Archive for the ‘Criminal Justice’ Category

by (RSS) Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Poverty | April 30th, 2017 12:48am CDT | No Comments

                    Twenty-five years ago this week, Los Angeles’ simmering police racism erupted into the open when the police officers who had viciously beaten Rodney King were acquitted. It led to what was called by officialdom as the “LA Riots,” but was known more often as the […]

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                Abe Fortas – the forgotten Memphian – has been back in the news lately. Or more precisely, he has been in the background of the news lately. First, there was his relevance in the controversy about U.S. District Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice | February 15th, 2017 12:54am CDT | 3 Comments

              Our community often seems to do the same things and expect different results. For decades, when it comes to economic development, we believe that waiving more and more taxes is the way to create jobs.  When it comes to transportation, we believe that building more and more roads […]

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              Maybe it’s time for the Memphis Police Association to put up or shut up.  Once again, they have spent union dues to put up billboards trafficking in fear and undermining the public support they so badly need for community policing. But more to the point, if the Police […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice | January 11th, 2017 5:32pm CDT | No Comments

            Our friend, Pastor DeAndre Brown, executive director of Lifeline to Success, an exemplary reentry program, read the following statement at a rally today in response to the first murder in Frayser.  DeAndre is a powerful advocate for an end to violence in Memphis so we’re posting his call to […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice, Poverty | January 4th, 2017 12:33am CDT | 5 Comments

                            For a moment, we thought we had entered a time warp.  Another new year, another Willie W. Herenton bombshell to kick it off. The former mayor’s comments are always geared to stir up controversy and he had to know that his […]

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              It’s the time of year when we pause to remember people and groups that we tend to take for granted. The University of Memphis is at the top of our list this year. Apparently, it’s a message that we were not supposed to miss. First, we were reminded […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice | November 4th, 2016 12:24am CDT | 3 Comments

It’s nothing short of amazing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has successfully fooled so many people into believing that is apolitical and too pure to ever be tempted to intervene in partisan politics. The clumsy letter-writing and intrusion into the presidential campaign by FBI director James Comey were reminders that no other federal agency […]

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              For about 10 years, there has been debate about the optimal size of the Memphis Police Department and recommendations in various studies have suggested fewer police and more police, understanding that there is no clear correlation between the size of cities’ police forces and their crime rates. Today, […]

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by (RSS) Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Poverty | October 6th, 2016 12:57am CDT | No Comments

                  If you care about the children of Memphis and Shelby County, you have to care about criminal justice reform. That’s because no one pays a heavier price for longer sentences and mass incarceration than the youngest people in this community. As we wrote in our post […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice | October 3rd, 2016 12:08am CDT | 2 Comments

                  The Shelby County criminal justice system is calcified and stuck in time. It’s hard to draw any other conclusion when a common sense, no risk bail bond program goes down in flames. That conclusion was confirmed again by the increasing number of defendants with longer and […]

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            Memphis moved a step closer to marijuana enforcement sanity with the vote by Memphis City Council for an ordinance that would mean that Memphis Police Department would not arrest people with less than one-half of an ounce of a drug that is no more serious than alcohol and less […]

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by (RSS) Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Poverty | July 8th, 2016 4:24pm CDT | 3 Comments

                And the cycle begins anew.  Or, maybe, in truth, it never stopped. The toxic stew of guns, racism, injustice, and anger continues to poison America, and we appear to lack the resolve, the political will, and the honesty to confront it directly and courageously. Maybe this time […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice, Poverty | June 14th, 2016 12:03am CDT | 3 Comments

It seems that we’ve been talking about attacking poverty in this community since the Johnson Administration. We’ve been talking about the “C” – and sea, for that matter – for 10 years. That’s what we’ve gotten good at – talking.  While we talked, the poverty rate climbed by more than 33% since 2000 and the […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice, Leadership | June 10th, 2016 12:59am CDT | No Comments

                The funeral of Verdell Smith will be held today, and so many people who knew and worked with him on breaking down the barriers between police and people and neighborhoods who had traditionally had mistrust and tense relationships with police grieve with his family and friends today.  […]

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              ‘Twas ever thus. In the yearly drama of Shelby County Board of Commissioners’ budget hearings, schools need more money and struggle to find support and the sheriff’s request for a bigger budget gets a spirited defense. It’s little wonder that the sheriff’s budget has grown at a rate […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice | April 29th, 2016 12:45am CDT | Comments Off on Our Region’s Arresting Development

  The incarceration rate for the Memphis MSA is about 80% higher than the Atlanta region and more than three times higher than Birmingham region. The Memphis MSA rate is two times higher than Baltimore, four times higher than Detroit, and two times higher than Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and New York City.   It’s […]

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by (RSS) Criminal Justice, Poverty | April 27th, 2016 12:28am CDT | Comments Off on Kids Don’t Do The Crime, But They Do The Time

              Monday’s report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation gives new meaning to the aphorism: Do the crime, do the time.  As it turns out, the people doing the time are also children, whose lives are traumatically and often irrevocably affected. It’s a sad commentary about our inclination, particularly […]

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