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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

 

 

books

Robocops and Robbers

Jill Leovy The American Scholar
This new book highlights the technology at the heart of what reviewer Jill Leovy calls "surveillance-driven policing," and the heightened dangers this new set of law enforcement tools pose to democracy.

books

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: On Locking up Our Own

Adam Shatz London Review of Books
If anyone doubted Black Americans still today suffer unfairly from incarceration rates and other horrific inequities out of all proportion to their numbers in the population, the case was closed by Michelle Alexander in her masterly The New Jim Crow (2010). Comes now James Forman Jr., to argue convincingly that key sections of the black community themselves abetted the criminalizing of black youths in a misguided effort to make so-called law and order work for them.

Quarter of Inmates Could Have Been Spared Prison Without Risk

Jamiles Lartey The Guardian
Analyzing offender data on roughly 1.5 million US prisoners, researchers from the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that for one in four, drug treatment, community service, probation or a fine would have been a more effective sentence than incarceration. The study also concluded that another 14% of incarcerated individuals had already served an appropriate sentence. These people could be released within the next year “with little risk to public safety”.

The Problem of Crime Is Really a Community Health Issue

Nico Pitney Huffington Post
A Jesuit priest, "Father G" leads Los Angeles' renowned Homeboy Industries, which offers extensive services and a supportive community to the formerly incarcerated and gang-involved. In an interview with HuffPost, Father Boyle shares lessons he's learned about hope, the problem of "crime" and building community.

Why Police Can't Fix Urban America's Violent Crime Problem - Here's the Solution We Keep Overlooking

Maurice Jackson Washington Post
Systemic problems require systemic solutions. Police alone cannot stop urban violence; it requires action on every front. Rising poverty in the nation's capital has been experienced primarily by black and Latino residents. The average white family's income is $110,757, according to Census estimates. For black families it's $39,081. There's a growing income gap nationwide. This kind of disparity breeds hopelessness, which drives people to acts of desperation and violence.

Crime Falls Along With Imprisonment

Pew Charitable Trusts
The latest findings from the FBI provide further evidence that states can reduce incarceration rates without compromising public safety.
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