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Criminologists around the globe are writing about the disproportionate criminalization of minority groups and – in the US in particular – about racial disproportionality in all aspects of the criminal justice system. This wealth of knowledge in progressive criminology rarely animates reform efforts: it has had little impact on formal policymaking, and has failed to animate the work of grassroots activists engaged in the fight for justice system reform. Yet given the increased criminalization of young people in poor communities – and the possibilities for change at this very moment – progressive criminological ideas have never been more important. We need to think about ways to make them public. Toward this end, this paper discusses possible partnerships between progressive criminology and social justice organizations struggling to transform the criminal justice system. While describing nine such groups, we detail a set of recommendations for bridging the gap between progressive criminology and social justice organizations.

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