American penitentiaries, in idealized Quaker imaginings, were to be a place for reflective penitence followed by forgiveness. That's not how it worked out, especially for the poor. And the problem goes far beyond prison reform:
Every year, more than 600,000 individuals are freed from America’s jails and prisons.But many of America’s formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when integrating back into public life once free, according to Wes Caines and his former colleagues Scott Hechinger and Hannah McCrea at Brooklyn Defender Services, a public defender service in New York City. Former prisoners are routinely denied employment, housing, education, and other benefits that would help ease their integration into life on the outside, Caines says. For more read our Q&A with Wes Caines where he discusses his personal story of life after prison.
The shunning ex-cons experience is called a "social death," and it makes them harder to re-assimilate into society after doing their time. This makes it far more likely that they will re-offend.
The same denial of justice also happens to poor crime victims, especially when the person who committed the crime against them has the means to mount a costly defense.
• How America's justice system is rigged against the poor (YouTube / Vox)
The AP reports that Jeremy Putnam, 31, was arrested in Winchester, Virginia, and charged with “wearing a mask in public,” a felony in that state. He was armed with a “sword” in public, which apparently alarmed residents. But they haven’t charged him with that; they’ve charged him with this, a fascinatingly terrible law: § 18.2-422. […]
Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to ensure that the FCC won’t be able to prevent your ISP from spying on your internet usage and selling your private information. What does that mean in practice?
A ruling about a DC university held that posting course videos to the open web without subtitling them violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (while keeping them private to students did not) (I know: weird), and this prompted UC Berkeley to announce the impending removal of 20,000 open courseware videos from Youtube.
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]