New Enlace Fellows Program for Directly Impacted Women and Trans Women // Nuevo Programa de Enlace para Mujeres y Trans Mujeres

We are happy to share this important message from Jamie Trinkle, the campaign coordinator for Enlace! // ¡Estamos feliz para compartir este mensaje importante de Jamie Trinkle, el coordinador de campañas para Enlace!

[una versión en español abajo]

Our new Fellows Program is a two-year dynamic and innovative leadership and movement building program. The program trains directly-impacted self identified women and trans women organizers, to increase their capabilities to strategically launch corporate campaigns and to prepare them for more advanced leadership positions within their organization.

Participation is open to self identified women and trans women who are immigrants, Indigenous, formerly-incarcerated, or low-wage workers. Apply today!

Please circulate information on this amazing program among your membership and allies. Enlace is proud to be focusing on developing women and trans women leadership among directly impacted people to keep building the movement and strengthen organizations like you all.

El Programa Compas de Enlace es un programa de dos años dinámico e innovador de liderazgo y para crecer el movimiento. El programa entrena organizadoras directamente impactadas, para incrementar sus habilidades para lanzar campañas estratégicas contra corporaciones y prepararlas para posiciones más avanzadas dentro de su organización.

Participación está abierto para individuos que identifican como mujeres y trans mujeres que son inmigrantes, indígenas, anteriormente encarcelados, trabajadoras de bajo sueldo o impactadas por el calentamiento global o racismo ambiental. Applica hoy!

Por favor de difundir esta información a sus miembros y aliados. Enlace esta muy orgulloso de poder enfocarse en desarrollar liderazgo de mujeres y trans mujeres directamente impactadas para seguir creciendo el movimiento y fortalecer organizaciones como las suyas.

In solidarity // en solidaridad,

Jamie Trinkle


Applications for Project ReMADE are Out Now!

Applications are now being accepted for the Project ReMADE Class of 2016.

The deadline is October 1, 2015 but we are accepting applications on a rolling basis. More information, including the application, here!

To apply, fill out this form!

Project ReMADE is an entrepreneurship training program for formerly incarcerated people. The 12-week program teaches basic business skills to aspiring entrepreneurs and helps them build the social capital necessary to launch and sustain their businesses.

ReMADE entrepreneurs attend bi-weekly classes on topics ranging from accounting and marketing to negotiations and public speaking. Classes are taught by students from Stanford Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. In between every class, ReMADE entrepreneurs meet with their mentor teams, who help them develop their individualized written business plans. Mentor teams comprise one Stanford Law School student, one Stanford Graduate School of Business student, and one Silicon Valley professional.

The goal of Project ReMADE is to help women and men returning home from prison or jail successfully reenter by offering entrepreneurship training, leadership development, and mentoring support. Project ReMADE trains entrepreneurs in the basics of starting and operating a successful business. The practical skills gained in the classes can also help graduates find and keep a job, earn promotions, and increase total income.

For more information about Project ReMADE, visit their website at!

Root & Rebound’s Online Auction is LIVE!

2Start Bidding NOW!

Get excited for Root & Rebound’s FIRST EVER online silent auction! Running this entire week from Saturday, July 11th, to Saturday, July 18th, the auction is the perfect opportunity for you to support Root & Rebound’s ongoing work by bidding on incredible items and unique experiences—everything from hotel stays and wine country hot air balloon rides to photographs and paintings, and even consultations with wedding planners and home designers. We have items from across the country (and world!) so you can bid on and enjoy prizes from anywhere!

1) To preview the items, you will need to register as a bidder for the auction. To do so, click here and follow the instructions sent to you by ReadySetAuction.
2) Once you are a registered bidder, bookmark this page, go to the View Auction Catalog option, and then click Categories to have full access to the eCatalog (click on All Items or whichever category you prefer) and view all the amazing packages available to bid on! Preview them today and start bidding tomorrow when the auction goes live!

We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to our individual and corporate donors across the country who donated incredible items and experiences to advance our mission of making second chances a reality for people in reentry. We are hugely appreciative of your support. Now we are asking you, our network of supporters and friends across the country and world, to bid on items and share the auction with your friends, to help Root & Rebound increase access to justice and opportunity for people in reentry from prison and jail, and to educate and empower those who support them.

Share the auction with your networks!

Don’t forget to forward this email your friends, family and colleagues who might be interested in bidding on these incredible items! Share the auction on social media! Help us take this auction viral!

Suggested tweet: Bid on some amazing auction items TODAY to support @ROOTandREBOUND’s work with people in reentry across California!

Suggested Facebook post: I am excited to support Root & Rebound’s silent auction running this week (July 11th-July 18th). Bid on incredible items to help raise money for Root & Rebound’s work with people in reentry across California. Items include everything from hotel stays and wine country hot air balloon rides to photographs and paintings, and even consultations with wedding planners and home designers. Click here to bid:

And don’t forget—at the conclusion of the online auction on Saturday, July 18, Root & Rebound will be hosting its first-ever Summer Fundraiser at our downtown Oakland office! We invite you to join us for an incredible party featuring great food, drinks, live music, and an inspirational talk from renowned justice-reform advocate Michael Santos. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Buy your tickets here!

Pick 6 (07/12/2015)

Views from 6

Hello Friends. We’re back with our weekly feature–Pick 6. Our Pick 6 consists of 6 informative, insightful reentry & criminal justice-related news articles and commentaries that we’ve been following throughout the week. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, so don’t be shy!

PS. Don’t forget this week only (July 11th-July 18th), Root & Rebound is running its first-ever online auction to raise money for our work across California, drawing thousands of people from across the country and world to bid on incredible prizes—everything from hotel stays to wine country hot air balloon rides, from photographs and paintings to consultations with wedding and home designers.

Visit the site and bid today! 

I. READ IT: Obama to become first sitting president to visit a prison (LA Times)

President Obama will become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, part of a push he plans next week for reforming the criminal justice system.

On Thursday, the president will visit with inmates and officials at the Federal Correctional Institution El Reno near Oklahoma City, the White House announced Friday, and will be interviewed for the HBO newsmagazine series “Vice” on the issue.

II. HEAR IT: LA Police Unit Intervenes To Get Mentally Ill Treatment, Not Jail Time (NPR)

“The goal is to make sure that people who are mentally ill, who are not a danger to the community, are moved towards getting treatment and services as opposed to getting booked and taken into the jail.”

III. READ IT: Prison Born (The Atlantic)

“The officer who handcuffed Mayer in the motel didn’t seem to care when she told him she was pregnant. Neither did the parole judge, who charged her with fraternizing with another parolee and skipping curfew and ordered her back to prison. As she stripped down at the intake facility and stepped forward to be searched, she faced the question that thousands of American women do each year: What happens to a baby born in detention?”

IV. HEAR IT: Georgia Leads A Push To Help Ex-Prisoners Get Jobs (NPR)

“In Georgia, Jay Neal thinks it won’t be hard to persuade more businesses to take some risk, because here, one in 13 adults is under some kind of state supervision. ‘Just about everybody knows somebody who’s been in the prison system and knows enough about them to know that they’re not a real threat — that they need help more than they need to be locked away,’ he says. And that they’re no longer ex-offenders, but returning citizens.”

V. WATCH IT: Inside the Shadowy Business of Prison Phone Calls (International Business Times)

Over the last decade, the prison phone business has become a scandalous industry, characterized by lawsuits, exorbitant fees, high phone rates and monopolistic relationships between public jails and private companies that openly offer kickbacks to local sheriffs. In May 2015, Foster Campbell, the Louisana Public Service commissioner, described the prison phone business in his state as “worse than any payday loan scheme.”

“Regardless of what they’re using the money for, this is about shifting the cost of the police state onto the backs of the poor people being policed,” says Paul Wright, executive director of Human Rights Defense Center and a longtime advocate for more affordable prison phone rates.

VI. READ IT: Reading Aloud to My Daughter, From Prison (New York Times)

“After my daughter received her books, I learned that the books I sent to her went beyond her in many ways. My entire family was touched and helped through these books. When my son missed me he too would listen to my voice on the tape. When my mom and dad had a rough day taking care of my many responsibilities, they found forgiveness and hope in the sound of my voice.”

Pick 6 (6/28/2015)

Views from 6

Hello Friends. We’re back with our weekly feature–Pick 6. Our Pick 6 consists of 6 informative, insightful reentry & criminal justice-related news articles and commentaries that we’ve been following throughout the week. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, so don’t be shy!

1.) CELEBRATE IT: Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide (CNN)

In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex couples can marry nationwide, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a historic victory.”

***2.) HEAR IT: Accessing Education, Community Inclusion, a Challenge for Reentry Prisoners (KPFA)***

Listen to Root & Rebound‘s Staff speak on KPFA Radio about the challenges and barriers in reentry from prison and jail back to the community!

Root & Rebound’s Legal Administrative Assistant, Carmen Garcia and Founder & ED, Katherine Katcher speak to KPFA News Reporter, Saadia Malik about the experiences and needs for people in reentry and how education is one of the major keys.

We’re also excited to see long time Root & Rebound volunteer, David Basile share his thoughts and to hear more about the amazing work of the Prison University Project in bringing college level education classes to those inside San Quentin State Prison. Thank you to Saadia and KPFA for running this important story.

Please take a few minutes to listen and share the episode with your networks!

3.) REVIEW IT: Reentry: Helping Former Prisoners Return to Communities (The Anne E. Casey Foundation)

“This report offers technical assistance strategies and resources to reconnect men and women returning home from prison to their families and neighborhoods through employment, education, health and social services.  The report gives guidance on how to reduce barriers facing the formerly incarcerated, including access to housing, work, health care, counseling and job training. Policy changes that could help are highlighted. In addition, the report reviews supports available for families and children of the incarcerated to help address loss of income, emotional pain, disruptions in family life and social stigma.”

4.) READ IT: Report finds black adults in San Francisco face disparities in criminal justice system (KRON 4)

“In comparison to their white counterparts, black adults in San Francisco are much more likely to be arrested, booked into county jail and convicted, according to a racial and ethnic disparities report released Tuesday by the San Francisco Reentry Council.

The report, which looked at data from 2013, confirmed not only racial profiling on city streets but unequal treatment in the court system as well, according to San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who co-chairs the Reentry Council.”

5.) CELEBRATE IT: The Supreme Court Keeps the Fair Housing Law Effective (New York Times)

“Housing discrimination doesn’t have to be intentional to be illegal. That is the point of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday interpreting the Fair Housing Act of 1968 in accord with clear congressional intent, and preserving a well-established and critical tool in the long-running battle to ensure a more integrated society.

By a vote of 5-4, Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined by the four more liberal justices, ruled that the law allows plaintiffs to challenge government or private policies that have a discriminatory effect, without having to show evidence of intentional discrimination.

Explicit, legally sanctioned racial segregation in housing may be over, Justice Kennedy wrote, but “its vestiges remain today, intertwined with the country’s economic and social life.” From discriminatory lending practices to zoning laws that favor higher-income home buyers, persistent patterns work to hurt minorities and other vulnerable groups the law was written to protect.”

6.) READ IT: Shorter California prison officer academy to start next month (Sacramento Bee)

“California’s state prison-officer academy will shorten from 16 weeks to 12 weeks starting late next month, four years after Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration and California’s correctional officer union began talking about abbreviated cadet training.”

Pick 6 (06/21/2015)

Views from 6

Hello Friends. We’re back with our weekly feature–Pick 6. Our Pick 6 consists of 6 informative, insightful reentry & criminal justice-related news articles and commentaries that we’ve been following throughout the week. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, so don’t be shy!

1.) WATCH IT: Ban The Box (PBS)

“For many people being released from prison and jail, finding employment can be hard, even well after they have served their debt to society. As part of the PBS series “Broken Justice,” William Brangham looks at “Ban the Box,” a movement that aims to make it easier for those with a criminal background to find employment. Former inmate Daryl Atkinson and Beth Milito of the National Federation of Small Business debate the movement.

For more on the “Broken Justice” series, visit the PBS page here:

***2.) HEAR IT: Preparing Formerly Incarcerated for Success (Michael Santos – Earning Freedom)***

An interview with Katherine Katcher, Founder and Executive Director of Root & Rebound

“Many people who’ve been charged with a criminal offense struggle with reentry once they return to society. I admire Katherine Katcher, a graduate from UC Berkeley Law School. After earning her law degree and becoming a lawyer, Katherine founded Root and Rebound, a non-profit organization that strives to prepare the formerly incarcerated for success.

Katherine has put together a team of other professionals. Together, the developed the Roadmap to Reentry, a comprehensive guide for those who are returning to society. She and her colleagues train facilitators how to use the 1,200+ page manual. It includes training in nine separate areas of the law. Those who use the resource effectively arm themselves to triumph over many of the challenges that complicate adjustments for the majority of 750,000+ people who return to society each year from America’s jails and prisons.

Katherine spoke with the Earning Freedom audience today, telling us about her inspiring work and the challenges Root and Rebound faces. Next month I’ll travel to Oakland to contribute as a speaker for the group’s annual fund raising event. I’m hopeful that Root and Rebound succeeds in generating the resources it needs to combat the consequences that follow our nation’s commitment to mass incarceration.”

3.) READ IT: Why Carlos Montero Has Been in Rikers for Seven Years Without Trial (The Marshall Project)

“The story of Carlos Montero, who so far has spent 2,431 days in jail without a trial (much less a conviction) immediately raises a series of obvious questions about due process andspeedy trial rights under the Constitution. But Montero is one of hundreds of current jail inmates who are incarcerated indefinitely, despite the fact that no judge or jury ever has convicted them. At Rikers, approximately 400 inmates have been waiting for at least two years for their cases to get to trial.

4.) DISCUSS IT: Church Massacre Suspect Held as Charleston Grieves (New York Times)

Read more here:

5.) READ IT: Man Arrested as Teen Has Waited 7 Years in Rikers for Trial (NY Post)

“A Manhattan man has spent nearly all of the past seven years locked up on Rikers Island awaiting trial — a dubious record for pretrial incarceration that is not likely to end anytime soon, experts told The Post.

Carlos Montero, now 24, was with two pals when one fatally stabbed a man and the other slashed another during a robbery in Washington Heights on Oct. 23, 2008, authorities have charged.

Montero, who has spent six years and eight months in Rikers, attempted to get his case tried separately — while one of his alleged cohorts fights the DNA evidence — but the judge balked, and his lawyer won’t even seek bail for him now because he says it’s a lost cause.”


As adolescents trapped in a world of drugs, violence, and daily trauma, Noel, Harrison and Chris quickly lost their way. Before they could become adults, they were locked up in prison – given sentences that could leave them in their cells for the rest of their lives. Years later, they were given another chance: parole. Tamara Perkins’ “Life After Life”, follows their stories upon their release – each very different, each with unexpected, often heartbreaking turns and detours. Understated and surprising, “Life After Life” reveals what their paths to a new life – often measure in small awkward steps – can teach us about the prison system, American life, and our own values.

Filmmaker Tamara Perkins and some of the men featured in the film will be present to speak at the June 25th screening at Root & Rebound’s downtown Oakland office (1730 Franklin Street, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612) from 6pm.

Watch the trailer here: and visit the event page here:

Pick 6 (06/12/2015)

Views from 6Hello Friends. We’re back with our weekly feature–Pick 6. Our Pick 6 consists of 6 informative, insightful reentry & criminal justice-related news articles, commentaries, and media clips that we’ve been following throughout the week. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, so don’t be shy!

1.) HEAR IT: New Yorker reporter’s account of her interviews with Kalief Browder (NPR)

Jennifer Gonnerman, a reporter for the New Yorker, spoke to NPR’s Robert Siegel about Kalief Browder’s death. Browder, a 22-year-old man who spent three years incarcerated at Rikers Island without a trial or conviction, took his life on Saturday.

Gonnerman read a quote from Browder, who explained his emotions following his release by saying, “I’m mentally scarred right now. That’s how I feel. There are certain things that changed about me and they might not go back.”

For Gonnerman’s original New Yorker article, see:

For Gonnerman’s second New Yorker article following Browder’s suicide, see:

2.) SEE IT: S.F. sheriff sets lowest age in California for kids to visit loved ones in jail (SF Gate)


Sheriff signs into action policy that would lower the age limit and allow 16-year-olds to make solo visits with loved ones in San Francisco county jail.

“Mirkarimi said he decided on the policy change after consulting advocacy organizations for incarcerated parents and their children, as well as seeing the results of a systemwide survey of inmates that found that at any given time, there are more than 1,000 children in San Francisco with a parent in county jail.”

3.) WATCH IT: Hundreds Rally at the State House for Criminal Justice Reform (22 News WWLP)

Hundreds of people showed up at the Massachusetts State House in Boston in support of repealing mandatory minimum sentencing for drug convictions.

“Mandatory minimums have not lessened the use of drugs, the distribution on drugs. In fact, it’s no less distributed now than when the war on drugs started.” -Ben Swan (D-Springfield)

4.) READ IT: Who Gets to Go to the Pool? (New York Times)

“Water has long been a site of racial anxiety. Integrating city pools has led to riots, such as in 1931, when young black men in Pittsburgh were held underwater, dragged out and beaten by white swimmers while police officers watched. Segregated beaches were an early battleground for integration in Mississippi. When more than 100 black people held a wade-in in 1960, a white mob attacked them with pool sticks, lead pipes and chains.”

5.) DEBATE IT: Stalled DNA collection bill is revived in Legislature (LA Times)
“The measure, by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), would allow for DNA collection of people charged with a serious felony. It’s meant to be a back-up for the state’s current DNA collection law, which was struck down by a state appellate court last year. The law, which was approved by voters as Proposition 69 in 2004, remains in place pending a ruling from the California Supreme Court.”

“If you get arrested and you’re involved in [homicides or sex crimes], there’s a certain right [to privacy] that you lose.” -Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove

“[You’ve] started down a road where you’ve erased any balance between the legitimate needs of law enforcement and individual rights.” -Jeremy Gruber, President of the Council for Responsible Genetics

See also: An analysis of recent court rulings on Criminal DNA Collection at

6.) CELEBRATE IT: Long Beach man overcomes criminal past to earn degree, help others (Press-Telegram)

Rodney Coulter, a Long Beach man who was kicked out of two high schools and spent time in prison for drug charges, earned his associate’s degree in Human Services from the Long Beach City College on Wednesday. Coulter uses his lived experiences to teach others what he’s learned.

“Coulter has spoken to more than 5,000 people, and in the last year has delivered presentations more than 40 times, bringing an anti-gang and anti-crime message, and teaching people what to do if stopped by a police officer (obey, be calm, follow instructions, he says). …In prison, he reflected on his legacy — the kind of man he would be remembered as by his two daughters, his three grandchildren and a great-grandchild. And he made a promise to his father, that he would one day get his son back.”

Report of the week: Advancing a Federal Fair Chance Hiring Agenda (NELP)

In the spirit of NELP’s #BanTheBox action on June 10th, this week’s report is from NELP’s campaign to eliminate employment discrimination against formerly incarcerated people. This report focuses on the ways that local and state reforms are paving the way for presidential action on this topic.

Quote of the week: Carmen Perez (MSNBC)

“Rikers wasn’t a place for Kalief [Browder]. It’s not a place for the 10,000 teenagers currently residing in adult facilities across America.” -Carmen Perez, Executive Director of the Gathering for Justice

#BanTheBox: Take Action for Federal Fair-Chance Hiring!


Join the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights today for a National Day of Action calling on President Obama to give people with records a fair chance to work at federal agencies and contractors.

Here’s how to help:

  • Sign this letter to President Obama urging his administration to ‘Ban the Box’ on federal job applications and to adopt other fair chance hiring reforms for all job seekers, including those with records!
  • Send a tweet to President Obama (@POTUS)
    • It’s time for the U.S. to adopt a federal #FairChance hiring policy! Tell @POTUS to #BantheBox
    • @POTUS can help open up employment opportunities for qualified job-seekers with records #BanTheBox #FairChance
    • #FairChance reforms restore hope & opportunity to qualified job-seekers with an arrest or conviction record. @POTUS, it’s time to #BanTheBox

Nationwide, over 100 cities and counties have adopted what is widely known as “ban the box” so that employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a conviction record. These initiatives provide applicants a fair chance by removing the conviction history question on the job application and delaying the background check inquiry until later in the hiring.

17 states and over 100 cities and counties have taken steps to remove barriers to employment for qualified workers with records. Six states, the District of Columbia, and eleven cities and counties extend their fair chance hiring policies to local private employers. It’s time for President Obama to take executive action on federal fair chance hiring.

Here’s the bottom line: Fair chance hiring policies should extend to federal contractors and agents. Formerly incarcerated people deserve equitable opportunities to success.

“Ban the box” initiatives help individuals, families, and local communities by reducing the stigma attached to having a criminal record. These policies are based on fairness, inclusion, and community improvement. Citizens going through the reentry process face myriad barriers to their access to housing, social services, education, and employment. Fair chance hiring policies help alleviate boundaries to formerly incarcerated people’s success.

Stable and secure employment is critical if we hope to give meaningful second chances to people coming home from prison and jail. Formerly incarcerated people should not be denied the ability to succeed. The federal government has the opportunity to send a message that people in the reentry process are valuable—and valued—members of society.

Pick 6 (06/07/2015)

Views from 6

Hello Friends. We’re back with our weekly feature–Pick 6. Our Pick 6 consists of 6 informative, insightful reentry & criminal justice-related news articles and commentaries that we’ve been following throughout the week. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, so don’t be shy!

1.) Mississippi Cuts Work Program for Prisoners (New York Times)

“In a budget-cutting move, the Mississippi Department of Corrections announced on April 30 that it would shut down a program that paid counties to take in state inmates who worked free for local governments in return for shortened sentences. The change, scheduled to begin Aug. 1, is expected to affect more than 600 inmates. Other states that have reduced similar programs include North Carolina, Michigan and Florida.”

2.) Black Americans killed by police twice as likely to be unarmed as white people (Guardian)

“Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed during encounters with police as white people, according to a Guardian investigation which found 102 of 464 people killed so far this year in incidents with law enforcement officers were not carrying weapons.”

ALSO SEE: The Counted (The Guardian’s Database of people killed by police in the U.S.)

3.) My greatest burden is also my greatest asset – Christopher Poulos (Maine Law)

“My greatest burden is also my greatest asset. It is one thing to read a book about what it means to be in prison, be homeless, or put a needle in your arm, it is another thing entirely to have actually experienced and survived those challenges,” Poulos said. “I see myself as an asset to people in the criminal justice system, to Maine Law, and to the legal profession not in spite of my past, but because of it.”

4.) Studies Confirm the Dehumanization of Black Children and the ‘Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline’ (Common Dreams)

“Although African-Americans constitute only 13 percent of all Americans, nearly half of all prison inmates in the U.S. are black. This startling statistic has led the United Nations Human Rights Committee to publicly criticize the U.S. for its treatment of African-Americans. A number of recent studies and reports paint a damning picture of how American society dehumanizes blacks starting from early childhood.”

5.) City Will Not Renew Corizon Contracts for Rikers Health Care: Sources (DNA Info)

Corizon, the Tennessee-based company, will not have its contracts renewed, sources say. The company, which has run health care in the city’s jails since 2001, has been blamed for the preventable deaths of at least a dozen inmates and had its care called “incompetent” multiple times by the state.”

ALSO SEE: Dominik Taylor’s article about Corizon on R&R’s blog here.

6.) A growing experience (Washington Post)

“It’s planting season behind bars, where officials from San Quentin in California to Rikers Island in New York have turned dusty patches into powerful metaphors for rebirth. The idea: transform society’s worst by teaching them how things bloom — heads of cabbage, flowers, inmates themselves.”

Audio of the week) In Norway, A Prison Built on Second Chances (APR)

Pick 6 (05/31/2015)

Views from 6

Hello Friends. We’re back with our weekly feature–Pick 6. Our Pick 6 consists of 6 informative, insightful reentry & criminal justice-related news articles and commentaries that we’ve been following throughout the week. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, so don’t be shy!

1.) Nebraska Bans Death Penalty, Defying a Veto (New York Times)

“Nebraska on Wednesday became the first conservative state in more than 40 years to abolish the death penalty, with lawmakers defying their Republican governor, Pete Ricketts, a staunch supporter of capital punishment who had lobbied vigorously against banning it…Since 2007, six states have abolished the death penalty: Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico and New Jersey. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a research group opposed to the death penalty, no conservative state has banned capital punishment since North Dakota in 1973.”

For more, see this New York Times Opinion Piece

2.) Cleveland’s Second Chance at Police Reform (PBS)

“Hammered out over five months, the deal lays out broad changes to the department’s policies for use of force, incident investigations, and stops, searches and seizures. It calls for a civilian to lead the internal affairs division — a rare move — and for the creation of a police inspector general, to be appointed by the mayor. It will also train more officers to respond to people in mental health crisis and introduce training on structural racism and implicit bias.

It also calls for oversight. The process, which will be tracked by an independent monitor chosen jointly by the DOJ and the city, is legally binding and will conclude only when the city has demonstrated “sustained and substantial compliance” to a federal judge.”

3.) Louisiana Senate Approves Bill to Reform Draconian Marijuana Possession Law (Drug Policy Alliance)

“One of the key drivers of Louisiana’s world-leading incarceration rate is the war on drugs – 18,000 Louisiana residents are arrested for drug law violations each year…According to a 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, Louisiana suffers from some of the worst racial disparities in marijuana enforcement of any state in the U.S.  Black Louisianans are arrested for marijuana possession at 3 times the rate as their white counterparts, despite the fact that black and white people use and sell marijuana at similar rates.”

4.) 2nd Chance” Job Fair Gives Former Inmates New Chance at Life (Houston Forward Times Online)

“Over 30 companies participated in the Job Fair, where they distributed job applications and conducted on-the-spot interviews. Individuals were also on-site to assist job seekers with the interviewing skills and resume writing. Attorney Vivian King was on-hand to explain voting rights to attendees and to provide assistance with any legal questions.”

5.) West Oakland’s City Slicker Farmers Employers Formerly Incarcerated Area Residents at $20 per hour (Mercury News)

“There is no real pathway for people coming out of the joint,” Brown said. “You come out, get $200 and good luck. If you are black and have a sixth-grade education and you come out of prison, you can kiss your life goodbye. You are not going to get a job.”

6.) 8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color (Center for American Progress)

People of color are extremely overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. According to a 2014 report on racial discrimination in America, juveniles of color represented 67 percent of “juveniles committed to public facilities nationwide,” nearly twice their share of the juvenile population. Despite comprising only 15 percent of the juvenile population, black juveniles were arrested two times more often than their white counterparts.”

Report of the week) Picking Up the Pieces – Policing in America, a Minneapolis Case Study (ACLU)