News & Blog
Real court is not like Law & Order. Although this sounds like a fairly obvious truth, I didn’t grasp how truly different the real justice system was until I visited the Forsyth County courts. And perhaps the biggest misconception TV shows promote is the notion that a person can “have their day in court.”
The debate over the death penalty has long been about morality. Those in favor argue that the punishment must fit the crime, and that the taking of the life deserves the loss of one’s life.
On December 16, 2018, CJPC Executive Director Dawn Blagrove joined Irving Joyner and April Dawson, law professors at North Carolina Central University School of Law, for their weekly one-hour show.
This December CJPC, Executive Director Dawn Blagrove was able to share her breadth of expertise on a police accountability panel at the 75th Annual NAACP of NC State Convention in Raleigh.
Prosecutors wield enormous power in the “war against drugs.” They have the ability to widen the net of who is convicted of drug charges in the way they interpret and pursue laws. This ranges from charging mothers addicted to drugs with child abuse, to combating anyone whose opinion differs from their own.
On Saturday, December 8, CJPC Executive Director Dawn Blagrove joined Rev. Curtis E. Gatewood, President & Founder for JUSTICE Ministration and the Stop Killing Us (SKU) Solutions Campaign and other community activists and families of police violence victims for a “Uniting the Streets” gathering in Durham (both pictured above).
While the election was truly a nail-biter, and ultimately filled with outcomes both wonderful and challenging, one thing was clear – the people of North Carolina are beginning to demand accountability and reform from their local elected officials. For that, we are inspired to keep the momentum going to bring real and lasting change to North Carolina’s criminal justice system, county by county.
In North Carolina, moms that have given birth in prison are in need of many resources they are not offered by the current government systems. However, two incredible organizations in North Carolina are addressing the needs of mothers who have given birth in prison.
In a series of four podcasts, NPR and the Northwestern University School of Journalism found that female inmates are disciplined disproportionately in prisons. Women get disciplined at higher rates than men, especially with smaller infractions. They get written up at two to three times the rate that men do for minor violations.
A recent new report from the Prison Policy Initiative provides the first estimate of housing insecurity in the 5 million formerly incarcerated individuals in the US. The report breaks down the prevalence of homelessness by demographic area and begins to assess some causes and solutions to the problem.
Beginning in 2019, Haywood and Jackson counties will become the first judicial districts in North Carolina to pilot a pretrial release program. The goal of this program is to reduce mass incarceration and recidivism rates.
The Spike documentary, “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” released in 2017 and available now on Netflix, paints a vivid picture of Kalief Browder’s hellish experience with the criminal justice system, a story that could seem unbelievable for Americans that are unfamiliar with criminal justice issues.
Poetic Justice, the Carolina Justice Policy Center’s inaugural annual fundraiser held last month, was not only educational, it was also a profoundly moving experience for both the audience and speakers. This powerful event paired spoken word artists with criminal justice advocates to tell true stories from the criminal justice system.
Recently, a company called JPay signed a contract with the New York Department of Corrections to give the people incarcerated there free tablets. The Prison Policy Initiative decided asked an important question about this contract that the lawmakers didn’t: “What would motivate a company to give away 52,000 tablet computers for free?” What they discovered was that the free tablets were part of a larger “bundled services” contract for JPay.
It wasn’t until I saw the coffin-sized metal box above my head with the name Wake County on it that I froze. My body could no longer move, as tears streamed silently down my cheeks. The box bore three simple pieces of data: the name of the county I had lived in for much of my life, the name George Taylor, and the date he was mutilated, shot over 100 times, and hung from a tree by four white men: November 5, 1918.
The prison safety issues in North Carolina are representative of a larger, national issue. Federal prisons nationwide are understaffed and have been so for some time. However, the hiring freeze at the beginning of the Trump administration and emphasis on reducing the size of both the government and the budget has intensified the problem under the Trump administration.
The Police Accountability Community Taskforce, or PACT, is calling for the creation of an official community police oversight board in Raleigh. The Carolina Justice Policy Center and an advocacy group called Save Our Sons are also working with PACT.
Judge A. Graham Shirley of Wake County has ordered certain video and audio recordings from the Wake County Sheriff department, Raleigh police department, and state troopers to be released. They are now available to be viewed by the public.
Two State Highway Patrol Troopers indicted for the brutal beating of Kyron Hinton have been fired. N.C. troopers Michael G. Blake and Tabithia L. Davis were terminated, resulting from an internal department investigation. Read more about the firings here.