Five Links from a Criminal Justice System

I have a ton of these lying around so you'll be getting them in small chunks. Trying to give each batch a range of themes and moods."How Some Alabama Hospitals Quietly Drug Test New Mothers--Without Their Consent": In Alabama, a positive drug test can have dire repercussions for pregnant women and new mothers. Their newborns can be taken from them. They can lose custody of their other children. They can face lengthy sentences in the most notorious women’s prison in the United States and t … [Read more...]

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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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“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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“Jacob Lawrence’s Existential Sociology”: I’m at AmCon

reviewin': ...It’s easy to read artists—and maybe especially black artists—as mere reporters. Or, worse, sociologists. And Jacob Lawrence’s work does indeed have many reportorial or sociological characteristics: He’s racially conscious (and self-conscious about his role as a voice of his race), he’s influenced by folk art, he’s panoramic in his attempt to depict many layers of society. He has what The Wire would call “the Dickensian element.” These are all artistic choices he made that add to th … [Read more...]

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An Interview w/Kelley Cutler on LGBT Youth Homelessness

which also includes her conversion story, and this powerful bit:As a convert, I have a tendency to ask a lot of questions. One question I’ve asked most LGBT Catholics I’ve met is… “Why do you stay in the Church?” Think about it, they could go right down the street to another faith community that has different teachings. So why do they stay? I have been given the same answer by every LGBT Catholic I’ve met. The Eucharist. I don’t get this answer from every Catholic I ask, but I do from the LGB … [Read more...]

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Our Enemy the State: Link Roundup

"Obama's Economics Team Is Taking on One of America's Most Underrated Economic Problems": Occupational licensing rules, which require government approval (typically by a state government) before a person can practice a given profession, are one of the most under-discussed aspects of the American labor market. A new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers argues that the way licensing is applied in practice often leads to higher prices, reduced opportunity, and more … [Read more...]

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“The Best Way to Deal With America’s Incarceration Problem Is Hiding in Plain Sight”: Washington Post

(if by "in plain sight" you mean, in jail) The first of the convoys left Albuquerque in August 2013. A cruiser would take the lead, followed by a few buses and vans and another cruiser at the rear. For more than a year, they ferried inmates between an overcrowded jail on the city's outskirts and another facility with empty cells, more than 800 miles away.The jail in Albuquerque, like many others around the country, didn't have enough room. Authorities were spending $35,000 per day to house i … [Read more...]

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