Prosecutors, sheriffs, and other local officials wield immense power over the criminal justice system. They are well-connected players who frequently lobby for or against reforms in legislatures. While these officials and their influence often fly under the radar, recent activism has cast a brighter spotlight on them. Paradigm-shifting victories for candidates championing reform has reshaped local elections, and issues relating to mass incarceration, policing, and immigration policy have grown more salient in many types of races—for sheriff, prosecutor, governor, mayor, legislators, and county commissions. This has amplified national debates, and upended the relationships between prosecutors, sheriffs, and other politicians.
The Appeal: Political Report casts a brighter light on the local politics of mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. It highlights often-overlooked but highly consequential local elections, drawing out their stakes, contrasts, and repercussions. It focuses on policies and decisions implemented by local officials to reveal the political choices sustaining mass incarceration, and on alternatives that call those choices into question. It will continue providing new tools that show how this national movement is made up of a multitude of decentralized struggles.
This present website, The Appeal: Political Report, is edited by Daniel Nichanian. Contact: daniel.nichanian (at) theappeal.org
Visit our main website, The Appeal, for more in-depth coverage of the criminal justice system and law enforcement practices. You can sign up for The Appeal’s two newsletters: “The Daily Appeal” (by Vaidya Gullapalli and Sarah Lustbader) and “The Appeal: Political Report” (by Daniel Nichanian).
Here is a menu of some of the resources you can find on the present site:
- Here is our page on the approximately 500 elections for prosecutor and sheriff that are occurring in 2019 and their election dates, with detailed previews to come.
- Here are the pages for our state-specific series that track local organizing efforts to end felony disenfranchisement, and to target county-level ICE agreements.
- If you wish to revisit the local elections that occurred in 2018, you can use this interactive map to access previews of dozens of local elections that affected criminal justice reform, or you can read this resource on where cooperation with ICE was on the line.
- Here is our page that features state legislation relevant to criminal justice and law enforcement.
Finally, you can also access our latest articles and dives into the local and state politics of criminal justice systems.