Opinion: I was sentenced to 30 years to life at 16. I shouldn’t have been sent into the adult system.

The article below was recently shared with me by Carol Sullivan, a fellow yoga facilitator in Denver and leader of Yoga And Then Some. Author Robert Barton shares his story- one that was completely altered by being placed in an adult prison for a crime he was charged with committing at just sixteen years old. […]

Healing After Chauvin Murder Conviction: Is It Possible?

Racial trauma therapist Resmaa Menakem was featured on NPR’s Here and Now. He discusses the impact of the murder of George Floyd on communities of color, the Chauvin guilty verdict, and how heal moving forward. “He says the Chauvin verdict — guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — is not justice, but […]

How to Dismantle Mass Incarceration

UnCommon Law and ChangeLawyers partnered to deliver a series of webinars on mass incarceration, with an intentional focus on BIPOC Communities. You can view the recording of the first webinar in the series, “How to Dismantle Mass Incarceration,” here: https://www.californialeaderssummit.org/post/how-to-dismantle-mass-incarceration There were many takeaways for me from this webinar, and it was all the more […]

Devastating Effects of Jailing People Pretrial

Dr. Sandra Smith, a researcher at Harvard University, interviewed people around the country about their experiences with the pre-trial system in the United States. Smith and her team found that the more time spent in pretrial detention, the greater likelihood a person has further contact with the penal system. The following article highlights stories of […]

Expanding Voting Rights to All Citizens in the Era of Mass Incarceration

Only a handful of states allow people who are currently incarcerated to vote. In some circumstances, people convicted of a crime are permanently disenfranchised. For a complete break down by state, refer here: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx According to the Sentencing Project, 5.2 million people in the United States are denied access to vote because of a felony […]

New Sentencing Project Report: Private Prisons in the United States

The problems with private prisons are often lost in the conversation of mass incarceration because they hold a smaller number of incarcerated people. However, the number of people in private prisons has increased 33% since 2000, while the overall prison population has increased 3%. Of note, 81% of the immigrant detention population are confined in […]

Law Enforcement Officers and Trauma, a Public Health Crisis

I recently spoke with Sue Radcliffe, LCSW-C, a mental health therapist with the Dorchester County Health Department that also provides yoga to incarcerated people and correctional staff. She shared a recent article she wrote and published, that highlights the mental, emotional and physical health challenges that impact too many correctional officers. While the statistics are […]

Racial Disparities in Youth Incarceration Persist

The Sentencing Project recently released a new report on youth incarceration. The findings are frustrating, but sadly not surprising: Black and American Indian youth are still disproportionately held in custody compared to white youth. This comes at a time when youth incarceration overall has decreased, highlighting the necessity of action that specifically addresses racial inequality.