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...]

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...]

“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...]

A Practical Agenda on Police Violence: Radley Balko

writes: ...As a whole, these proposals are well-argued, practical and smart. For the most part, they’re supported by empirical data and real-world experience. The Campaign Zero leadership has clearly given these proposals a lot of thought.That said, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’re portrayed as radical and reactionary, especially by police organizations. This discussion has been so lopsided over the years that any reform, no matter how sensible, is bound to be met with intense oppos … [Read more...]

“The Supreme Court’s Massive Blind Spot”: The Stories It Knows About Criminal Justice

Radley Balko explains, in a fascinating & depressing piece: ...Each term, the Supreme Court decides a dozen or so cases in which the justices attempt to balance the public’s interest in keeping order (which manifests in the powers we give to police and prosecutors) with our constitutional rights. Yet for the vast majority of Supreme Court justices now and in recent history, you could quite literally say that the criminal justice system is merely academic. Some justices may have seen a cri … [Read more...]

“Slow Poison”: Ezekiel Kweku on a Lifetime of Preparing for Police Violence

...Half an hour later, I stopped for gas in a small town I’d once known. As I began to fill my car, I realized that several years before I had been to the park across the street. The woman who was not yet then my wife had driven me there one evening while we were in college. We sat there in the car talking as dusk fell, under the strange shadows made by sunset and streetlights through tree branches. I don’t remember what we talked about, only that we spoke with the unembarrassed, giddy exc … [Read more...]

Girls Like Violence: Short Movie Reviews

First up, a couple horror flicks; then a WWII documentary covertly filmed behind Fascist lines in Italy; then a satire/adventure tale from the first Gulf War. Don't say I don't have range.Stonehearst Asylum: A new asylum movie from the guy who brought us Session 9? Sure, I'll eat it! And Stonehearst is a really solid horror flick, twisty and heartfelt and saddening.It's a period piece, set between Christmas 1899 and New Year's 1900, at a remote asylum in... England? Scotland? Hogwarts? … [Read more...]