There is no one solution to the horrors presented in the Callous and Cruel report, but the prescription includes getting people living with mental illness the right help in their communities before the criminal justice system ever gets involved. It includes providing the right kind of treatment and supports in jails or prisons.
Second Chance Society legislation would not just help nonviolent offenders -- many of whom made a mistake as a very young person -- escape from a lifetime of punishment but improve our communities and continue to make our state safer. As the architect of the Republican "urban agenda," we hope you will weigh in on an issue that undoubtedly affects our cities.
The past few weeks have seen a wave of conservative support for "Ban the Box" initiatives, a practice that delays questions on criminal background until after job applicants have had the opportunity to demonstrate qualifications. For the over 70 million Americans who are subject to employment discrimination due to criminal history, the change has come none too soon.
In the Hunger Games bestselling novels and movies, the rich capital uses terroristic "games" to control the 12 poor surrounding districts. No young fan of the books or movies would miss the uncanny parallels between the treatment of Balitmore's poor and the brutal jovial wanton violence against Panem's poor.
One valuable action is to contribute to community organizations working to address the inequities and outrages of the criminal justice system, as well as economic inequality, racial health disparities and structural barriers to building political power for people of color. At this moment, more than ever, if you believe that #BlackLivesMatter, you should support a stronger movement for racial justice.