A Look Inside the Lives of Home Imprisonment

Private companies have developed a strategy to incarcerate individuals for their alleged crimes by strapping GPS shackles on their ankles. The use for these devices have more than doubled in the past decade. The largest providers of these devices in the United States are BI Incorporated and Securus Technologies. Both companies had histories of unethical profiting and exploiting criminalized populations. They’re also the targets of protests and court cases.

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Michael Diaz's Story, a Personal Look at Drug Offenses in the US

The dramatic growth started in the War on Drugs era during the 1980s. The number of Americans incarcerated went from 40,900 in 1980 to 450,345 in 2016. Sentencing laws, such as mandatory minimums, resulted in people convicted of drug offenses incarcerated for longer periods of time. 

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The First Step Act - A Pro's and Con's List

The FIRST STEP Act, short for Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act, or H.R.5682 is a bipartisan prison reform bill passed by the House of Representatives on May 22, 2018. The bill’s timid reach is evident in its name, indicating the bill is only the first step in reforming the federal criminal justice system, with future reform on the horizon.

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Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill to Eliminate Cash Bail

Every day between 400,000 and 500,000 people are behind bars who haven't been convicted of a crime, they are just awaiting their day in court. Senator Bernie Sanders has plans to change this. If his Bill passes, it would be a monumental victory for criminal justice reform across the country.

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Expanding SNAP Work Requirements: a Dangerous Game Ending in Poverty

In the classic children’s board game Chutes & Ladders, players move along a game board by rolling a dice, encountering either ladders that advance their progress, or chutes that send them slipping backward.It’s an analogy for the predicament 40 million Americans are soon to be in is fitting. The game carries an eerie resemblance for those who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to move them past the scary pitfalls associated with income inequality and food insecurity.

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Dror's Story: Efficiency and Justice Have Nothing to Do with Each Other

“His wife knocked on the door one morning and burst into tears, and explained what happened,” Gruffudd recalls. He describes a certain despair accompanying the excitement in the visiting area, “full of families and children, dressed in their Sunday best.” Meanwhile, the inmates appeared emotionally and physically deteriorated.

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DOJ Opens Racial Discrimination Investigation into San Francisco’s Bail System in the Wake of Two Successful Settlements Against Other Counties

In response to complaints filed by Equal Justice Under Law against numerous counties across the nation, the Justice Department is now scrutinizing jurisdictions that disproportionately deny pretrial release to people of color, or more commonly, set bail at substantially higher amounts for people of color than for white defendants accused of the same or similar offenses.

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Federal Ruling in Calhoun, Ga. Case is Why We Can't Stop Pushing Back on Money Bail

In a 2-1 decision, the justices said Wednesday that the city's bond rules are constitutional, even though defendants who can't afford bail remain behind bars for up to 48 hours after their arrests. Two days in jail does not cause unreasonable harm to a person's life, the justices argued.

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DC Podcats Interview Executive Director Phil Telfeyan

In this episode, we talk with Phil Telfeyan about his pro bono practice, Equal Justice Under Law.  We touch on his time at the DOJ, his decision to start a non-profit, how Trump has affected his work, and a little bit about his magic habit. Tune in for some great information and inspiring tidbits on how to start your non-profit and how you can help Equal Justice Under Law. 

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Press Release: Nashville and Davidson County Tennessee Take First Steps to Reform Money Bail

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Twentieth Judicial District’s practice of requiring defendants to post secured money bail as a pretrial condition of release had a discriminatory effect on African Americans because they are disproportionately detained in jail prior to trial.

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Trapped: How Fee-Based GPS Monitoring Puts a ‘Price Tag on Freedom’

An Op-Ed by Equal Justice Under Law Executive Director, Phil Telfeyan. William Edwards was giving a lift to a friend in Oakland, Ca., in November 2016 when he was stopped by police. After searching his car without a warrant, the officers found drugs in the friend’s bag.

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Lawsuit Alleges Ankle Monitoring Practices Are Akin to Extortion

A new class-action lawsuit accuses Alameda County of allowing a private company to charge excessive fees to people sentenced to electronic monitoring, telling them to pay up or go to jail. James Brooks left his job at the Port of Oakland after his mother was paralyzed by a catastrophic stroke in 2012. The 49-year-old former longshoreman is now her full-time caregiver, earning about minimum wage from the state's In-Home Supportive Services program.

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Lawsuit Confronts Extortion of Prisoners by Electronic Monitoring Firm

Robert Jackson was four days into a 120-day sentence in an Alameda County, California, jail when his wife passed away unexpectedly, leaving their three young children without a parent in the home. He was compassionately released with the caveat that he submit to electronic monitoring by the for-profit Leaders in Community Alternatives (LCA) company. Though his weekly paycheck was $400-$500, his weekly monitoring fees to LCA came to $250 per week — 50-65 percent of his total income.

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chrysse haynes
Press Release: Alameda County Allows Racketeering at the Expense of the Poor

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Today Equal Justice Under Law filed a federal class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California against Alameda County for allowing a private company, Leaders in Community Alternatives (LCA), to extort money from poor Californians and about the predatory practices LCA inflicts through the use of GPS tracking devices.

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