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Jacob Kraus

Interfaith Rally for Criminal Justice Reform

As Reform Jews from across North America converge on Washington, D.C. for the Consultation on Conscience from April 30 to May 2, we will be learning about and acting to address the most pressing social justice issues our society is facing today. Among those is America’s broken criminal justice system, rife with racial disparities and strained by the high costs of mass incarceration.

At Consultation, we will learn from experts racial justice issues, including the criminal justice system. The Sunday evening plenary session, “Combatting the Blasphemy of Bigotry: Today's Struggle for...

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Second Chance Month Logo

In the United States today, 2.3 million people are incarcerated and more than 20 times that number – 65 million Americans –  have a criminal record. What opportunities are available for those who have paid their debt to society to re-enter their communities? What obstacles exist as they seek to take their lives in a different direction?

These questions are important for us to consider this April, which has been designated Second Chance Month by Prison Fellowship. Second Chance Month calls on us to confront the challenges returning citizens face as they strive to find jobs, housing...

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One of my favorite parts of my family’s Passover seder (aside from the food) are all the questions that are asked throughout the night. I do not only mean those that are written in the haggadah – each year, friends and family ask their own questions about the story of how we obtained our freedom and what it means for us today. This makes each seder unique and challenges us to reinterpret this narrative in light of the challenges and opportunities facing our people and our society in this moment.

This year, Passover provides a compelling moment to discuss our shared pursuit of...

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Since the start of the 115th Congress and the presidential inauguration, we have seen messages coming from the White House, the legislative branch and the Supreme Court that give a mixed impression of the future of criminal justice reform. These range from executive orders that could set the stage for tough on crime policies to continued calls for sentencing reform and a growing admission of the corrupting role racial bias plays in our criminal justice system.

Early in February, the Trump administration issued three executive orders regarding crime in the United States. None of the...

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From North Carolina to Arkansas, laws that could restrict the right to vote are being debated in state legislatures and challenged in the courts. With changes in both federal and state governments, some key cases we have been watching are weathering major changes, while new proposals are emerging to expand voter ID requirements. Here are three voting rights developments to watch in the coming months:

In one of its first moves since the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has dramatically changed course in its approach to a case... Read More