New Mexico Governor Signs Historic Legislation to End Qualified Immunity

This is a welcome sign of progress. “When a police officer acting in an official government capacity violates a citizen’s constitutional rights, qualified immunity protects them from liability. The New Mexico Civil Rights Act finally fixes this injustice.”

Empathy training for parole officers reduces recidivism by 13%

Heavy caseloads, job stress and biases can strain relations between parole and probation officers and their clients, upping offenders’ likelihood of landing back behind bars. On a more hopeful note, a new UC Berkeley study suggests that nonjudgmental empathy training helps court-appointed supervision officers feel more emotionally connected to their clients and, arguably, better able […]

Just 0.1% of the former US administration’s COVID farm relief went to Black farmers

Dirt falling through a person's hands

These are the type of systemic inequities that perpetuate the economic harm of racial inequity and are the precursors to incarceration. “We saw 99 percent of the money going to White farmers and 1 percent going to socially disadvantaged farmers and if you break that down to how much went to Black farmers, it’s 0.1 […]

Red-lining, depression, and tree inequity

A tree-less street in Baltimore

An interesting look at the connection between red-lining and mental health. In many cities, a map of urban tree cover reflects the geography of race and income…where 97% of residents are African American. This holds true across Baltimore, which still bears the scars of redlining, policies that denied mortgages and other financial services to entire […]

‘Should we close the Rhode Island Women’s Prison?’

“With only about 80 women imprisoned in the state of Rhode Island, should the Rhode Island Women’s Prison be closed? This question and nuances surrounding the incarceration of women in the Ocean State were explored at a Wednesday panel hosted by OpenDoors.” An illuminating and through-provoking article.

March 10 Crucial Conversation: Race, mass incarceration and criminal justice reform in NC

Calling your attention to this upcoming virtual event from NC Policy Watch. “By all indications, North Carolina and the nation at-large have entered a critical and, perhaps, hopeful phase in their centuries-old conversations about race, crime, punishment and the undeniable links between them. Even, however, as advocates and elected leaders have succeeded in enacting new […]

Our Bodies Listen, Too

A few years ago, I listened to an interview with Mahzarin Banaji, one of the creators of Harvard’s Implicit Association Test. She told a fascinating story about a study that showed that our bodies better recognize the sound of our voices better than our conscious minds. I share this story often with my participants to […]

Podcast: “How They See Us” from Hidden Brain

I had never heard the term “stereotype threat” before but the concept makes perfect sense and helps me to better understand the impact of explicit and implict biases. Check out this interview with Claude Steele, the author of Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. And a bonus article by Claude […]

“The Cost of Calling My Mom From Prison”

Here’s an interesting recent article from the New York Times by John J. Lennon, currently incarcerated at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in New York State. On Dec. 20, 2020, Worth Rises, an advocacy group, ran a full-page ad in The New York Times calling on Tom Gores, a businessman whose private equity firm owns Securus, […]