“The Violence of Prison Searches”

What really stands out is the contempt and dehumanization. Which is how the violence happens, I guess. Any particular stories about what it was like there that you’d like to share?Maybe the best way that I could explain is through describing a search. Our dorm gets randomly searched at least twice a month, more if they want to set an example or if somebody has been smoking in the bathroom or if there have been rumors that somebody had some sort of contraband.They use this space more or l … [Read more...]

“The Criminalization of Parenthood”: Radley Balko

again some more: A couple of themes we explore here at The Watch are the increasing criminalization of just about everything and the use of the criminal justice system to address problems that were once (and better) handled by families, friends, communities and other institutions. A few examples from recent headlines show those themes intersecting with parenthood.The first story comes from South Carolina, where a mother was jailed and charged with “unlawful conduct toward a child” for . . . … [Read more...]

The Era of Personal Redemption: Sens Booker and Paul Take Very Small Step Forward on Criminal Justice Reform

this is simultaneously heartening, and depressing--every increment paid for with so much suffering. … [Read more...]

“When and Why Civil Resistance Works Against Authoritarian Regimes”: Foreign Affairs

article: Between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance against authoritarian regimes were twice as likely to succeed as violent movements. Nonviolent resistance also increased the chances that the overthrow of a dictatorship would lead to peace and democratic rule. This was true even in highly authoritarian and repressive countries, where one might expect nonviolent resistance to fail. Contrary to conventional wisdom, no social, economic, or political structures have systematically … [Read more...]

“Daniel Chong Is the Entirely Predictable Result of Dehumanizing Drug Offenders”: Radley Balko

writes: The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General  has just released part of its report on the awful case of Daniel Chong. Here’s some background from the San Diego Union-Tribune:Chong was a 24-year-old engineering student when he was caught up in the drug sweep by a DEA task force two years ago.On the morning of April 21, 2012, Chong was detained with six other suspects and transported to the DEA field office, where agents determined that he was not involved in the ecsta … [Read more...]

Massachusetts Sued for Imprisoning Addicted Women Who Haven’t Committed* Crimes

*should be "haven't been convicted of any crimes," sorry; also I fixed the link: “As Governor Deval Patrick has acknowledged, we are actually the only state that incarcerates people who are suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol, who haven’t been convicted of a crime. And imprisoning people because they have a disease is wrong, and it’s also unconstitutional,” ACLU staff attorney Jessie Rossman told the News Service. She said the lawsuit is specifically focusing on women because they are … [Read more...]

“Ten Ways Addiction Is Different in America”: The Invaluable Maia Szalavitz

at Substance: We Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the City on the Hill and all that. When it comes to the politics and culture of drugs, we are indeed special—or at least dramatically different from the rest of the Western world. Too often, however, we are special for the wrong reasons. more … [Read more...]


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