Tag: Criminal Justice Reform

Charles Fain Lehman joins Brian Anderson to discuss why police departments are losing officers, flawed arguments for progressive criminal-justice policies, and the enduring relevance of James Q. Wilson’s work on crime.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

The Great Liberator


President TrumpDonald J. Trump is poised to become the Great Liberator for black folk. This Republican Convention is the Trump Party Convention, thanks be to God. Starting on the very first evening, President Trump’s list of speakers* began to make the case based on candidate Donald J. Trump’s fulfilling his 2016 New Deal for Black America** to the limit of Article II powers, (as unconstitutionally expanded by a corrupt Congress and Supreme Court). President Trump has faithfully acted within the limits of the Constitution as written until the other two branches did the two-step of breaching their own duties and claiming the presidency, just not Donald Trump, had expanded authority to act. If Lincoln was the Great Emancipator, then President Trump is poised to become the Great Liberator, freeing Americans of every shade of melanin from the Administrative State and the unholy alliance of Bushie Chamber of Commerce Republicans and Marxist Democrats.

The Bushie Chamber of Commerce Republican’ts have had since January 21, 2001, to fix federal election fraud. They have willfully failed and obstructed real defense of our republican form of government. The Democrats are who they have been since repeater gangs stuffed ballot boxes along the eastern shore of the Mississippi before the Civil War, defending slavery. The current Congressional Republican’ts are the morally corrupt crew who used the cover of the Sacrament of the Filibuster to preserve Democrats’ racial terrorism, blocking every attempt to stop white supremacist states with anti-“lynching” legislation.

“Lynching” was a deceptive term for ritual public torture-murder. Think the charred remnants of American contractors suspended from a bridge in Iraq. That is what good old all-American boys did with southern belles looking on. And bits and pieces were displayed in shop windows in jars of preservative on main street.

Former NYPD and LAPD commissioner William J. Bratton joins Brian Anderson to discuss the troubling state of crime and law enforcement in America, the NYPD’s decision to disband its plainclothes unit, the challenges of police morale and recruitment, and more.

Kmele Foster joined host Ben Domenech to discuss possible criminal justice reform as a result of the recent riots and newfound energy among the Black Lives Matter movement. Foster co-hosts “The Fifth Column” podcast and his work can be found at Freethink media.

Kmele argued that, although there must be changes to how law enforcement operates, it can’t be solely about race. The confusing discussion of race and criminal justice reform that produced the campaign by Black Lives Matter that has strayed from its message concerning criminal justice reform. It now focuses many other “strange objectives which people can’t really disentangle,” he argued, such as the idea to defund the police.

Donald Trump and Redemption


The Trump phenomenon is mostly about redemption. That’s the theme in the video below. But there’s much more than that happening. Trump is talking to people who know very well how “flawed” our criminal justice system can be. He’s tapping into people’s sense of unfairness that supersedes class or station. (Video starts at 47:35.)

Rafael A. Mangual joins Seth Barron to discuss New York City’s plan to replace the jail complex on Rikers Island with four borough-based jails and what it could mean for public order in the city.

New York City jails currently house a daily average of about 8,000 people, in a city of 8 million residents. Under the new plan, the borough-based jails (once constructed) will be able to house 3,300 people—less than half the city’s average daily jail population today. As Barron writes, the new target “will likely require a significant realignment of expectations about public safety.”

Steven Malanga and Rafael Mangual join Seth Barron to discuss concerns that lawlessness is returning to American cities, a theme that Malanga and Mangual explore in separate feature stories in the Summer 2019 Issue of City Journal.

Memories of the urban chaos and disorder of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s have faded, and many local leaders today have forgotten the lessons of that bygone era. Malanga’s story, “The Cost of Bad Intentions” (available soon online), shows how a new generation of politicians are bringing back some of the terrible policies that got American cities into trouble in the first place. On crime and incarceration, Mangual argues that the new disorder will grow worse if progressives manage to overhaul the American criminal-justice system.

Compassion in Deed


There are those who mouth pieties about compassion. Former president George W. Bush comes to mind, perhaps because he made such a point, with his father, of distinguishing himself from that mean man (according to all the best sort of people) Ronald Reagan. Bush 41 touted “a thousand points of light,” and backhanded Reagan with his inauguration address. Bush 43 proclaimed himself a “compassionate conservative.”

“I call my philosophy and approach compassionate conservatism. It is compassionate to actively help our fellow citizens in need. It is conservative to insist on responsibility and results. And with this hopeful approach, we will make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Grant Bush 43 this: he effectively used U.S. taxpayer dollars to make a real difference in the public health of Africa. He seriously addressed HIV infection rates there. Of course, he did less than nothing for Christians in the Middle East, bringing catastrophe upon them while mouthing pieties. And he subverted any real move to secure our southern border, while sending our military everywhere else and working with Congress to exponentially grow the surveillance state. Whatever it took to keep the lid on American workers’ wages, in service of the Chamber of Commerce.

Rafael Mangual joins Seth Barron to discuss the disturbing leftward trend among urban prosecutors in major cities and the consequences of undoing the crime-fighting revolution of the 1990s.

In recent years, cities like Philadelphia and Chicago have elected district attorneys dedicated to the principles of social-justice and the goal of “dismantling mass incarceration.” The shift away from proactive law enforcement has opened a rift between police and local prosecutors and points to more trouble ahead for many cities.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Senate for approving the criminal justice reform bill known as the First Step Act.  While still a bit uneasy about some details, they generally like the emphasis on teaching inmates how to live an honest life when they get out of prison and become an asset to their communities.  They also wonder why President Trump is suddenly ordering the U.S. to withdraw from Syria when ISIS is badly degraded but not yet eradicated.  And they shake their heads as Michael Flynn’s legal strategy backfires and the federal judge in the case embarrasses himself with false accusations and flippantly suggests Flynn is a traitor.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announcing there will be a vote on the criminal justice reform bill known as the FIRST STEP Act.  They also discuss Time magazine’s selection of Jamal Khashoggi and other murdered and persecuted journalists as the “Person of the Year” and take time to explain that no one can equate President Trump’s treatment of the media to the murders and imprisonment for the press in other parts of the world.  And they assess  MSNBC hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi being appalled that each person supposedly being considered by Trump to be the next chief of staff is a white male.

This Viewpoint Podcast features a conversation with John Huffingon who, after spending 32 years in prison — 10 of which were on death row — maintained his innocence, and was ultimately released from prison in 2013 through a writ of actual innocence. Today, John works for Living Classrooms in Baltimore, where he runs programs to help educate former prisoners who are returning to the workforce. The goal is to reduce crime and recidivism in Maryland by helping those reentering society to get productive, legal jobs instead of going back to jail.

For more Viewpoint podcasts, subscribe to the AEI Podcast Channel on Apple Podcasts.

In Banter’s third installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Resident Fellow Gerard Robinson once again takes over as guest host. On this episode, he is joined by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections to discuss prison education and evidence-based criminal justice reform. Duwe also serves as an academic adviser to AEI for criminal justice reform. He joined last week’s guests, Renita Seabrook and Ames Grawert, in an event at AEI hosted by Robinson and AEI Resident Scholar Stan Veuger on prison education reform policies.

About the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” Series

In Banter’s second installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Resident Fellow Gerard Robinson takes over as guest host. In part one of this episode, Gerard interviews Renita Seabrook who serves as an associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Baltimore. In part two, Ames Grawert from the Brennan Center’s Justice Program joins the show to discuss the legal basis for prison education. Both participated in an event at AEI hosted by Robinson and AEI Resident Scholar Stan Veuger on prison education reform policies.

About the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” Series

In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Gerard Robinson hosts Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who addresses the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 he cosponsored with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and several other lawmakers. This aims to cut mandatory minimums, grant judges greater sentencing discretion, and help prisoners successfully return to society.

Following Chairman Grassley’s remarks, Hayne Yoon (Vera Institute), John Huffington (Living Classroom Foundation), and the Pat Nolan (American Conservative Union Center for Criminal Justice Reform) discuss how to prepare prisoners for life after prison, reduce recidivism, provide opportunities for returned citizens, and reform the criminal justice system to create safer communities and more stable families. The panelists also address improving prison conditions for women, introducing prosecutorial discretion in sentencing, and funding and operating correctional education programs.

On this week’s Banter, Pat Nolan and Hayne Yoon join the show to talk criminal justice reform. Nolan is the director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform and is a leader of Right on Crime, a national movement of conservative leaders supporting reforms to the US criminal justice system. Yoon is the director of government affairs at the Vera Institute for Justice where she leads their national policy work. Both participated in a panel discussion following Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) remarks at an AEI event on reducing recidivism. The link below will take you to the full event video.

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 I wholeheartedly agree that some areas of the criminal justice system are broken.  Here is something I did not know coming out of New Mexico (late 2016): Can’t Afford Bail? In One State, That Doesn’t Matter Anymore. “In New Mexico, as in the majority of the nation, judges use bail to detain people who they […]

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City Journal editor Brian C. Anderson and contributing editor Heather Mac Donald (author of the New York Times bestseller “The War on Cops“) discuss law and order in the Donald Trump administration, how the left’s anti-police narrative contributed to his victory, and Trump’s choice to head the Justice Department.

“Donald Trump was the only person that was willing to talk about the breakdown of law and order in the inner cities and saying that that is the most fundamental government responsibility, without which nothing else matters.” — Heather Mac Donald

Some Computer Crimes Are More Equal than Others


CorreaSee this man? His name is Christopher Correa. He did a very bad thing with a computer. Today a Federal Judge sentenced him to 46 months behind bars and ordered him to pay almost $300,000 in restitution to his victims.

“This is a very serious offense, and obviously the court saw it as well,” US Attorney Kenneth Magidson said, feeling justifiably proud of himself for having secured a verdict meant to deliver a very important message — accessing Top Secret information and sharing it with others will not be tolerated no matter how powerful or well connected you are.

Correa’s crime? Hacking into the scouting files of the Houston Astros baseball club.