The Pope and the Prison System: Two Links

"Some Inmates Who Met Pope Francis Are Only in Jail Because They're Poor": PHILADELPHIA -- When Pope Francis visited an overcrowded prison on Sunday, he talked to inmates about the need for "rehabilitation" and for inmates to get "back on the right road." What he may not have realized is that most of the inmates being held in Philadelphia's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility have not yet been convicted of a crime.Some of the inmates who met Pope Francis have been charged with serious c … [Read more...]

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“Why Transgender Kids Should Wait to Transition”: Pacific Standard

short essay:...But research has shown that most gender dysphoric children outgrow their dysphoria, and do so by adolescence: Most will grow up to be happy, gay adults, and some, like myself, to be happy, straight adults. There is a small proportion of trans kids whose dysphoria will persist and who would benefit from medical intervention, but the tricky part remains predicting whom these ideal candidates will be. For a young child whose gender dysphoria would have desisted without … [Read more...]

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“Married or Not, All Families Deserve Equal Benefits”: WaPo

I would frame this in terms of supporting caregiving--framing things in terms of "equality" just encourages people to judge the depth of others' relationships in the abstract (are boyfriends and husbands really equal?), instead of asking whether caregiving and sacrificial love are really taking place. Still, this makes an important point: Both government and the private sector can do more. Only three states have paid family leave laws, and only California’s law covers care for siblings, gran … [Read more...]

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“I Reviewed Jail on Yelp Because I Couldn’t Afford a Therapist”: The Marshall Project

with many and varied windows into the human condition:...User-review sites have become an unlikely destination for raw, informative accounts of Americans’ everyday interactions with our criminal justice system. Yelp declined to provide the number of prison and jail reviews on its site, but dozens of correctional facilities are filed under “Public Services & Government” alongside DMVs and post offices. Search for your local prison or jail and chances are that Google reviews will pop up alo … [Read more...]

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“Redesigning a Prison Town”: Next City

magazine: ...Ionia is a prison town. That is its primary industry. That’s why there’s a shiver that runs through town when word spreads about the possible closure of one of those facilities. Most of the thousands of inmates incarcerated in them come from 130-some miles away in southeast Michigan, where Detroit is the hub. The distance makes for a severe reduction in family visits and programming, which ultimately increases recidivism — that is, it increases crime. But building prisons here is wh … [Read more...]

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The Long, Hot Summer: Jesse Walker on Rising Crime in US Cities

at Reason: ...On top of all that, there's the simple fact that we don't know yet whether this is a blip or a trend. In 2005, after crime had been declining for more than a decade, the FBI revealed that homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults had all grown more common in the previous year. The Police Executive Research Forum promptly produced a paper titled "A Gathering Storm—Violent Crime in America," which opened with a warning that such numbers could be "the front end of a tipping point … [Read more...]

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“Selling Plasma to Survive: How Over a Million American Families Live on $2 a Day”: New Book from Kathryn Edin

coauthor of the excellent Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage and Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City: In early 2011, 1.5 million American households, including 3 million children, were living on less than $2 in cash per person per day. Half of those households didn't have access to in-kind benefits like food stamps, either. Worst of all, the numbers had increased dramatically since 1996.Those are the astonishing findings Johns Hopkins' Kathryn … [Read more...]

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