Op Eds

Sentence for agender teen’s attacker: missed chance for justice

San Francisco Chronicle
by Zachary Norris
Nov 21, 2014

 

Restorative justice provides an effective alternative to the punishment-focused model that dominates our criminal justice system. Instead of focusing on what laws have been broken, restorative justice brings the victim and the offender together to determine how to repair harm to the survivor and the community, hold the offender accountable, and reduce future harm.

Law enforcement’s core failing: Why the solution is much more than indicting Darren Wilson

Salon
by Zachary Norris
Nov 17, 2014

 

“Indict. Convict. Send the killer cop to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell.” That’s the chant that stuck in my head after going to the Ferguson October protests last month in support of justice for Mike Brown.

I remember marching and saying similar chants for Oscar Grant. Four years ago, Nov. 5, 2010, Officer Johannes Mehserle was sentenced to two years for fatally shooting Oscar Grant in the back as he lay face down on a train platform in Oakland.

 

The Vote Is In: It’s Time to Replace “Tough-on-Crime” with “Jobs-not-Jails”

AlterNet
by Zachary Norris
Nov 06, 2014

 

Proposition 47 is an example of the kind of “justice reinvestment” initiative that we need nationwide in order to reallocate resources away from mass incarceration and toward education and healthcare. For a long time, California voters have supported the “tough-on-crime” movement, by passing propositions like the three strikes law in 1994. But now, voters are sending the message that being “tough-on-crime” isn’t working, and the rest of the country should follow California’s example.

Burning the Candle on Both Ends: A Reflection on Work in America

Huffington Post
by Zachary Norris
Sep 04, 2014

 

Co-authored by Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance

Earlier this week we celebrated Labor Day, which was established to celebrate workers and their contributions to the strength and prosperity of the country. 

Yet from where we stand today, something has gone awry. Many Americans who put in a hard day's work are treated without dignity or opportunity, rather they struggle to survive on poverty wages. 

Emmett Till, Mike Brown, and a New Movement for an Old Law

Huffington Post
by Zachary Norris
Aug 28, 2014

 

Despite progress over the last century, for black people this country has failed to ever make good on its earliest and most basic democratic protection: the 14th Amendment. When the 14th Amendment was enacted, it was meant to provide equal protection to all under the law. But if a black person can be gunned down and left in the street for over four hours with no disciplinary action taken against the government representative responsible, what does "equal protection" mean? Redeeming the promise of the 14th Amendment is as relevant today as it was when first enacted.

 

SB 1010: Fixing California's Racist Drug Laws

Huffington Post
by Zachary Norris
Aug 12, 2014

 

This week, California may get one step closer to eliminating the racist laws that unfairly target low-income communities of color for incarceration. On Thursday, the California State Assembly will vote on a bill that would eliminate groundless disparities in punishment for possession of crack cocaine and powder cocaine for sale. 

 

Drummond: Time to fix California's whack crack laws

Oakland Tribune
by Tammerlin Drummond
Aug 13, 2014

 

Oakland's Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is one of the co-sponsors of the California Fair Sentencing Act, which the Legislative Analyst's Office says would save millions of dollars.

"It's really modest in terms of what it's trying to achieve," says Jennifer Kim, state policy and field director for the Ella Baker Center. "It just doesn't make any sense to treat a drug that has two different names differently just because of who is using it."

Too young for solitary

by LA Times Editorial Board
May 12, 2013

 

The LA Times Editorial Board reiterates its support for ending solitary confinement for young people and calls for the California legislature to pass SB 61 to regulate and document solitary confinement for youth in California.

A solitary confinement solution

by Editorial
Apr 23, 2012

 

This Los Angeles Times editorial shows strong support for our bill (SB 1363) that would limit the use of solitary confinement in California's youth prisons.

Your Turn: A simple solution to serious problem prison overcrowding

Contra Costa Times
by Theshia Naidoo, Alice Huffman, Jakada Imani and Allen Hopper
Mar 10, 2012

 

A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different outcome. California has been doing the same thing with drug users for decades, while wasting billions of dollars and wrecking lives in the process.

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