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Andy Singer | Stars and Stripes of America / media.cagle.com

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Chris Hedges Calls Out Corporate America for Their Complicity in Neoslavery

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  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, activist and Presbyterian minister Chris Hedges, whose latest book is “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” spoke Saturday at New York’s “Rise Up October” rally and march to end police violence. In his address, Hedges spoke about the effects that police violence and mass incarceration has on families. “There are husbands and wives severed, sometimes forever, from their spouses,” said Hedges. “There are sisters and brothers that have been torn apart, but this morning we remember most the children, those whose mothers and fathers are locked behind bars or whose parents will never come home again, whose tiny lives have been shattered, whose childhoods have been stolen, who endure the painful stigma of loss or of having a mother or father in prison and cannot comprehend the cruelty of this world.”
  • The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Chris Hedges, Democracy Now! / Dandelion Salad

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Oct 26, 2015 | Amy Goodman: Among those who addressed the crowd was the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, Chris Hedges who wrote for The New York Times for over 15 years, 20 years a Middle East correspondent covering war. His latest book is Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.

Chris Hedges: I’m Chris Hedges. I’m a writer. I teach in a prison in New Jersey, and have for many years. I’m also a Presbyterian minister.

Amy Goodman is an American award-winning broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Goodman's investigative journalism career includes coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Chevron Corporation's role in Nigeria.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

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The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Ta-Nehisi Coates,  the Atlantic

 

American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal-justice system that’s left the U.S. with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they've failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report “The Negro Family” tragically helped create this system, it's time to reclaim his original intent.

Book review |‘ Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption’ ~ Bryan Stevenson

  • Criminal justice in America sometimes seems more criminal than just — replete with error, malfeasance, racism and cruel, if not unusual, punishment, coupled with stubborn resistance to reform and a failure to learn from even its most glaring mistakes. And nowhere, let us pray, are matters worse than in the hard Heart of Dixie, a.k.a. Alabama, the adopted stomping ground of Bryan Stevenson, champion of the damned.
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption | Ebook PDF Free Download
  • Prison Without Punishment

Rob Warden, Washington (DC) Post 

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October 23, 2014 | Criminal justice in America sometimes seems more criminal than just — replete with error, malfeasance, racism and cruel, if not unusual, punishment, coupled with stubborn resistance to reform and a failure to learn from even its most glaring mistakes. And nowhere, let us pray, are matters worse than in the hard Heart of Dixie, a.k.a. Alabama, the adopted stomping ground of Bryan Stevenson, champion of the damned.

Stevenson, the visionary founder and executive director of the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, surely has done as much as any other living American to vindicate the innocent and temper justice with mercy for the guilty — efforts that have brought him, among myriad honors, a MacArthur genius grant and honorary degrees from Yale, Penn and Georgetown. Now 54, Stevenson has made his latest contribution to criminal justice in the form of an inspiring memoir titled “Just Mercy.”

Rob Warden is executive director emeritus of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law.

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption | Ebook PDF Free Download 

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Prison Without PunishmentMaurice Chammah, Vice

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  • Where we're at in America is that we fancy the notion of rehabilitation. But what touches our feelings and our approach to managing the criminal justice system is really punishment.
  • How about treating sex offenders like humans?
  • What You Need to Know About the New Federal Prisoner Release

What You Need to Know About the New Federal Prisoner Release

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  • Five reasons it is (and is not) a big deal.
  • Prison Without Punishment

The Marshall Project

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https://d1n0c1ufntxbvh.cloudfront.net/photo/2465178e/12547/1140x/ A cell at The El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla., during President Obama's visit in July. Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

You could think of it as an opening round in the long-awaited battle over criminal justice reform. The question is, who fired it? And where will it land?

The Washington Post reported Tuesday: “The Justice Department is set to release about 6,000 inmates early from prison — the largest ever one-time release of federal prisoners — in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades.”

This was, in the literal sense, not news. The prisoner releases were set in motion a year ago. But to readers not immersed in the minutia of sentencing policy, it sounded like news, and it landed just as Congress is inching towards repairing a prison system widely deemed broken.


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Prison Without Punishment, Maurice Chammah, Vice 

  • Where we're at in America is that we fancy the notion of rehabilitation. But what touches our feelings and our approach to managing the criminal justice system is really punishment.
  • How about treating sex offenders like humans?

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

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American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal-justice system that’s left the U.S. with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they've failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report “The Negro Family” tragically helped create this system, it's time to reclaim his original intent.

Ta-Nehisi Coates,  the Atlantic

1920.jpg?1441919002October,  2015 | By his own lights, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ambassador, senator, sociologist, and itinerant American intellectual, was the product of a broken home and a pathological family. He was born in 1927 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but raised mostly in New York City. When Moynihan was 10 years old, his father, John, left the family, plunging it into poverty. Moynihan’s mother, Margaret, remarried, had another child, divorced, moved to Indiana to stay with relatives, then returned to New York, where she worked as a nurse. Moynihan’s childhood—a tangle of poverty, remarriage, relocation, and single motherhood—contrasted starkly with the idyllic American family life he would later extol. “My relations are obviously those of divided allegiance,” Moynihan wrote in a diary he kept during the 1950s. “Apparently I loved the old man very much yet had to take sides … choosing mom in spite of loving pop.” In the same journal, Moynihan, subjecting himself to the sort of analysis to which he would soon subject others, wrote, “Both my mother and father—They let me down badly … I find through the years this enormous emotional attachment to Father substitutes—of whom the least rejection was cause for untold agonies—the only answer is that I have repressed my feelings towards dad.” 

As a teenager, Moynihan divided his time between his studies and working at the docks in Manhattan to help out his family. In 1943, he tested into the City College of New York, walking into the examination room with a longshoreman’s loading hook in his back pocket so that he would not “be mistaken for any sissy kid.” After a year at CCNY, he enlisted in the Navy, which paid for him to go to Tufts University for a bachelor’s degree. He stayed for a master’s degree and then started a doctorate program, which took him to the London School of Economics, where he did research. In 1959, Moynihan began writing for Irving Kristol’s magazine The Reporter, covering everything from organized crime to auto safety. The election of John F. Kennedy as president, in 1960, gave Moynihan a chance to put his broad curiosity to practical use; he was hired as an aide in the Department of Labor. Moynihan was, by then, an anticommunist liberal with a strong belief in the power of government to both study and solve social problems. He was also something of a scenester. His fear of being taken for a “sissy kid” had diminished. In London, he’d cultivated a love of wine, fine cheeses, tailored suits, and the mannerisms of an English aristocrat. He stood six feet five inches tall. A cultured civil servant not to the manor born, Moynihan—witty, colorful, loquacious—charmed the Washington elite, moving easily among congressional aides, politicians, and journalists. As the historian James Patterson writes in Freedom Is Not Enough, his book about Moynihan, he was possessed by “the optimism of youth.” He believed in the marriage of government and social science to formulate policy. “All manner of later experiences in politics were to test this youthful faith.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at the Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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Read more from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ October cover story.

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