Misdemeanors Matter #2: Alexandra Natapoff on a Legacy of Injustice

Alexandra Natapoff calls the misdemeanor justice system a “quiet behemoth”: making up four of every five criminal cases in the U.S., neglected by scholars and reformers, and potentially harming those caught up in it for life. In Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal, she describes a system warped by financial incentives that acts as a leading engine of racial and social inequality. She also says the reforms are obvious, and already happening in pockets across the country.

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