A Criminal Justice System: Link Round-Up

Depending on how you've calibrated your expectations, some of these might be construed as hopeful!Others not so much.1. "Fourteen Years After Decriminalizing All Drugs, Here's What Portugal Looks Like":In 2001, the Portuguese government did something that the United States would find entirely alien. After many years of waging a fierce war on drugs, it decided to flip its strategy entirely: It decriminalized them all. If someone is found in the possession of less than a 10-day supply … [Read more...]

“Does Decriminalization Work?”: Really Solid Interview at Slate

asking the right questions: After three decades of watching the incarceration rate climb to unprecedented heights, Americans seem ready to usher in a new era of leniency. Some legislators are pushing to eliminate mandatory sentencing minimums for nonviolent drug offenders. Others are calling for the federal prison population to be slashed by letting some prisoners out early. Others still are advocating for incarcerated juveniles to be treated less harshly. Meanwhile, states all over the country … [Read more...]

Hi, I’m Stercorius and I’m an Addict

HI STERCORIUS.I was in Russian class, trying to describe a character from a movie I watched recently. "Он наркоман," I said--he's a drug addict."Он страдает от наркомании," my teacher corrected me. He suffers from addiction.I was reminded of being at last year's Harm Reduction Conference, where you'd sometimes hear about the need to stop saying "addict" and start saying "person struggling with drugs," or similar variations. At first I was all, Oh come on, please let me speak English a … [Read more...]

“Your Home Is Your Prison”

and charge them for it: Beyond the physical and emotional burdens, those under monitoring often pay for their confinement in the most literal possible fashion. As Marissa Alexander discovered in Florida, private companies often exact fees from the people they're imprisoning. They average around $10-$15 per day -- in addition to installation costs and fees imposed for drug tests or other "services." Those unable to pay may be re-incarcerated in a cycle that harkens back to debtor's prison.By … [Read more...]

“Humiliating People With Addiction Is Not Treatment”: Molly Fogel

at Substance.com:I could fill volumes with all that I saw. There were other situations where patients walked around with signs around their necks, saying, “I’m a loser,” “I’m nothing,” or “I’m not worth caring about.” The “transgressions” that earned these sanctions included getting in an argument with a more favored client, yelling at a case manager and getting high. There was little compassion in this place, and little-to-no therapy. Individual therapy was not permitted, although I’m still … [Read more...]

Radley Balko’s Civil Liberties Predictions for 2015

See if you can guess the sci-fi twist. Sometimes, real life can be stranger than parody. This can be particularly true when it comes to the beat we cover here at The Watch, civil liberties. With that in mind, I’ve gone out on a limb to make some predictions about what might happen on the civil liberties front in 2015. I realize that some of these prognostications may seem a wee bit hyperbolic, a bit paranoid, maybe even a little nutty. But I think we can all agree that we should hope none of t … [Read more...]

“Five Stories That Prove Police Are Just As Terrifying in Canada”: Cracked

service journalism: ...So here's a guy who deserves his own movie. In the early morning hours of Jan. 28, 2000, Darrell Night, a member of the Cree Nation, was picked up by two Saskatoon police officers (both white) after a drunken argument at his uncle's apartment got a bit out of hand. Like any clear-thinking intoxicated person, he expected to be taken to the town drunk tank to sleep off his buzz. That didn't happen. Instead, Night was driven three miles out of town, removed from the vehicle, … [Read more...]


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