February 20, 2009
Will AG Holder really lead a "new birth of freedom" in prison nation?
In addition to all the interesting advocacy for frank conversations about racial issues (details here), Attorney General Eric Holder articulated this potent commitment to freedom in his first major speech:
Through its work and through its example this Department of Justice, as long as I am here, must — and will — lead the nation to the "new birth of freedom" so long ago promised by our greatest President. This is our duty and our solemn obligation.
I am pleased to hear the new AG talking the talk of freedom. But, especially with United States as the world's leader in incarceration, the big question with whether he will really walk the walk. There are many ways that AG Holder could and should fulfill this duty and solemn obligation to usher in a new birth of freedom in prison nation, and I hope he will start trying to make criminal justice realities live up to his rhetoric.
Some recent related posts:
- Will we invest in classrooms or cells in these tough times?
- The state of cost problems in the states of prison nation
- Terrific commentary and assessment of the war on drugs
February 20, 2009 at 08:34 AM | Permalink
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As I posted yesterday in response to Doug's embarrassingly gushing endorsement of the new AG's screed to "examine our racial soul," I expect more than sloganeering from the highest law enforcement officer in the land. Leave the "inspirational" messages to our elected politicians. I want more "nuts and bolts" details on his plans to lead this important agency.
Posted by: mjs | Feb 20, 2009 10:33:39 AM
I think law enforcement at its "highest" level is largely to do with inspiration, as opposed to nuts and bolts. As we observe every time we ascend the steps to the Supreme Court, appearance and myth is important to the Rule of Law. As is often pointed out, the Supreme Court has no army to summon to enforce its rulings, so in order to insure adherence to monumental decisions, it has to inspire and lead with constant reference to our basic principles.
Posted by: bruce cunningham | Feb 20, 2009 4:11:54 PM
DEAR JOHN ROBERTS ~ GOD'S MANDATE WITH YOUR U.S. SUPREME COURT SHOULD NOT INCLUDE POSSIBLE FALSE EXECUTIONS OF POOR AMERICANS ??
TROY DAVIS & MUMIA ABU-JAMAL PLEASE REMEMBER ~ JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF ALSO HAD 2 DEAL WITH ......
OUR U.S.CONGRESS HAS DOCUMENTED OUR UNJUST AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM AND WE STILL HAVE CERTAIN AMERICANS EVEN TODAY WANTING TO RUN THE RISK OF EXECUTING EVEN POSSIBLE INNOCENT CITIZENS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REST OF US IN THE NAME OF THEIR SO CALLED JUSTICE.
GOD DOES NOT HAVE MANDATE WITH U.S. SUPREME COURT 2 CONTINUE ALLOWING POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS TO BE INFLICTED ON OUR AMERICAN POOR !!!
**TROY DAVIS & MUMIA ABU ~JAMAL ~ ARE HAVING PRAYERS FOR JUSTICE SAID FOR THEM WORLD~WIDE ..WE CAN ALL ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT EVERYONE IN OUR U.S.CONGRESS THAT KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS HOW UNJUST OUR U.S JUDICIAL SYSTEM CAN BE WITH OUR POORER AMERICANS,BECOMES ACTIVE IN MAKING SURE THAT TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA AND MUMIA ABU~JAMAL OF PENNSYLVANIA RECEIVE FAIR AND JUST TRIALS BEFORE ANY POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS TAKE PLACE.
THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT OF 2009
The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 that I introduced in the Senate on March 26, 2009 will create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom.
I believe that it is time to bring together the best minds in America to confer, report, and make concrete recommendations about how we can reform the process. This legislation has already garnered wide bipartisan support in Congress and from interest groups representing a range of backgrounds and political viewpoints.
Why We Urgently Need this Legislation: With 5% of the world's population, our country now houses 25% of the world's reported prisoners. Incarcerated drug offenders have soared 1200% since 1980. Four times as many mentally ill people are in prisons than in mental health hospitals. Approximately 1 million gang members reside in the U.S., many of them foreign-based; and Mexican cartels operate in 230+ communities across the country.
Post-incarceration re-entry programs are haphazard and often nonexistent, undermining public safety and making it extremely difficult for ex-offenders to become full, contributing members of society. America's criminal justice system has deteriorated to the point that it is a national disgrace. Its irregularities and inequities cut against the notion that we are a society founded on fundamental fairness. Our failure to address this problem has caused the nation's prisons to burst their seams with massive overcrowding, even as our neighborhoods have become more dangerous.
We are wasting billions of dollars and diminishing millions of lives. We need to fix the system. Doing so will require a major nationwide recalculation of who goes to prison and for how long and of how we address the long-term consequences of incarceration. MATERIALS & RESOURCES Read the legislation, S. 714 Fact sheet on the legislation Senator Webb's floor speech introducing the legislation PARADE Magazine cover story, "What's Wrong with our Prisons?" Senator Jim Webb,
Sunday March 29, 2009 The scope of the problem: relevant charts and graphs List of Support for the National Criminal Justice Commission Act Of 2009 Opening Statement of Sen. Webb at Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on National Criminal Justice Commission Act, June 11, 2009 Watch Senator Webb's Floor Speech Introducing the Legislation, March 26, 2009 Senator Webb's article on the Huffington Post, "Why We Must Reform Our Criminal Justice System" MATERIALS FROM PAST HEARINGS, SYMPOSIUMS Joint Economic Committee Hearing, conducted by Senator Webb, "Mass Incarceration in the United States: At What Cost?" October 2007 Joint Economic Committee Hearing, conducted by Senator Webb, "Illegal Drugs: Economic Impact, Societal Costs, and Policy Responses,"
June 2008 George Mason University Symposium, hosted by Senator Webb and the GMU Administration of Justice Department, "Drugs in America: Trafficking, Policy and Sentencing," October 2008 Senator Webb's Keynote Address to the Brookings Institution's Policy Roundtable on the Challenges to Prisoner Re-entry, December 2008 NEWS ARTICLES & COMMENTARY Virginian Pilot editorial: "Time to reconsider U.S. justice system," April 6, 2009 Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star: "Behind-bars review," April 5, 2009 The Washington Post Writers Group: "Webb Leads the Charge for Much-Needed Drug, Prison Reform," April 5, 2009 Economist: "A Nation of Jailbirds," April 2, 2009 Daily Press: "Go After the Real Problem," March 31, 2009 New York Times: "Reviewing Criminal Justice," March 30, 2009 Lynchburg News & Advance: "Webb Takes on Politics' Third Rail: Prison Reform," March 29, 2009 Salon.com: "Jim Webb's courage v. the "pragmatism" excuse for politicians," March 28, 2009 The Virginian Pilot Editorial:
"Time to Rethink Goals of Prison," January 5, 2009 Roanoke Times Editorial: "The Criminal Justice System Needs Help," January 5, 2009 Las Vegas Sun Editorial: "Voice for Broken Prisons," January 3, 2009 U.S. News & World Report: "James Webb Shows Leadership Regarding Prison Reform," January 2, 2009 New York Times Editorial: "Sen. Webb's Call for Prison Reform," January 1, 2009 Washington Post: "Webb Sets His Sights On Prison Reform," December 29, 2008 Daily Press: "Alternative to Jail for Addicts Gains New Supporter," December 28, 2008 The Virginian Pilot: "Senator Elevates Debate on Failed Drug, Prison Policies," October 18, 2008 The Roanoke Times Editorial: "A Sensible Call for Sentencing Reform," October 13, 2008 Washington Post Op-Ed: "Two Separate Societies: One in Prison, One Not," April 15, 2008
LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS A WWW VOLUNTEEER LOBBY THAT SINGS OUT FOR OUR MIDDLE~CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS. WE CAN BE FOUND WITH ANY SEARCH ENGINE BY OUR NAME OR TELELEPHONE NUMBER. (424-247-2013)
~ WE ENJOY BRINGING THE GOOD LIFE TO ALL OF America's little people ON THE WEB.
***MANY MORE IN OUR U.S.CONGRESS ARE NOW HEARING THE TRUTH !!!
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LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS HAS COMPLETE FAITH THAT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS IS THE RIGHT MAN IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR JUSTICE TO PREVAIL FOR ALL AMERICANS !
Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Feb 24, 2010 6:51:33 PM