“How to Solve Homelessness: The Mundane Miracles of the Doe Fund”

On his own initiative, and with the help of a lawyer friend who played fundraiser, George McDonald started going to the corner of 43rd St. and Vanderbilt every night at 10 p.m. and feeding the homeless. While he was doing this, the crack epidemic struck. Small mountain of crack vials covered the streets. He was dealing with desperate and dangerous addicts. In the course of running his ad hoc and officially unsanctioned program, he was arrested several times (though never convicted) for … [Read more...]

“How Effective Are Tactics Used on TV Shows to Treat Troubled Teens?”: Maia Szalavitz

reports: Terrifying teens by making them lie in coffins, forcing them to spend a night on a frigid street or a bare prison cell— these harsh measures are used in reality shows in an attempt to put delinquents back on the straight and narrow.  But the strategies may make for better TV than treatment. ...It’s not like there’s a shortage of data or any scientific controversy over Scared Straight’s actual results.  In fact, a Cochrane review — the gold standard for evidence-based medicine — conc … [Read more...]

“Johnny Cash and His Prison Reform Campaign”

On 26 July 1972, three grizzled-looking men dressed uneasily in suits gave evidence at a US Senate subcommittee on prison reform. Two of the men were former inmates of some of the toughest prisons in the US - the third was the country and western singer, Johnny Cash.Cash's famous live albums recorded at Folsom Prison and San Quentin are the stuff of music legend - likely to feature on any critic's list of defining albums of the 1960s.But it's much less well-known that these were only two … [Read more...]

“The Relief Disaster”

Reason reviews Jonathan M. Katz's new book: In The Big Truck That Went By, Katz presents an engaging first-person account of the quake and the first year of the international response that followed. He recounts living through the earthquake in the AP house, which served both as his residence and as an office for himself and his Haitian fixer/driver/translator, Evens Sanon. The first chapter takes readers through the chilling hours that followed the quake as Katz and Sanon rode around a … [Read more...]

“A World of Good Intentions”

My new piece at Acculturated, continuing the marriage & family series with a look at What It Means to Be Daddy: Fatherhood for Black Men Living Away from Their Children and Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce. This is a piece where I really felt the word-count constraints. You guys should absolutely pick up these books, since I know I didn't do them justice. … [Read more...]

“Solitary Confinement Is Topic for Humanities Institute”

NYT: Mr. Bauer, however, answered carefully when asked if he’d rather be in solitary in Iran or at Pelican Bay State Prison, the supermax facility in Crescent City, Calif., whose conditions he recently described in an investigative report for Mother Jones. Some prisoners at Pelican Bay, he noted, have been in solitary for more than 20 years. “It’s unimaginable to me, having had a glimpse of that experience,” he said. more … [Read more...]

Same wing… better gremlins

Lists of conservatives or other right-wingers whom you should know: David Brooks, a reader of Rod Dreher (I'm mentioned in this one). I echo the praise for Megan McArdle, Tim Carney, Ross Douthat, Daniel Larison/AmCon generally (I am not being paid to tell you that!), Ramesh Ponnuru on domestic policy, and Radley Balko. You might also be interested in this piece about 'wingers vs. mass incarceration, although I admit that I still haven't finished it.Not sure how many names I can add to these … [Read more...]


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