in Ferguson Missouri.

News Article Buzzfeed January 20, 2016

The Ticket Machine

In 2012, the eight officer traffic unit of Port Arthur, Texas, a town of only 55,000 collected $2.1 million in fines.  This revenue bonanza however, came at a significant cost to residents.  From 2009 to 2011 over 1,500 people, about 2.7 percent of the town's population, many of who were poor and seventy-five peercent of who were Black, had been locked up for failure to pay their traffic fines.  Judith Greene is quoted in this Buzzfeed article discussing the use of day fines as a possible solution to this problem.