Don’t Medicalize My Eschaton: Five Links from a Criminal Justice System

Let's start with an op-ed in the Gotham Gazette showing how easy it is to camouflage increased punishment and surveillance as "support services": "More Evidence Punitive NYPD Youth Programs Fail":This week the New York Times revealed the content of an internal NYPD report showing that a much lauded juvenile crime program doesn’t work. It’s yet another example of misguided punitive policing, offering little by way of actual progress. Originally developed under the title “Juvenile Robbery Inte … [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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Quick and Cheap Reviews of Quick and Cheap Movies

Or, a quick fix of slick flicks.Devil's Pass: Found-footage Dyatlov Pass Incident investigation. Some fun Russian scenery; very nice twist at the end.Kill List: An aging contract killer goes in for One Last Job and things predictably go haywire. An unexpectedly emotional film; you can feel the regret and confusion of the characters, and their relationships are sharply-drawn. Also very twisty in the back half, with the final twist an especially nasty one. Much better than it had to be, … [Read more...]

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“Did the Red Cross Let Its Fear of the Occupy Movement Interfere with Its Disaster Relief?”: Jesse Walker

at Reason: If you paid attention to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, you probably know that some of the centralized institutions charged with disaster relief, such as the Red Cross and FEMA, performed very poorly. You may also have heard about Occupy Sandy, an Occupy Wall Street spinoff devoted to helping people after the storm; by all accounts it performed very well. The latter group's effectiveness was recognized even by the Department of Homeland Security, an organization not ordinarily inclined … [Read more...]

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“Mass Shooting Hysteria and the Death of John Crawford”: I’ll stop linking Radley Balko’s articles

when the nation stops needing them... ...There are some obvious questions here about police training, most importantly why they fired so quickly and made no attempt at de-escalation. If they had, it seems pretty clear that Crawford would have dropped the gun and would still be alive today. It’s hard to believe that a father of two knowingly provoked police with a pellet rifle. That Crawford was black and the police officers who shot him are white (as is Ritchie) also raises the usual questions a … [Read more...]

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“Making the Welfare State Less Intrusive”

some thoughts from Jesse Walker: ...The sorts of welfare-reform tinkering that interest me most are the ones that cashify and combine programs. By cashify, I mean taking a subsidy with strings attached—food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, anything like that—and instead just sending money to the people who qualify for it, letting them choose how to spend it. That way taxpayers can reduce the bureaucratic overhead (and sometimes corporate welfare) involved in administering the program; and tha … [Read more...]

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Four Feuilletons for Friday (almost)

Some links.When I was listing my favorite underrated/underseen horror movies I didn't think to name Deadgirl. It's a tough, sad, grimy and rancid indie horror which is (to be somewhat reductive) about misogyny but not itself misogynistic. Not entirely sure I can revisit it sober, but it's really stuck with me; and my anecdata agree w/the Deadly Doll that women horror fans tend to like (if that's the word) the movie more than men do. Which is especially fascinating since it's a movie by and … [Read more...]

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