Tag Archives: dissent

Debating Criminal Justice Reform

For more on this topic, join us at the Murphy Institute on October 19th for this month’s Labor Forum: Black Lives Matter & the Fight for Fifteen: A New Social Movement? 

When looking to reform our obviously broken criminal justice and carceral system, at what point must we examine the structural causes of urban crime? Can we address some of the damning injustices of our criminal justice system without first addressing urban poverty and the conditions that produce and uphold it?

blacksilentmajorityThe latest issue of Dissent Magazine features a debate from two corners of the Murphy Institute. Murphy Prof. Michael Javen Fortner, whose new book Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment came out to wide coverage and acclaim this fall, argues that we need to begin by taking an honest look at the roots and effects of urban crime if we want to achieve meaningful and enduring criminal justice reform.

Meanwhile, Marie Gottschalk, professor of political science at thecaught University of Pennsylvania, member of the New Labor Forum editorial board, and writer of Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, argues, “Alleviating the poverty and income inequality that are at the root of extraordinarily high levels of violent crime in certain communities will take some time. In the meantime, no compelling public safety concern justifies keeping so many people from these communities locked up or otherwise ensnared in the carceral state.” Continue reading Debating Criminal Justice Reform