Since his release from prison, Forte has become an activist for criminal justice reform, and is particularly passionate about America's juvenile justice system. "I saw the worst reflection of our society as evidenced in our prison system," he says. "We are hemorrhaging right now."
Rick Raemisch, the new executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, volunteered to do something few would dare -- he spent 20 hours in 'Ad-Seg,' or solitary confinement, in one of his own prisons.
For those of us who consider criminal justice reform to be one of the leading civil rights issues of our time, these are hopeful signs that we might be entering a new era. We are no longer turning a blind eye to the damage being done to our communities.
The mayor's office has a surplus, meaning that its decision to restrict funding from this organization is not only strategically ill-conceived, as it invariably invites more youth to pursue a path of violence and crime, it is morally unjustifiable.
By many measures, there is growing momentum for criminal justice reform. But any optimism needs to be tempered by the very modest rate of incarceration decline, 1.8 percent in the past year. At this rate, it will take until 2101 -- 88 years -- for the prison population to return to its 1980 level.
We must base prevention and treatment efforts in sustainable endeavors that encourage education about, prevention, and treatment of HIV. Criminalizing those infected by HIV is not one of them. Enough is enough.
The country's biggest for-profit prison companies already pull in hundreds of millions of dollars a year locking up immigrants in federal custody. They stand to pull in even more money if the new laws generate lots of new prisoners.
In a recent interview in Britain's Event Magazine, academy award winning actor, Michael Douglas, vowed to fight for a complete overhaul of America's legal system. This comes on the heels of his son Cameron losing his appeal which affirmed his nine and a half year sentence for drug charges.