kalief browder

Kalief Browder

“The responsibility for the death of Kalief Browder – who committed suicide over the weekend – should be placed squarely where it belongs—not on some abstract criminal justice system that has failed all New Yorkers, but on the leaders who lack the determination to change that system. Mayor Bill De Blasio can take steps to immediately reduce the staggering violence of our penal institutions. For starters, the immediate removal of all youth from Rikers Island is a conservative step in the right direction. There is no meaningful reform that involves young people remaining incarcerated on Riker’s Island.”

“But without a concerted effort to intervene in Riker’s well-document pattern of abuse against all of its incarcerated we ensure the maintenance of an appalling culture of violence. Observers have long known that New York’s premier institution of punishment churns out human carnage on a much grander scale than public safety or rehabilitation. Ultimately, he closing of Rikers and the right-sizing and decentralization of NYC’s jail system would present an opportunity to make smart investments in public safety measures that have been shown to work.”

“Rikers Island is only as guilty as the authors of its devastation and those who look the other way. Ultimately, we are all collectively responsible for the death of Kalief, since our insidious criminal justice system exists in our name. The heartbreaking loss of Kalief reminds us that criminal justice reform isn’t merely an academic exercise being negotiated in our nation’s power centers—the lives of our children are literally on the line.” – Glenn  E. Martin, Founder and President, JustLeadershipUSA

glenn e martin

Glenn E. Martin

GLENN E. MARTIN is the Founder and President of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), an organization dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. Glenn is a national leader and criminal justice reform advocate who spent six years in New York State prisons. Prior to founding JLUSA, Glenn served for seven years as Vice President of Development and Public Affairs at The Fortune Society, one of the most respected reentry organizations in the country and six years as Co-Director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center. For more information visit: www.justleadershipusa.org





Jacky Johnson
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