Nashville Community Bail Fund Launches as Independent Org

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Nashville Community Bail Fund, started by Memphis-based criminal justice reform advocacy group Just City, has become a standalone nonprofit organization. The fund began in June of 2016 with Nashville-based funding and leadership and has freed more than 100 people from pre-trial detention. More than 97 percent of those people returned to court. The Nashville Community Bail …

Just City’s 2018 Legislative Agenda

Last year at this time, we announced our 2017 legislative agenda — a set of fresh ideas and new policies focused on making Tennessee’s workforce stronger, helping more people attain economic self-sufficiency, and keeping our neighborhoods safer by reducing recidivism. We are proud to report that, thanks to your tireless advocacy and the cooperation of many courageous and thoughtful Tennessee …

Even the Wrongfully Accused Need a Clean Slate

“One day 30 years ago, June Newsome was buying baby supplies with a credit card given to her by their child’s father. As she was checking out, Newsome was stopped at the register, unable to complete her purchase. The credit card she was using had been stolen, but that wasn’t even the worst part. When police investigated, for some reason the detective …

Federal Judge Orders Tennessee Driver Licenses Reinstated

“A federal judge has reinstated the drivers’ licenses of two Tennessee residents, thanks to a class action lawsuit challenging the state’s practice of suspending licenses for unpaid traffic fines. The suit is still ongoing, but the reinstatement is a good sign; groups representing the plaintiffs say this may be the first court decision of its kind. Attorneys for Civil Rights …

Just City Guest Column on Bizjournals.Com: “Memphis will pay high cost for Sessions’ criminal justice policies”

From Bizjournals.com: “Earlier this week, federal, state, and local officials gathered at City Hall to announce that they were “Fed Up” with violent crime, and they introduced a new plan to combat it. However, there is nothing new about their approach, which consists mostly of an advertising campaign and stiffer sentences. In continuing to deny the ineffectiveness of enhanced punishment, …

Just City on Memphis Daily News: “We have systems that are treating people differently based on the color of their skin”

From Memphis Daily News: “Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael acknowledged Monday, July 24, that the court still has a problem with disproportionate minority contact. That is African-American youth who not only show up in the court more often than white youth, but get disproportionately harsher punishments and are more likely to be transferred for trial as adults than white children …

Just City on WMC Action News 5: “Research shows putting people behind bars for longer is more expensive and does not actually cut crime”

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – “With violent crime up almost 10 percent in Memphis and Shelby County, law enforcement agencies want to see tougher penalties for those convicted of gun violence. However, the idea of tougher sentencing and locking people up for longer periods of time is not favored by everyone. Josh Spickler, with Just City, said research shows putting people …

Just City on NPR: “Let Local People Solve Local Problems”

NPR.org – “Five years ago, the Justice Department concluded that juvenile courts in Memphis, Tenn., failed to give due process to children. Civil rights investigators uncovered significant racial disparities, and they reached a deal to fix some of those failings. Now, local officials are asking to terminate federal oversight. They’re making their pitch to Justice Department leaders, who have a very …