Author, Expert & Speaker

Criminal justice reform

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.

In her 2018 book Punishment without Crime, law professor Alexandra Natapoff estimates that “approximately 730,000 people are in jail.… Read the rest

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

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

Current California law forbids police departments from sharing information about officers’ criminal backgrounds. The ACLU Center for Advocacy & Policy reports that “the majority of other states recognize that disclosure of records of [officers’] critical incidents is a basic element of peace officer oversight—peace officer disciplinary records are available to the public in some form in 27 states.” But in California, all disciplinary actions against sworn police officers must be kept secret.… Read the rest

The politics associated with the appointment of a replacement for Justice Kennedy, 81, who resigned June 27, 2018, from the US Supreme Court after thirty years of service, is gut-wrenching. Take your own gut test: what rights and protections do you fear are being whittled away by the sway and stench of political expediency?… Read the rest

I cannot understate the wide range of subjects raised by the words prison reform. When breaking it into components, I classify prison reform into three broad categories: criminal justice and procedures, incarceration living, and reentry.

In past posts about reentry, I looked at the Ban the Box bill and jobs as examples of what reentering citizens face.… Read the rest

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