Two important decisions on Monday indicate significant progress in the efforts to reform our criminal justice system: in New York City’s Floyd case on stop and frisk a federal judge ruled that this controversial policing practice violates constitutional rights, and Attorney General Eric Holder announced that federal prosecutors will no longer invoke mandatory minimum sentencing laws for low-level drug offenders.

In her opinion against the City of New York, Judge Shira Scheindlin referenced Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow twice, citing the book for her conclusion that “rather than being a defense against the charge of racial profiling” the City’s argument “is itself a racially biased explanation,” (see page 56 of thecourt decision) and again in her remedy opinion, referencing the racial disparities in our criminal justice system and the biased policing that perpetuates them.

It's great to finally see some good news. Both laws represented an appalling use of the justice system to further marginalize POC primarily and both represent the use of fear to inflict social control that has nothing to do with the betterment of society.