Mapping Injustice: Navigating the Criminal Legal System 101 - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Mapping Injustice: Navigating the Criminal Legal System 101

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Grassroots organizers are leading the fight to dismantle the incarceration state. In its current form, the criminal legal system criminalizes and incarcerates people of color in the name of “law and order.”

In 2021, Advancement Project National Office, along with Michigan Liberation, Close the Workhouse, Neighborhood Defender Service Detroit, Detroit Justice Center, and East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition (EBRPPRC), partnered to present a forum series on the various phases of a criminal case:

  1. Policing, Arrest, and Pretrial
  2. Trial, Sentencing, and Plea Negotiations
  3. Incarceration and Re-Entry

During each session, organizers and lawyers mapped the various obstacles that exist in our incarceration state and offered insights and tools that can help individuals navigate the criminal legal system, including:

  • How to distinguish between state and federal law enforcement agencies in an effort to understand and diminish the reach of their powers.
  • A guide to stakeholders across the legal system, including judges, prosecutors, sheriffs, and others.
  • What questions to ask your lawyer (court-appointed or private) or the lawyer of a loved one.
  • Potential collateral consequences resulting from a criminal case, including housing, immigration, and employment issues.
  • Community-designed strategies for fighting against oppressive bail practices and demanding accountability from elected officials.
  • Useful resources to meaningfully advocate for individuals impacted by incarceration.

View all three sessions below and download the accompanying illustrated notes help to guide your education on these critical issues.

Policing, Arrest, and Pretrial

Trial, Sentencing, and Plea Negotiations

Incarceration and Re-Entry

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