Tag
Criminal Justice

On Tuesday evening, I went to the prison in Bonne Terre to stand in solidarity with our colleagues at Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty in opposing the execution of Kevin Johnson. I honestly didn’t attend in my official capacity as a staff member at Empower Missouri. As I had learned the details of...
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The language we use to describe systems of oppression greatly shapes our understanding of these systems and the people and communities impacted by them. This is especially true when it comes to the criminal legal system and our understanding of justice, or the lack thereof. Advocates around the country are engaging in conversation around the...
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Over the last six weeks, we have described Missouri’s practice of outsourcing probation and supervision services to private businesses and introduced why it is a problem and why we seek to make this a priority. For another brief summary of the issue, Human Rights Watch produced a short video describing how for-profit companies impact us....
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In part one of this series, we provided a brief introduction to the concept of private probation – the practice of outsourcing probation services for minor and low-level offenses to private businesses. In the second part of this series, we will explore  the issue in more depth, and answer two questions: how serious is the...
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Members of Empower Missouri’s Criminal Justice Coalition have been discussing Missouri’s use of private probation and the impact on our communities. Missouri is one of about nine others who have outsourced probation services. In conversation with family and friends,  we realized there are a lot of us who have never heard of the practice. This...
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Last Saturday, June 11th, Empower Missouri supporters, coalition members, staff and other guests gathered at the Piper Palm House in St. Louis to honor our six Advocates of the Year. It was wonderful to be back together in person, the first time in a long time for many of us, and it would not have...
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We knew going into the legislative session that it would be a wild year. Unfortunately, wild years where very little gets done has become the normal legislative process in Missouri. It wasn’t designed to be this way. However, partisan infighting, electoral maps designed to favor one party, distrust in government and an overall breakdown in...
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On Wednesday, May 11th, Empower Missouri, Criminal Justice Ministry, the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis, Metropolitan Congregations United, the Missouri Catholic Conference, Missouri Coalition of Recovery Support Providers and More2 joined together to host a discussion on the Clean Slate Initiative, featuring speakers Rabbi Doug Alpert, Tom Casey, Brandon Reid, Christine McDonald, and...
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In 1996, Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), sometimes known as the welfare reform bill. Buried deep within that sweeping legislation was a provision that hardly received any debate, but has had lifelong implications for millions of Americans. This provision imposed a lifetime ban on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program...
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This past week Empower Missouri held its Annual Week of Action. In addition to 3 virtual days, this year we were able to be back in the Capitol for the first time in over 2 years! It was so good to be back.  On each of our virtual days attendees were able to learn about...
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