The State of New York has made it share of bad penal policy choices. Remember the “Rockefeller Drug Laws” — mandatory life sentences for persons arrested with large quantities of dangerous drugs, which helped set the nation on the path toward indiscriminate use of incarceration?
But the Empire State has also … More >
To considerable embarrassment, no doubt, in the Brown-Beard administration, admissions to California’s newest prison near Stockton California were halted Feb. 5 by the court-appointed healthcare receiver, law professor Clark Kelso.
The prison, the first new facility in a decade, is the lynch-pin of the administration’s frequent claim to have gotten on … More >
Zombies are everywhere. Ok not (yet) on the streets (so far as I know); but in our cultural imaginary they are everywhere. You can find them (in small groups and hordes) in high budget nail biting thriller movies like Brad Pitt’s World War Z (2013), on television, and all over print and … More >
On the 19th of December, the paper of record, the New York Times, ran a story discussing the lower number of executions (39) in 2013 than in a previous years; a trend that began sometime ago (read it here). The causes of this trend are complex and fascinating and worthy of … More >
The New York Times continues its on going series of investigatory features on wrongful convictions or likely wrongful convictions produced by Brooklyn’s law enforcement and court system in the 1980s and early 1990s with a gripping and sad story by Frances Robles on two Brooklyn teenagers (now 30 and 31) … More >
Thanks to the persistence of my wife who has insisted for some time that as residents of the East Bay we must see it in the theater along with fellow East Bayers, our whole family saw this remarkable film a couple of weeks ago. The film moved me to tears … More >
When Governor Brown appointed Jeffrey Beard to be the new Secretary of Corrections in California last year, it was supposed to signal a new era. After decades of Correctional leaders who were insiders, brought up in a system that had normalized a state of permanent crisis and systemic inhumanity, Mr. … More >
Today, July 8, 2013, prisoners in California’s supermax “SHU” units (for Secured Housing Units), are commencing a hunger strike and work stoppage, their second in two years (read the solidarity statement here).
This is tragic. Hunger strikes are an extraordinary act of self deprivation by people who have almost nothing. They … More >
There should be a difference between prosecution and persecution.
The long “War on Crime,” America’s longest, has gone on a lot longer (’67 to now), and done a lot more damage to American law and society, than most people reckon (at least those who missed my 2007 tome, Governing through Crime: … More >