Posts Tagged 'Criminal justice'

Ali Abunimah – Is Trump bringing “white Zionism” to the White House?

Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, has weighed in on the controversy over President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of the racist former executive chairman of Breitbart News as his chief strategist.

Under Steve Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News “regularly published materials designed to stoke fears about African Americans, Latinos, Muslims and other groups, and to explicitly normalize white nationalist and white supremacist beliefs,” according to New York magazine.

This so-called alt-right ideology has been described by one of its key promoters as a ...

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Every 25 Seconds – The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States

Neal Scott may die in prison. A 49-year-old Black man from New Orleans, Neal had cycled in and out of prison for drug possession over a number of years. He said he was never offered treatment for his drug dependence; instead, the criminal justice system gave him time behind bars and felony convictions—most recently, five years for possessing a small amount of cocaine and a crack pipe. When Neal was arrested in May 2015, he was homeless and could not ...

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Rebecca McCray – There Are More Women in U.S. Jails Than Ever Before

An unusual thing happened last year: The number of people in U.S. prisons declined. After decades of exponential growth, both the state and federal prison populations dropped slightly, reflecting the steady embrace of policy reforms enacted over the last decade intended to curtail corrections costs.

Yet as prison populations in many states have declined, the number of women in jails has skyrocketed. Since 1970, the female jail population has increased 14 times, surging from under 8,000 to nearly 110,000, according ...

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BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and MICHAEL D. SHEAR – Once Skeptical of Executive Power, Obama Has Come to Embrace It

Once a presidential candidate with deep misgivings about executive power, Mr. Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history.

Blocked for most of his presidency by Congress, Mr. Obama has sought to act however he could. In the process he created the kind of government neither he nor the Republicans wanted — one that depended on bureaucratic bulldozing rather than legislative transparency. But once Mr. Obama got the taste for ...

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Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins – America’s Racial Wealth Divide Is Nothing Short of Shocking

Most media coverage of racial injustice has understandably focused on our country’s unfair policing and criminal justice system. But to fully understand the current reality of racial inequality in America, we also need to take an honest look at our nation’s shocking wealth disparities.

Wealth — the total assets a family owns after the bills are paid — is the safety net we all need to help us get through the tough times and invest in our futures. And its polarization ...

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Jamiles Lartey – By the numbers: US police kill more in days than other countries do in years

It’s rather difficult to compare data from different time periods, according to different methodologies, across different parts of the world, and still come to definitive conclusions.

But now that we have built The Counted, a definitive record of people killed by police in the US this year, at least there is some accountability in America – even if data from the rest of the world is still catching up.

It is undeniable that police in the US often contend with ...

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Bill Quigley – America’s #1 Incarceration State

In 2014, the US Department of Justice confirmed Louisiana remained number 1 [3], among the 50 states, with 38,030 in prison, a rate of 816 per 100,000 over 100 points ahead of next highest state Oklahoma.   Because the US leads the world in incarcerating [4] its people, this means Louisiana is number one in the world.   Compare [4] Louisiana’s rate of 816 people per 100,000 with Russia’s 492, China with 119, France with 100, and Germany with 78.

Louisiana ...

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Tim Dickinson – Why America Can’t Quit the Drug War

In March, the commander in chief of the War on Drugs stood in front of a crowd of policymakers, advocates and recovering addicts to declare that America has been doing it wrong.

Speaking at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta – focused on an overdose epidemic now killing some 30,000 Americans a year – President Barack Obama declared, “For too long we have viewed the problem of drug abuse … through the lens of the criminal justice system,” creating ...

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German Lopez – The tragic collapse of America’s public mental health system

America’s criminal justice system has, in many ways, become a substitute for the US’s largely gutted mental health system. You may have heard something like that before, but never has it been clearer than in this map from MetricMaps:

The map essentially tells two stories: the rise of mass incarceration and the collapse of America’s public mental health system.

From the 1970s through the 2000s, America began locking up a lot more people as part of the country’s broader shift to tough-on-crime laws ...

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Feeling sleepy? You might be at risk of falsely confessing to a crime you did not commit

If you are one of the millions of people who have listened to the podcast “Serial” or watched Netflix’s series “Making a Murderer,” you may believe there are innocent people in prison.

But long before the cases of Adnan Syed, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were brought to the public’s attention, we and other researchers have been hard at work studying how it is that innocent people sometimes go to prison for crimes they did not ...

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