Once a month, we feature relevant news, articles, and links about issues concerning criminal justice, incarceration alternatives, and the influence of literature on our lives. Click on the red text to open the site in a new window.
Check out our links below and give us your take on one or more of the issues they address. Have you read or watched something (a book, newspaper article, website, news clip, etc.) interesting lately? Tell us about it in the comments section!
On November 6, the 2009 Justice Transition Coalition released its recommendations for the Obama administration and members of Congress. From their site:
After the 2008 elections, America’s policymakers will take a fresh look at the criminal justice system, which so desperately needs their attention. To assist with that review, leaders and experts from all aspects of the criminal justice community spent months collaboratively identifying key issues and gathering policy advice into one comprehensive set of recommendations for the new administration and Congress. This catalogue is the fruit of those labors.
The report calls for reform in fifteen key justice-related areas. Take a look at their recommendations for expanding alternatives to incarceration in federal sentencing guidelines and suggestions for juvenile justice reform.
In this article from the November 15th edition of The Guardian, Jeanne Winterson talks about the consoling power of poetry as a T.S. Eliot festival opens in London
From her article:
[When] people say that poetry is merely a luxury for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read much at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is….Art lasts because it gives us a language for our inner reality, and that is not a private hieroglyph; it is a connection across time to all those others who have suffered and failed, found happiness, lost it, faced death, ruin, struggled, survived, known the night-hours of inconsolable pain.
- The Boston Globe reported on November 16 that the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts will begin double-bunking inmates to relieve overcrowding caused by mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
- TED hosts an interesting talk by Philip Zimbardo, leader of the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, on how ordinary people can become monsters and heroes.
- Kenyon Boltz over at Primer: The Weekly Magazine for Guys Who Want to Be Better Men shares his take on the benefits of book-reading in “The Inspiring Power of Great Literature in Personal and Professional Life.”