Justice Policy

I haven’t seen much on the subject of justice reform at the Obama Administration’s excellent new website (whitehouse.gov). Buried a few clicks down is a brief mention, featuring a program in Chicago that brings gang leaders together.

I hope that Justice reform becomes more prominent at some point soon. I don’t think we can afford for it not to; consider California’s $8 billion-a-year prison complex, with recidivism rates as high as 80%. While it’s good at keeping many of the really dangerous people off the streets, it’s incredibly ineffective for the vast majority of inmates whose lives are recoverable, given the right kinds of support.

I am particularly impressed by programs like the Insight Prison Project’s Victim Offender Education Group, which works with mostly lifers in San Quentin Prison. I’ve had an opportunity to sit with the men who have completed the program, and hear their stories. Powerful stuff, and powerful evidence that transformation is possible.

I’m encouraging people to go to Change.Org and register your support for elevating Justice Reform to a more prominent position on Obama’s agenda. And while you’re at it, mention restorative justice in particular. Obama’s people are smart and well-informed and I’m confident they are already knowledgeable about the fundamentals of restorative justice. Let’s let them know that we the people are also.

Meanwhile, here’s a link to some YouTube videos related to Criminal Justice issues:

http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/ten_must-see_criminal_justice_youtube_videos

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