As long as there have been societies, use of drugs and alcohol have been a part of them. Abuse of both drugs and alcohol is endemic, but could be better controlled were we to start treating drug and alcohol abuse in the same way; that is a public health problem that needs treatment, rather than only as a criminal law problem.
Is this what rehabilitation looks, feels, and smells like?
Government cannot police itself. Departments like the Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD and the Inspector General of New York can only do so much. It takes the lawyers for the injured and abused, to protect the less powerful and to effectuate true change for our communities.
We should be asking: Is the person is a danger to him or herself or to others if he or she had a gun? That is the question. The notion that we can use mental illness as a way to determine that someone is somehow more dangerous is just ill-informed.
Though I surely did not become more conservative with age or my first paycheck, I found a few things that I do not want my tax dollars funding. Unless we stand up for our values and make an attempt to have some say in where our tax dollars are going, we are complicit in the very types of oppression to which we are ideologically opposed.
Despite the lack of any reasonable hope of release, I am demonstrating my commitment to becoming a better productive member of society in whatever way I can.
"After I entered the profession I realized that being a journalist and a critic of the political authority in Iran meant that your publication could be shut down and you could end up in prison. However, I had fallen in love with journalism."
I don't like being treated as if my only value to the government is as a source of labor and funds. I don't like being viewed as a consumer and bits of data. I don't like being spied on and treated as if I have no right to privacy, especially in my own home.
This story is part of Double Charged, a special report on the U.S. juvenile justice system produced by Youth Radio. Ricky Brum standing near the sco...
Seventeen years later, I find that I'm again constantly thinking about solitary confinement. The horror stories that drive the public conversation about solitary are not stories to me, but memories.
Forty years in, the war on drugs has done almost nothing to prevent drugs from being sold or used, but it has nonetheless created a little-known surve...
The total costs of incarceration from causes to consequences are incalculable and rising. Without a comprehensive plan to address the structural causes of recidivism and incarceration, these costs will continue to rise and burden our economy.
The problem of long-term solitary confinement is far from fixed -- the cells that have been emptied as men are returned to general population have been filled by others newly transferred into the SHU. The prisoners need our support to finish the job.
Prison is an odd place to be celebrating LGBT issues. To us non-LGBT prisoners, it can feel as if this celebration causes more problems than it solves. But if we look within ourselves and focus on the real issue then I think that we can come to the agreement that celebrating LGBT month in prison really wasn't a bad idea at all.
A responsible approach to criminal justice can make our communities safer, save tax dollars and help all of us, but our current system is falling terribly short -- at great economic, human and moral cost.
Only recently have the number of incarcerated people within our borders begun to decline. In some respects, the reasons are logistical and economic; for others, the change of heart is informed particularly by their understanding of scripture and the mandates of the Gospel.