Senator Bernie Sanders recently announced a sweeping plan to allow incarcerated people to vote. According to Business Insider, Sanders said in April that “he supports voting rights for all US citizens, even if they’re ‘terrible people.’” But, is voting really what incarcerated people want? Not likely.
Inmates I associated with during my two-year term in a California prison showed me they saw government as the enemy and believed safety is in numbers and might is right.… Read the rest
States have laws addressing when police officers may use lethal force. The laws surrounding legitimate police shootings often depend on the interpretation of words rather than concrete standards. For example, the current law in California states that the police can use deadly force to kill a person—thus, commit homicide—when reasonable and necessary. No consideration for the use of alternative, nonlethal force is necessary.… Read the rest
The discord in this country is alarming. A noose caused by political division is tightening around our nation. A flood of information bombards us every day. We pick the topics we want to track and carve out lanes on personal information highways amid the distraction of other shiny objects. Being totally informed in the twenty-first century is impossible.… Read the rest
I’ve wondered about the origins of Women’s History Month. Many people, including me, formally educated in the late-1960s to mid-1970s, were not exposed to women’s history courses—no such field of academics existed. While researching background for this post, I learned from Wikipedia that “the first accredited women’s studies course in the U.S.… Read the rest
In my previous post entitled Misdemeanors: Trapdoor Justice for the Poor and Homeless, I looked at how “masses of poor and homeless people are being sucked into an overburdened misdemeanor trapdoor system.” Once the trapdoor drops, a system designed to inflict misery and sustained hardship ravages the poor and the homeless.… Read the rest
An estimated 13.2 million misdemeanor cases are filed in the United States each year. This number is overwhelming and concerning. Masses of poor and homeless people are sucked into an overburdened misdemeanor trapdoor system designed to inflict misery and sustained hardships.
As I’m writing this post, we are in the twenty-ninth day of the government shutdown. The passionate truth is the country has a limping, underfunded government that is impacting people hard. Putting the political causes aside, what matters now are the short- and long-term effects on individuals and families of eight hundred thousand government workers, countless government contractors, and thousands of prisoners.… Read the rest
A recurring theme of my posts is the vast scope and breadth of prison reform. The issues impact every aspect of human life. Prison is an insane world of forced routine accentuated by culture clashes, boredom, and the loss of personal freedoms. As such, real prison reform issues take time to percolate into a legislative forum that initiates change.… Read the rest
On December 18, 2018, the US Senate passed the First Step Act, a measure previously passed by the House of Representatives. Its passage was the culmination of five years of political arm wrestling that started with the Obama administration and was supported by the Trump administration. On December 21, 2018, Donald Trump signed the First Step Act into law.… Read the rest
This is my one hundredth Break Out Blog post. In the summer of 2016, I started writing without a true guiding compass. I had no specific plan for going forward, but I knew the subjects associated with prison reform corralled complex issues that needed to be changed in state and federal prison systems.… Read the rest