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Our parole system focuses on control and punishment. What about reintegration?
I served three years in prison, and five years on parole, for armed robbery. Today, I’m a double alumnus from UC Berkeley with a master’s degree in public policy. The support and resources I received when released from prison were integral to where I am today, and parole did not provide any of them. In fact, today’s parole system only emphasizes detecting parole violations and punishing parole violators.
Burns Institute 2018 Annual Report: The Urgency of Change
A political climate in which racism is espoused from the nation’s highest office did not temper the W. Haywood Burns Institute’s (BI) work in 2018. With a galvanized internal structure, strengthened and growing partnerships and projects, and a new vision of structural well-being, BI continues to work to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities by growing ...
Achieving REEI and Rejecting the Black-White Binary of Race
The Black-White paradigm of race has long shaped the American perception and understanding of race and racism. It is ubiquitous and rigid, and we must recognize how this binary binds our appreciation, recognition and real understanding of the lived experiences of the many “other’s” throughout American history. If we choose to understand race as only ...
Burns Statement on the Human Rights Crisis at the Border
The W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI) was founded on principles of human dignity and fair treatment for communities of color that are too often subject to policies and practices that are steeped in racialized institutional social control. The current immigration crisis represents this nation’s continuing tragic history of formally justifying inhumane treatment and the cruelty ...
Unlocking Opportunity: New Burns Institute Report Highlights Disparities in California’s Youth Justice System
Every night in California, nearly 4,000 youth lay their heads to sleep out of their homes, out of their community and away from their families as the result of a court ordered placement. Youth of color comprise the vast majority of these youth (88 percent). In fact, at every decision-making point in the youth justice ...
Looking Back, Moving Forward: Reflections from the Field
2017 has been a year of significant change for both the nation and the Burns Institute. For us here at the BI, the looming year’s end signals a time for deep reflection on where we stand and how we will move forward. As we take stock of the lessons we have learned over the past ...
Our Interactive Data Map is now Updated to Reflect the Latest OJJDP Youth Incarceration Data
On any given day in the US, Black youth are five times as likely as White youth to be incarcerated; Latino youth are almost twice as likely; and Native American youth are three times as likely. Most of these youth (73 percent) were incarcerated for non-violent offenses. Although the number of youth incarcerated has decreased by ...
Trans-Atlantic Dialogues on Race and Incarceration
James Bell delivering a seminar at the Centre for Justice Innovation in London, UK. To talk about race and ethnicity as it relates to the justice system is often seen as a uniquely American conversation. Yet, although America certainly leads the way when it comes to incarceration and its disproportionate effects on communities of color, there ...
Press Release: California Takes the Lead in Juvenile Justice Reform — Ends The Harmful, Unlawful, and Costly Practice of Charging Fees to Families with Youth in the System
SACRAMENTO—On October 11, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 190, a major, bipartisan juvenile justice reform bill that will improve youth rehabilitation and increase public safety. Effective January 1, 2018, SB 190 ends the regressive and racially discriminatory practice of charging administrative fees to families with youth in the juvenile system. More specifically, ...
Proposition 57 Draft Regulations Would Exclude Thousands From the Promise of Rehabilitation
Last November, nearly two-thirds of California voters said yes to Proposition 57, a ballot measure which supported increasing parole eligibility and good behavior opportunities for people convicted of nonviolent crimes and allowing judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to direct file youth to adult court. Despite this support for a justice system that is centered ...