Criminal Justice News

10 Criminal Justice Facts You Probably Never Knew

1. WOMEN: There has been a “760% increase in the number of women incarcerated since 1980.” ((The Sentencing Project)
2. MENTAL ILLNESS: “Ten times more mentally ill people are in jails and prisons than state psychiatric hospitals.” (Slate, January 5, 2016)
3. DEBT: “People with convictions are saddled with…fees, fines, and debt (while) their economic opportunities are diminished, resulting in a lack of economic stability …” (Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, September 2015)
4. PLEA BARGAINING: The…majority of felony convictions are now the result of plea bargains—some 94 percent at the state level, and some 97 percent at the federal level. (The Atlantic, September 2017)
5. JUVENILES: Despite a significant drop (nearly 50 %) in the number of juveniles committed to juvenile facilities, youth of color are more likely to be committed than white juveniles. (The Sentencing Project)
6. STIGMA: “Being locked up scars, stigmatizes and damages.” (The New Republic, June 28, 2017)
7. “A history of incarceration is linked to vulnerability to disease…and a greater likelihood of premature death.” (The New Republic, June 28, 2017)
8. AFRICAN AMERICANS: “African Americans make up nearly 1 million of 2.3 million persons incarcerated and are incarcerated at six (6) times the rate of whites.” (The New Republic, June 28, 2017)
9. OLDER INMATES: “Nationally, the prison population aged 55 and older quadrupled while the overall prison population increased by 41%.” (“Aging in Prison: Reducing Elder Incarceration and Promoting Public Safety”–Release Aging People in Prison Campaign report, November 2015)
10. EMPLOYMENT: “Nationwide nearly 60 percent of ex-prisoners are unemployed one year after their release from prison.” (Prison Fellowship)

Criminal Justice News

New museums document mass incarceration and lynchings in America; the “best” and “worst” criminal justice news of 2017; a community campaign

One Mother’s Voice: In the Name of Justice” (OMV) podcast has moved to SoundCloud, where you can find a selection of previous episodes.

My Mission

I am the mother of a now-deceased son who spent too many years lost to the streets and New York State prisons.

Those were hard years for me. I did not fully understand the impact of his incarceration on me until many years later. Emotionally numb most of the time, I constantly battled anxiety, fear, helplessness, and worry. All that ended with his death in prison in 1999.

Consequently, I know firsthand how scary having a son in prison can be. Most mothers simply don’t know how to deal with their feelings, the prison system, or the ordeals of their incarcerated sons.

Most mothers have limited resources to hire lawyers or little power to challenge decisions that often lead to hardship for the family (such as relocating inmates without notice to families or warehousing them long distances from their communities).

If there are allegations of mistreatment or abuse, most mothers feel helpless to do anything about it.

Understanding these realities, I use my experiences and my voice to support, educate, and empower mothers with sons in prison.

No mother has to suffer in silence or isolation. You have a platform with One Mother’s Voice: In the Name of Justice.

Top Five OMV Episodes for 2017

Between 2015 and 2017, we uploaded 41 episodes, including “Inmates: Prisoners of Corporate Money-makers;” “Prisoner Health (S)care: from bad to worse;” “The Sorry State of the Public Defender System;” and “Criminal Justice Money Traps.” 

  1. A Tribute to Venida Browder
  2. Six Criminal Justice “Must Reads”
  3. End Solitary Confinement for Kids
  4. Island in the River
  5. Mother of Inmates Suffer in Silence

Best Criminal Justice News

The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice will open on April 26, 2018 in Montgomery, Alabama (at different locations). The Museum is housed on a site where former slaves were sold; the Memorial commemorates 4400 lynchings (between 1877 and 1950) documented by the EJI.

Bryan Stevenson, executive director for the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), says that the Museum will feature first-hand accounts of enslaved people; compelling visuals, and fine art pieces from renowned African-American  sculptors, Titus Kaphar and Sandford Biggers. Stevenson is the award-winning author of the New York Times‘ bestseller, No Equal Justice, and a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize.

Worst Criminal Justice News 

In December 2017, Erica Garner, 27, daughter of  Eric Garner, fell into a coma and died. Her father died from a choke-hold at the hands of New York City police officers in 2014 after they confronted him about selling loose cigarettes in front of a Staten Island convenience store.

In the aftermath of his death, Erica became a vocal critic of police brutality. Sadly, we lost a dynamic, outspoken advocate for social and criminal justice too soon.

Looking Ahead

Outreach is the focus of our efforts for 2018. To that end, OMV is launching “Heart-to-Heart,” a series of talks at local churches and organizations in Las Vegas about mass incarceration and its impact on families and communities.

Likewise, we are seeking mothers with sons in prison to share their experiences on the podcast.

Some upcoming topics that we will explore are:

  • The health implications for mothers with sons in prison
  • The stigma of having a son in prison
  • Mothers who became criminal justice advocates (Mattie L. Humphrey, Sherry Grace, Rhonda Robinson, and Venida Browder)

If you are a mom with a son in prison, contact me






































Criminal Justice News

Teenager Pedro Hernandez: a twisted tale of juvenile justice chronicled in series

A couple of months ago, on my podcast, One Mother’s Voice, I featured a news story about Pedro Hernandez, a Bronx, NY teenager held at Rikers Island in NYC for allegedly shooting another teenager in the leg in 2015, a charge which he denies.

At that time, Hernandez refused a plea deal offered by the Bronx DA, preferring to take his chances at trial. He had hoped to get out on $250,000 in time to take advantage of a full scholarship for college. Eventually, a judge reduced his bail and a local bail fund put up $100,000.

But, Hernandez’s story is much more complicated according to journalist Shaun King, who is doing a series of articles detailing what he describes as “the most painful, traumatic, outrageous, outlandish, over-the-top story of government sanctioned police brutality, wrongful imprisonment, wrongful convictions, forced testimony, widespread corruption, money, lots of money, and deep, deep, deep soul-snatching psychological abuse in modern American history.”

Follow this series, “Soul Snatchers:  How the NYPD’s 42nd Precinct, the Bronx DA’s Office, and the City of New York Conspired to Destroy Black and Brown Lives (Part 1)” for the full story.