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Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

Prison reform: An unlikely alliance of left and right | The Economist

How can we square the fact that we are the number one nation in the world in the number of people we put in prison, that an African American male is more likely to end up in jail in today’s America than he would have been under South Africa’s Apartheid regime?  According to the London Economist, China is a distant second in number of people incarcerated despite its significantly larger population.

This facts serve to put into perspective the real and urgent need to reform our “crime and punishment” system.  It is simply too expensive and the statistics clearly show that affects Americans from different communities in disproportionate fashion.

Historically, crime and punishment have been an ongoing challenge for all empires and for all leaders.  American is miserably failing in this regard and we can’t afford to continue down this path of wasting human life in a criminal justice system that is a revolving door with little accountability and without rational goals that serve society as a whole.

What will it take to get America to invest in its young in the areas of education, job training and re-training and, frankly, in a more robust and inclusive view of an America that invests in its most challenged urban and rural areas with a view to the future?  Prison reform could yield a significant downpayment on new more enlightened policies that could bring together both sides of the isle for the sake of millions of families and young people.

“ERIC HOLDER and Rick Perry (pictured) have little in common. America’s attorney-general is black, liberal and uses the word “community” a lot. The governor of Texas is white, conservative and says “God” a lot. Last month Mr Holder’s Justice Department sued Texas for allegedly trying to make it harder for blacks to vote. Last year Mr Perry ran to unseat Mr Holder’s boss, Barack Obama.

On one thing, however, the two men agree. On August 12th Mr Holder said: “Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law-enforcement reason.” He then unveiled reforms to reduce the number of people sent to America’s …”

MORE via Prison reform: An unlikely alliance of left and right | The Economist.

Filed under: African American, Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Discrimination, Guns on our streets, Minority Males, News, Parenting, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Economy, Public Policy, Unemployment, WeSeeReason, , , ,

Zimmerman Is Acquitted in Killing of Trayvon Martin – NYTimes.com

Florida justice on trial as the nation watches the justification of profiling and following that led to a senseless killing.

“George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter …”

More via Zimmerman Is Acquitted in Killing of Trayvon Martin – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: African American, Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, Guns on our streets, Intolerance, Jurisprudence, Minority Males, News, Parenting, , , , ,

Policy ThinkShop Comments: A new class of crime? South Dakota Passes Law to Let School Employees Carry Guns – NYTimes.com

“Arma Getting!” Kids are packing books and teacher are packing!  In this brave new world of mass shooting and mass hysteria, some school systems will welcome their teachers in the morning with a little hot java and a warm gun…  What is this world coming to?  The NYTs reports…

“Teachers South Dakota became the first state in the nation to enact a law explicitly authorizing school employees to carry guns on the job, under a measure signed into law on Friday by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.”

More via South Dakota Passes Law to Let School Employees Carry Guns – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Guns on our streets

The NRA vs. America | Politics News | Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone rocks the gun debate like nobody else can…. Enjoy…

“Eleven days after the massacre, Wayne LaPierre – a lifelong political operative who had steadied the National Rifle Association through many crises – stood before an American flag and soberly addressed the nation about firearms and student safety: “We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period,” LaPierre said, carving out a “rare exception” for professional law enforcement. LaPierre even proposed making the mere mention of the word …”

More via The NRA vs. America | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Death and Dying, Guns on our streets, ,

Let’s Get the Facts to Reduce Gun Violence : The New Yorker

In the battle for gun control and the causes of community violence, words are bullets and facts play the role of shields to keep reason alive in a debate that is as emotional as it is political.  The New  Yorker makes a plea for “the facts”

“With opponents of gun control already trotting out the line that President Obama’s new proposals aren’t …”

More via Let’s Get the Facts to Reduce Gun Violence : The New Yorker.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Guns on our streets, News, , ,

Sunday Coverage of School Shooting Aftermath – NYTimes.com

Adam Lanza’s mental state throws an entire nation into turmoil, anguish and uncertainty.  Will this tragedy prove unacceptable to mainstream Americans?  Will these 20 lost little angels move our collective hearts to reform our mental health system, early screening and intervention and adress access to guns that are for war from our homes, streets, theaters, temples of worship, schools and now elementary schools?

“Two days after the massacre at a school in Newtown, Conn., a shattered community headed off to church in the misty rain, only to have one service interrupted by death threats that forced the evacuation of the …”

via Sunday Coverage of School Shooting Aftermath – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Culture Think, Death and Dying, Guns on our streets, News, , , , , ,

Gunman opens fire in Minneapolis, several killed | Reuters

A gunman opened fire inside a Minneapolis sign company on Thursday, killing several people including himself and wounding four …

More via Gunman opens fire in Minneapolis, several killed | Reuters.

Filed under: Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Community Tragedy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Death and Dying, Guns on our streets, News, ,

Fast and Furious Gun Report Spurs Exits – WSJ.com

A Justice Department watchdog cited a “pattern of serious failures” in the oversight of the botched Fast and Furious operation against gun traffickers, in a harsh report that contributed to

via Fast and Furious Gun Report Spurs Exits – WSJ.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Election 2012, Guns on our streets, News, , ,

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