All posts in tag: war on crime

Jonathan Simon If black lives matter, end the War on Crime

From the perspective of tens of thousands of protesters around the nation this week, the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in Staten Island reflected an unfathomable decision by white police officers to kill unarmed black men engaged in trivial criminal (if any) behavior. To thousands of … More >

Jonathan Simon From the War on Crime to ‘World War Z’: What the zombie apocalypse can tell us about the current state of our culture of fear

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 >

Jonathan Simon Prosecution complex: Persecuting Aaron Swartz and degrading the Constitution

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 >

Jonathan Simon Lessons from the ‘sordid decades’: Miscarriages of justice in NY’s ‘War on Crime’ in the ’80s and ’90s

Any reader of the paper of record will be impressed with the series of impressive features dealing with various aspects of county level justice in the five boroughs that make up New York City.  While not all of them have cast their gaze backwards (for instance the superb recent series on delay … More >

Jonathan Simon 2012 — A ‘hope and change’ election for California?

It’s more than just an echo of the Obama’s 2008 campaign. The California ballot in 2012 will carry two measures aimed directly at the heart of the state’s fear-based political culture and the massive penal system it has spawned.

The first, which was formally certified for the November election on Monday … More >

Jonathan Simon Occupy’s prison protest: It’s not yesterday any more

Getting people around my age, late boomers who grew up in the “fear years” of the 1970s, to rethink their assumptions about prisons, crime and criminal justice is hard; and it keeps us locked into mass incarceration. Consider SF Chron Columnist Chip Johnson’s broadside at the Occupy Movement in the … More >

Jonathan Simon Attica, forty years on

On the editorial pages of the NYTimes, historian Heather Thompson reminds us all of how profoundly the Attica prison uprising and its violent suppression, 40 years ago, shaped our penal imagination and prepared the grounds for what we now call “mass incarceration.”(read it here) The … More >

Jonathan Simon Whither the War on Crime? How to respond (and not respond) to January’s string of outrageous murders and attempted murders

In case anyone has been hiking in desert for the month of January, we are the midst of a wave of frightening murders and attempted murders, including the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford in Tucson, and in the same incident the murder of a federal judge … More >

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