Prisons and Policing

Alicia Kirkland and Michele Decker (seated) at Trading Safety for Violence event. (Photo by Bonnie Lane)

I attended a serious event Wednesday called Trading Safety For Survival. The Facebook event depicts it as “A Conversation about Violence Against Women in the Sex Trade and the Police Who are Asked to Protect them.”

It was sponsored by Power Inside. According to their flyer, Power Inside is “a nonprofit program for women impacted by incarceration, street life and abuse. Our services help women build self-sufficiency, heal from violence and avoid future criminal justice contact.”

The DOJ and FBI hope to increase surveillance of online communications. Source: infowars.com.

A recent article in the Washington Post details the first measures of potential legislation known as CALEA 2. The FBI and Department of Justice want to fine companies for noncompliance with surveillance orders. The death of privacy has been a popular trope in establishment media lately. Unfortunately, pitiful displays by establishment journalists like Tom Brokaw encourage Americans to comply with expanded state surveillance measures. But the facts of the reporting are usually true: our privacy is under attack from almost all authorities we are trained to trust.

At the Parkview Recreation Center in West Baltimore, on Thursday evening, April 18, 2013, the Rev. Dr. Minister Paris J. Evans served as the host and one of the speakers at the “CODE RED” community-based outreach meeting. The program was mainly focused on addressing the issues of “poverty, the crime rate . . . and reducing homicides in targeted areas, while assisting the crime victims.”

Baltimore Central Booking, 300 E. Madison Street. Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

James MacArthur, the “Baltimore Spectator”, gives a firsthand account of how the City's detention system moves inmates from Central Bookings to the courtroom. His handwritten letter describes the overnight ritual of sleep deprivation and degrading treatment that precedes a detainee's appearance in court. MacArthur himself, repeatedly denied bail for misdemeanor charges, has been held in Central Booking since his arrest on 1 December 2012.

By the time you read this I will have been held prisoner for four months... on misdemeanor charges! This fact being one the popular press conveniently chooses to omit. Continually we see the government (via police statements, State's Attorney, even judges) attempt to convey things in a more alarming depiction than reality holds. Their co-conspirators in the press do little to counter these deceptions. If it wasn't for the fact that these sort of omissions are quite selective, my protestations could readily be dismissed as mere whining, but pay attention and observe.

Photo Source: Rousseau_ist

Advocates for the homeless converged on City Hall on Wednesday night to discuss the future of the “Journey Home” plan to end homelessness. The occasion was a resolution introduced by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, stating simply “That the Council calls on the City and external agencies concerned with homeless in Baltimore to appear before it to discuss the status of and proposals for any revisions to Baltimore City’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.” Many of those who testified criticized a recent draft of the plan, as well as the process behind its production and implementation. Others used the forum to discuss Baltimore’s homelessness crisis and the City’s aggressive policy of evicting outdoor encampments.

Image source: washingtonpeacecenter.net

This week’s filibuster of the John Brennan nomination by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) confirms just how unpredictable and fluid the politics of civil liberties are in Washington, DC these days: a Republican senator leading the fight – joined by Democrats like Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- to learn just where due process lines are drawn these days, a Democratic White House dragging its feet before grudgingly conceding there are any.

Image source: listen2myheartspeak.wordpress.com

My husband is a Black man. He is one of the hardest working Americans I know, but he is wearing the face of crime in America. Although it may be of little comfort to know this, the Bernie Madoffs and Wall Street derivative junkies of the world are more likely to do you harm than my dapper husband walking to his car parked on St. Paul Street. If the face of crime in America is not the Black man, then what does it look like? How can we adjust our thinking about this pervasive lie?

Mexico community police. Photo by: Moisés Quintana.

Indignant over the police and government’s inability or unwillingness to reduce violent drug-related crimes, citizens in Mexico’s rural, mostly indigenous, southwestern state of Guerrero have (once again) organized armed self-defense groups to ensure their own public safety and security.

The Bab al-Shams encampment in the E-1 area overlooks Ma'ale Adumim, a settlement in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Image source: Lazar Simeonov/Al Jazeera.

This August will mark twenty years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the first peace agreement between a Palestinian group and Israel. While the parties have signed a handful of agreements since then, arguably none have had an impact on the daily lives of people living on that land.

Pages

Subscribe to Prisons and Policing