This letter seeks to acknowledge how legal academia facilitates mass incarceration. Law professors must do more than teach the blackletter law, and we ask scholars for a commitment to situate their teaching of criminal law within the larger history and current context.
Proposals that challenge carceral punishment fail to address the criminal law responses that govern gender-based violence. The failure to include gender violence offenses within progressive reform initiatives often serves to categorize those who have engaged in such harm as unworthy of the benefits of reform.
All defendants need the opportunity to raise complaints with their representation before appeal. Reserving this for only those who were already able to hire counsel of their choice operates to further disenfranchise the most vulnerable people charged with crimes.
The failure to hold police accountable for their toxic culture has and continues to threaten the safety and Constitutional protections of vulnerable communities and disfavored groups.
Incarceration deprives communities of their immediate histories. Victims of incarceration often never learn what happened a generation ago that led to the conditions they experience, and if you are never taught your history, you’re being stripped of it.
Announcing our latest symposium on the criminal legal system and the current movement to transform it.