so I don't have to. He makes his point in his characteristically careful, suggestive style, so I will add value by being incautious and blunt: Crime hysteria leads to expansions of state surveillance and punishment that target poor and minority communities. Gun control isn't different just because you personally are a progressive. Progressives are advocating for tools that others will wield. That is still true--in some ways more true, because the fear runs deeper--when the crime is real and … [Read more...]
Five Links from a Criminal Justice System: Better DAs, Union vs. Heroism, Divisive Forgiveness, The Treatment-Industrial Complex, And What About the Crime Problem?
"How to Run Against a Tough-on-Crime District Attorney--And Win": District attorneys and the prosecutors who work for them are the most powerful actors in the American criminal justice system. They enjoy immense latitude in deciding what crimes to charge people with and how much prison time to push for. And yet their role in the growth of the country’s prison population, which went from less than 200,000 in 1972 to 1.5 million today, often goes unacknowledged as policymakers in Washington d … [Read more...]
voxes: ...Once we saved up enough money to buy a house of our own in Washington, DC's Petworth neighborhood, we deliberately chose a place in which we would always have room for housemates, even if we had kids in the future. As soon as we closed on our house, our first purchase was a long dining room table that could accommodate our group dinners.For us, living in a group house was not a phase to grow out of but a lifestyle choice that valued people over privacy. Sure, we lose certain … [Read more...]
aka my to-do list, am I right?Anyway, this is a request for help with three possible long-term projects. Email me at email@example.com if you have any thoughts.1. What are the best novels you've read with depictions of attempts to make amends, or attempts to extend forgiveness? I'm looking for everything--botched attempts, ill-conceived attempts, gritted-teeth attempts, attempts that succeed beyond the penitent's wildest dreams, attempts whose success only creates new problems, etc … [Read more...]
"Photos of 1960s US Prison System Attempt to Show that Inmates Are Us": Lyon's images are an echo of an earlier time, a time when uniforms were white and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing time. But the photos also serve as a dark omen, of a prison-industrial complex that would only grow more hungry, more unjust, more powerful. "The prison changed me a lot, and not in the way I could have predicted," Lyon said. "There is an expression about dope, 'Once the needle goes in, it never comes … [Read more...]
Five Links from a Criminal Justice System: Meeting Your Kidnappers, Keeping Mothers Out of Prison, Putting Cops in Schools, And Gullah Amends
Most of these links have a theme of "aftermath," I guess."What Happened After My Kidnapping":Hello, my name is Brad Pearson. In March 2006, you were one of three people who kidnapped me in West Philadelphia.I’m writing this letter not because I’m angry at you, or upset, or hurt. The opposite, actually. While the kidnapping and investigation were difficult for me, in the end they made me a stronger man.I’m a magazine writer now, and I’ve always hoped to talk to you and Jerry and Mo … [Read more...]