contact us

 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

Crimcast is a virtual resource devoted to critical conversations about criminology and criminal justice issues. Our blogposts, twitter feeds, podcasts and other content provide an overview of trends, research, commentary and events of interest to criminal justice practitioners, academics and the general public. CrimCast is sponsored by The Center for Crime and Popular Culture, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.

Filtering by Tag: community

The Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition at SFC

Nickie Phillips

Solitary confinement is torture...and should completely be abolished.
— Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition
The Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition - SFC March 12, 2016

The Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition - SFC March 12, 2016

The Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition - SFC March 12, 2016

Changes in the UK law to contain sex offenders

Terry Thomas

 
 

There are noticeable difference between the way the USA and the UK try to protect the public from sex offenders who are living in the community. Both countries have a sex offender register but thereafter there is a departure in the way the register is used and how each try to contain the offender in the interests of public protection.

 
image.jpg

In the USA the register is publicly available to anyone who wants to consult it including availability on the internet. This ‘universal’ approach of ‘community notification’ is in contrast to the more ‘selective’ approach of the UK where only certain people are allowed to know information about a person’s sexual convictions and their registration status.

The USA has blanket residency restrictions with geographic zones that sex offenders are not allowed to live in. The UK has targeted restrictions on a person’s lifestyle and where they might want to live using individualised preventive civil orders. Another example of the ‘universal’ and ‘selective’ approaches taken by the respective countries.

But is the UK slowly moving towards a wider interpretation of the conditions the state can impose on a sex offender in the interests of public protection?

A recent case heard in the UK Court of Appeal [Richards, R (on the application of) v Teesside Magistrates' Court & Another [2015] EWCA Civ 7] involved a registered sex offender being ‘contained’ by a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) – one of the preventive civil orders introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. These Orders are applied for by the police on certain qualifying individuals and they allow the courts to impose various negative restrictions on a person’s behaviour.

The appeal in this case was against the court’s decision to require the sex offender to wear an electronic tag to monitor his movements. He argued that (a) there was nothing in the law on SOPO’s that said anything about electronic tags being worn unlike all other legal references to tags which were in the statute book, and (b) the requirement to wear a tag was a ‘positive’ when all other restrictions by SOPO’s were ‘negative’ as the law suggested they should be.

The case was lost and the presiding judges ruled that:

The only restrictions to what may be placed in a SOPO are … that it must be ‘necessary’ to impose the prohibition in order to protect the public or particular members of the public from serious sexual harm from the defendant …[and] Parliament did not restrict or limit the prohibitions which may be included in a SOPO. Given the myriad ways in which such harm may be caused, the absence of a list of permitted prohibitions is understandable (para.29)

But SOPOs themselves are about to disappear. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 Part 9 replaces them with Sexual Risk Orders and Sexual Harm Prevention Orders. Exactly when these new Orders will become active is as yet still unknown. What we do know is that they are going to be even more widely drawn than the existing SOPO (see e.g. ‘New Home Office Rules give police sweeping powers to curb sex offenders’ The Independent 9 October 2013). If we thought the SOPO was vague wait till we see what comes next.

Terry Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice Studies, Leeds Beckett University UK – for a longer account of the changes in the UK law about to take place see Thomas T and Thompson D (2014) New Civil Orders to contain Sexually Harmful Behaviour in the Community British Journal of Community Justice 12 (3): 19-33.

Lineage Project: Yoga and Meditation for At-Risk Youth

Nickie Phillips

The Lineage Project, in partnership with Laughing Lotus Yoga Center,  is hosting a raffle to increase their yoga and meditation classes for at-risk, court-involved and incarcerated youth.

Go here for more information.

The Lineage Project:

Through yoga, meditation, discussion and other mindfulness techniques, we help young people to value themselves and feel that they can make a lasting and important contribution to their communities.

We work in juvenile detention centers, alternative-to-incarceration programs and public schools for struggling students.

Tickets are only $10 each or 12 for $100. They can be purchased online or at the Front Desk at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center.

Please note: YogaTeesNYC is donating 10% of all sales to Lineage Project until the end of the raffle on June 22.

 

 

Kings Park Documentary Screening, NYC

Nickie Phillips

The NYC Mental Health Film Festival is screening Kings Park - May 18 2014

On June 21, 1967, at the age of 17, Lucy Winer was committed to the female violent ward of Kings Park State Hospital following a series of failed suicide attempts. Over 30 years later, now a veteran documentary filmmaker, Lucy returns to Kings Park for the first time since her discharge. Her journey back sparks a decade-long effort to face her past and learn the story of the now abandoned institution that once held her captive. Her meetings with other former patients, their families, and the hospital staff reveal the painful legacy of our state hospital system and the crisis left by its demise.

Sunday, May 18th, 2:00 pm
Q&A with filmmakers & cast
St. Francis College
Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY
http://www.communityaccess.org/filmfestival
Telephone: (212) 780-1400 x7726 
Email: crabinowitz@communityaccess.org

For more information, go to the 10th Annual NYC Mental Health Film Festival.

Bearing Witness: Art and Resistance in Cold War Latin America

Nickie Phillips

June 2, 1986, =

Wednesday, 7th of May, 2014 from 5:30pm-7:30pm

Attend the opening of the exhibition Bearing Witness: Art Resistance in Cold War Latin America.

The exhibition runs from May 8, 2014-September 12, 2014

at ANYA AND ANDREW SHIVA GALLERY JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, CUNY 524 WEST 59TH STREET L2.73.14 NEW YORK, NY 10019

Gallery Hours: 1pm-5pm, M-F, or by appointment

While censorship, kidnapping, torture, and murder became common tactics for repressive governments throughout Latin America during the Cold War, many artists from the region responded by producing poignant works of art that speak out against these atrocities. This exhibition brings together three distinct bodies of work that do so through documentation, poetic subversion and revelation.

Pull of Gravity Screening, NYC

Nickie Phillips

Pull of Gravity-Documentary Trailer from Jon Kaufman on Vimeo.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of New York, the U.S. Department of Probation – Eastern District of New York, The Center for Court Innovation and St. Francis College are pleased to bring a screening of the documentary film PULL OF GRAVITY to Brooklyn, NY on May 5th. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with the film’s director and others involved in reintegration.

Monday May 5. 2014 St. Francis College 180 Remsen Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Go here to RSVP and for more information.

Paintings from the Inside: Art by Offenders

Nickie Phillips

dinner  

These five remarkable paintings greet visitors of Leeds Metropolitan University School of Social, Psychological and Communication Sciences. The paintings are part of the Koestler Trust exhibitions that feature artworks by offenders, secure patients, and detainees.

Koestler Trust is described as "the UK's best-known prison arts charity" and operates as "…a charity which celebrates the best achievements of people who have made grave mistakes in life…."

The Trust operates on donations and income from the sales of the artworks, with 50% profits going to the artist and 25% of all sales going to victim support.

Koestler offers annual awards that cover a variety of artforms including, writing, painting, performance, and crafts with a selection of the entries featured at the annual UK exhibition held in London. For more information on the exhibitions, go here.

To support Koestler Trust, go here. You may purchase art here.

 

scream mask headinsand cell

 

New Journal Explores Intersection of Health and Justice

Nickie Phillips

Medicine-and-Law-300x168

The graying of America's prison population, drug treatment programs in correctional settings, and the lack of social support for inmates re-entering society... these topics and more are the focus of the new journal Health & Justice, aimed at capturing the interaction between criminal justice systems and health services.  Edited by Faye S. Taxman of George Mason University and Lior Gideon of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the journal, which already released its first articles online this year, reaches broadly, including researchers across many disciplines as well as justice practitioners and medical professionals working with justice-involved individuals. "Criminal justice populations are highly prevalent in public health problems that are not being addressed.  We feel that not to address them is an injustice," Gideon explained.

The journal looks forward to reviewing and publishing a variety of perspectives drawn from a wide range of methodologies.  "We like theoretical pieces, protocol studies, reviews of innovations in the field, evaluations of treatment programs, meta analyses, all kinds of work related to health and justice," Gideon told Crimcast.

40352

Click here to download the first open access articles from Health & Justice.

Click here to learn how you can submit a manuscript for review.

Community-based Policing: A Look to the Future of Public Safety in NYC Event, John Jay College

Nickie Phillips

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at Nov 14, 2013, 7.21.50 PM

Full Conference Agenda: Community-based Policing Conference agenda for Nov 15

About the Panelists

(alphabetically)

Michael Cram is a captain in the Philadelphia Police Department’s 26th district who, working with community members, led an effort to reduce crime through a series of measures aimed at addressing ongoing crime generating problems. The approach solicited community input as a primary means of identifying crime hot-spots and addressed broader community needs through economic development, education, culture and the arts.  Residents worked with the police department to reach goals established in each of these areas. With the support of the LISC CSI (see Julia Ryan’s bio), under the leadership of Captain Cram, the PPD collaborated with the community to renovate the Rainbow de Colores playground in north Philadelphia.  As part of a plan called Our Community, Our Ideas, the partnership reduced crime and returned control of the park to the community.

Val Demings served as the Chief of the Orlando Police Department from 2007-2011 and was the first woman to lead the department. During her tenure as head of the OPD, Chief Demings initiated a series of community-oriented, problem-solving measures in the Palms Apartments, a low-income complex with a long history of crime and disorder, including a triple homicide in July 2008.  Rather than rely solely on enforcement tactics in response to the homicides, Chief Demings held a series of meetings with the residents and based on these meetings developed a comprehensive strategy for strengthening the community’s ability to control crime and enjoy a better quality of life. Among other things, the strategy included providing entry gates for residents and police assistance in beautifying the complex grounds.  These non-enforcement activities helped build trust between the police and local residents. A major crime decrease followed, and since then, the approach pioneered by Demings has been adopted in housing complexes across Florida.

Ronald Fred is a sergeant in the Philadelphia Police Department who previously served as the community officer for the 26th district. Under the supervision of Capt. Michael Cram, he worked closely with residents to renovate the Rainbow de Colores playground. The physical renovation of the park and the close and continuous collaboration between local residents and Sgt. Fred, who was a patrol officer at the time, led to reduced crime within the park and areas surrounding it.

Allen James  is Program Manager for Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights, a community-based anti-violence initiative in Brooklyn. S.O.S. Crown Heights is based on the Chicago Ceasefire or CureViolence model which seeks to reduce gun violence by providing on-the-spot conflict mediation.  S.O.S Crown Heights staff, many of whom are former-offenders, utilize their knowledge of life on the streets in their peer counseling. In addition, S.O.S. Crown Heights works closely with local residents, businesses, clergy, and community organizations to promote a visible and public message against gun violence. A recent evaluation, conducted by researchers from the Center for Court Innovation and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, found that activities of S.O.S. Crown Heights have made a significant contribution to the reduction of gun violence.

To learn more visit www.soscrownheights.org and www.courtinnovation.org

Sean Johnson is the Director of Program Marketing at the Council For Unity. Founded in Brooklyn in the 1970s, Council For Unity (CFU) brings a distinct approach to youth violence reduction. CFU recognizes that when overwhelmed by social challenges, youth may embrace a street culture with values that frequently lead to violence. CFU seeks to provide a set of alternative values based on four pillars: Family, Unity, Self-esteem and Empowerment (F.U.S.E.). Through curricula, developed over decades, via work in schools, communities, and correctional facilities and by collaborating with law enforcement, other youth organizations and businesses, Council For Unity staff work closely with youth to uncover and strengthen their positive social talents and abilities.  Research is currently in progress to examine how exposure to these curricula impact young people’s decisions and help them resist engaging in violence.

To learn more visit www.councilforunity.org.

Dr. Candace McCoy is a Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and is affiliated with the John Jay College, Department of Criminal Justice.  She is a specialist in criminal justice policy. Most recently, Dr. McCoy was principle investigator for an evaluation of Cincinnati’s Police-Community Collaborative Agreement entered into in 2002.   The collaboration, which involves the police department, the police union, advocacy groups and community organizations, led to the city’s adoption of a Community Problem-Oriented Policing (CPOP) strategy. The CPOP model involves a commitment to community input in the identification and resolution of issues related to crime and disorder.  A 2009 report by the RAND Corporation found that since the adoption of this model, crime in Cincinnati declined substantially and that perceptions of police racial profiling also declined.

To learn more visit: www.rand.org

Andre T. Mitchell is Founder and Executive Director of MAN UP! Inc., a grassroots organization that began as an anti-gun violence initiative in the East New York section of Brooklyn, in 2003. Its activities have since expanded to include after-school programs, athletic leagues, and job training; and, its geographic focus has expanded to other parts of New York state. MAN UP! Inc. was recently featured in a New YorkTimes article that credits work conducted by its street outreach workers and “violence interrupters” with contributing to a 363-day period during which no shootings occurred in an area previously known for gun violence. The NYPD’s 73rd and 75th precincts are a primary focus of the organizations work. Using anti-violence methods that are consistent with the Chicago Ceasefire model, Man Up! Inc. has been awarded a substantial anti-gun violence grant from the state senate.

To learn more visit: www.manupinc.org/openybk.html

Julia Ryan is the director of the Community Safety Initiative (CSI), a national program of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Headquartered in New York City, LISC is the nation’s largest community development support organization, providing financial, technical and policy assistance to local neighborhood revitalization efforts around the country. LISC’s CSI is supporting the integration of crime prevention into comprehensive community development by providing training and technical assistance in more than 20 cities and fostering national partnerships with Congressional and criminal justice leaders. The CSI Resource Center works with residents and community organizations to tackle persistent crime problems in collaboration with progressive law enforcement agencies. Such public safety partnerships that align organizing, enforcement, and community revitalization, have achieved major crime reductions across the country by replacing trouble spots with quality housing, active businesses, and safe playspaces.

To learn more visit:  www.lisc.org

Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam: Interpersonal Violence, War, Guns, and Green Criminology

Nickie Phillips

By El Mariachi 94 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest Post by Gennifer Furst, Associate Professor, William Paterson UniversityAs Pearl Jam releases its tenth studio album and celebrates the 23rd anniversary of its first performance, the band’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder and the four other band members (along with musician Boom Gaspar) are making headlines speaking out about criminological themes. From their beginning, Eddie and the guys have never shied away from issues of social justice. In fact, through the band’s Vitalogy Foundation, named after their third album released in 1994, they support the work of non-profit organizations in fields such as community health, the environment, and social change. Two dollars of every ticket they sell goes to the Vitalogy Foundation.

The Early Years

Much has been written about Eddie Vedder’s political commentary delivered during his performances from progressive issues on abortion to anti-war sentiments. Back in March 1992 during the band’s appearance on MTV’s Unplugged Vedder stood up during the performance of “Alive” and wrote “pro-choice” on his arm with a bold black Sharpie marker. The following month, during an appearance on Saturday Night Live, he wore a homemade t-shirt with an image of a hanger  on the front and “No Bush ‘92” written on the back. During the same performance, he changed the lyrics of “Porch”--a song some believe apolitical--to include a message about women’s right to choose. The band also address abusive relationships on one of their band's best known anthems, "Better Man" from 1994's Vitalogy.

The band was an early voice in today’s anti-bullying movement. The lyrics and video for “Jeremy,” one of the band’s most well-known songs from their breakthrough album Ten, brought attention to the issue years before Columbine, often regarded as the school shooting event that started the conversation. More than two decades later the issue of guns and mass killings in schools would again become an issue Vedder prioritized.

Touring During War Time

In addition to their activism on domestic social justice issues, Pearl Jam’s attention to the wars in the Middle East has been on-going. The song “Bu$hleaguer” on 2002’s Riot Act was a clear criticism of George W. Bush’s blatant deception and manipulation of the American public into supporting an unjust war:

A confidence man, but why so beleaguered?

He's not a leader, he's a Texas leaguer

Swinging for the fence, got lucky with a strike

The lyrics are explicit in their denunciation of the Bush administration and their actions. The bush, or minor leagues, is a reference to Bush as inept and unqualified to lead, and as someone who lucked into a position in the major leagues – that of President. Released during the buildup to the Iraq war, and touring during the initial stages of the Iraq invasion, the band experienced the wrath of those unwilling to question authority. For example, Vedder was accused of “impaling” the President

By conguita [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

when during their summer tour in 2003 he appeared on stage wearing a Bush mask. In order to be able to sing, he removed the mask and hung it on the microphone stand. Contingents of concert-goers booed at the gesture. However, the backlash never proved to be as damaging as the reaction to the Dixie Chicks who disbanded shortly after Natalie Maines expressed her dismay at being from the same state as Bush.

Then, as now, Vedder argues his disdain for the wars is rooted in support for the troops. He expresses concern for the victims – the soldiers and the families who have lost loved ones to an unjust war. In addition to meeting veterans and welcoming their stories, during performances he often acknowledges the veterans present. At a concert in Colorado that kicked off their summer 2003 tour (and where the Bush mask made its U.S. debut, having been used in Australia and Japan) Vedder declared,

Just to clarify... we support the troops.…We're just confused on how wanting to bring them back safely all of a sudden becomes non-support….We love them. They're not the ones who make the foreign policy. Let's hope for the best and speak our opinions.

The anti-war message reappeared in 2006 in “World Wide Suicide,” another cut from their self-titled album Pearl Jam (also known as the Avocado Album) that criticized the war and the country’s foreign policy. Quoted in Newsweek Vedder speaks out against the military industrial complex,

It's just not the time to be cryptic. I mean, our tax dollars for this (Iraq) war are being funneled through huge corporations – one of which Dick Cheney used to be head of (Halliburton).

Viewing the United States' involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as criminal, Vedder remains angry about the last presidency, and continues to bring attention to what he views as unjust killing in the name of war,

Those fucking bastards, they put us in this situation and screw up the whole fucking planet and goodwill with every other nation, and they are not going to be held criminally responsible.

Vedder became more personally involved with the criminal justice system when he became a vocal advocate for the West Memphis

CBS News/AP http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20094814-10391698.html

3 and the case of Damien Echols. In 1994 three young men from Arkansas were falsely convicted of the grisly murders of three young boys. Echols was sentenced to death. With no physical evidence, the convictions were based on the satanic panic that occurred in a small southern town (see Jenkins & Maier-Katkin, 1992). Echols shares a writing credit for the song "Army Reserve" from the album Pearl Jam (2006), a collaboration that occurred during one of Vedder’s visits to Echols on death row. Vedder remained a staunch supporter of the boys and was present when the three men were released in August 2011 after having served 18 years.

Guns

Vedder would later insert himself into public debate regarding another politically divisive issue: the right to bear arms. During a publicity interview in September 2013 promoting their new album Lightning Bolt, Vedder stated to surfer Mark Richards,

The fact that we're living in a country where 90 percent of the people want further gun laws -- to maybe somehow put a dent in some of this insanity that's happening -- and yet there's no further legislation taking place, it's very frustrating and upsetting.

A snippet of the clip where he went on to say that "I get so angry that I almost wish bad things upon these people," was aired as a stand-alone sound bite and exposed Vedder to criticism. What he went on to say, but was generally absent from most press pieces, was

But I don't have to because it seems like they happen anyways. It seems like every week I'm reading about a 4-year-old either shooting their sister, their dad, their dog, their brother or themselves, because there's fucking guns laying around. But I guess it's 'fun.'

Vedder responded to the criticism regarding his statements about guns at the October 25th Hartford Connecticut show, which took place a mere 50 miles from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, CT where 26 people were murdered. To members of the audience, it was obvious something was going to occur. The other band members left the stage and Vedder knelt on the stage, collecting his thoughts. He stood up and spoke into the microphone, addressing the crowd of over 16,000 fans who eagerly awaited what he had to say.

Tonight I got to meet three great men, incredible fathers of children who were lost, and it was such a powerful… a very powerful moment to have this chance to communicate to somebody that we had been thinking about so deeply.

And to know that it’s okay, in fact, not just okay, but it’s necessary that we continue a discussion to figure out how to unravel the situation where something like that can happen and make sure the odds of it happening again are very slim.

Vedder made reference to the criticism he received in the press in response to his previous comments about the need to protect people from gun violence. He framed the need for a discussion about firearms as a First Amendment issue. He defended his, and everyone else’s, right to voice an opinion about our personal security and well-being. Vedder encouraged the members of the audience to have the courage to demand a public discourse on the issue.

And you know, as well as I, you have to be very careful when talking about something like this. Because they want to defame your character or take away your right to speak, I mean while they’re protecting the second amendment they also don’t think you have the right to speak as an American as a taxpayer as a father, as a parent.

We’ve got a right to speak on this issue when the safety of our children is directly affected. And you will take some hits if you put it out there, but that’s the thing.

PearlJam_MindYourManners

Lest anyone think Eddie and the band were putting their opinions out there for the public in an uninformed or ignorant way, Vedder let the crowd know they consulted with experts and scholars. He used a critical approach to explain why the public may be swayed by those in favor of relaxing gun regulation.

I just want to clarify and we’ve done some research and I’ve talked to some very, much smarter people than myself – there’s a lot of them – that the myth that the gun lobby is the most powerful lobby in our is a myth. That’s a myth. The money is not the most money. The amount of people – it’s just in the millions.

It’s a myth, but it’s just because they’re louder. They’re louder and they’re very tenacious and if you speak up against them they will jump on you, they will tear you apart, and make it so that nobody else wants to say anything, or they want them to be fearful that…I mean we’re talking about, I’m gonna stop. You know what they’re talking about.

Vedder galvanized the crowd by telling people what they can do about the issue. He reminded everyone to exercise their right to vote (an issue the band has long-supported; for example, they performed in Rock the Vote concerts in swing states in October 2004). As with his message about the wars, he told the crowd that pressure from voters, using the power each person has to voice an opinion, is what brings about social change.

So, if all the research is saying, and all the polls conducted, you know, and not just people reacting to what happened, but you have to not just react you have to prefect. You have to go into prevention mode. So what we have to do, if the majority of people agree that there should be more legislation just to make it a little harder. We’re not taking away the right, just a safety issue – a safety precautionary, the same things you have to do to get a driver’s license or a car. It can’t be as easy as buying a pair of shoes. All I implore you, and I don’t mean to be preaching to the converted, but sometimes the choir has to sing louder, and that’s one of these issues.

He summarized by saying,

If we were louder, it can happen, we just have to be louder  and we have to let the politicians know that they will be reelected if they do what we ask, and we are asking for them to do it now. Cause what we don’t want is for any of those children’s lives to be wasted.

The band followed with a powerful performance of “Life Wasted” from their 2006 self-titled album. In the five-plus minutes that Vedder spoke during the band’s break in the show, he used the word “gun” only once, when he was referring to power of political lobby groups. Perhaps he meant to protect himself from the inevitable criticism he knew would result. Without using the term “gun” it becomes more difficult for his words to be taken out of context by those who would try to manipulate his message.

Green Criminology

Environmentalist of the Year

Green Criminology is the study of harms to, crimes against, and laws that regulate the environment. Green criminology examines how human behavior threatens the environment. Green criminologists study not only environmental pollution but also mining, poaching, and timber crimes and the ensuing effects on humans and non-human species.

Vedder is advancing these issues that are important to green criminologists. Since 2003 the band has worked with scientists to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide output on their tours. They then invest in various carbon-offsetting environmental projects. In fact, Pearl Jam was named 2011 Planet Defenders by Rock The Earth for their environmental activism. Vedder, a known surfer, has been a long-time participant in a variety of environmental groups that work to protect oceans and other waterways.

During his October 26, 2013 appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Vedder used the opportunity to bring the issue of environmental contamination into the fore of people’s minds once again. Fallon played a clip from his July 2012 appearance featuring the two singing a duet called “Balls in Your Mouth” which Vedder joked should now be seen as “an environmental anthem.”

The oil spill, BP

Has left tar balls, all over the sea.

So don’t go swimming, down in the south

Unless you want, tar balls in your mouth

Balls in your mouth, balls in your mouth

Don’t swim in the ocean you’ll get balls in your mouth.

Vedder interspersed information about the Department of Justice trial against BP and the large amount of tar uncovered by the Coast Guard after Tropical Storm Karen hit the Gulf Coast, while Fallon riffed on the idea of “large balls” being found after the recent storm. Vedder remained on point and urged viewers to recognize the long-term effects of the BP oil spill.

But there’s this thing called the Gulf Restoration Network that you can look into and we were one of a group of people that tried to raise money for this organization so they could keep putting out information that was truthful and maybe was a different account than the kind of shiny happy commercials that the oil companies were putting out saying that ‘it’s all fine’ and ‘it’s all taken care of’ which if you did the research it would be interesting to see what you’d come up with.

As with his comments about guns, Vedder again referred to research as a source of truth, or at least as a source of information that stands in contrast to commonly held beliefs.

As the spokesman for Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder has used his ability to reach tens of thousands of people during a concert to promote issues of social justice. Over the band’s two-plus decades history, Vedder has educated his fans about a range of topics. He not only speaks about these important subjects but, of course, he also sings about them. By incorporating them into music culture he is marking the sociopolitical landscape of the time.

Vedder and Pearl Jam donate their time, names, and profits from their concerts to support these causes. They were early advocates in the fight against interpersonal violence, in the form of both bullying and domestic abuse. Vedder challenged the decisions of leaders and spoke out against the war during a time when many chose not to question authority. As the stories about gun violence stack up each day, Vedder and Pearl Jam are expressing their concern and urging their fans to as well. While green criminology is a relatively nascent area in the discipline, these criminologists may find allies in popular culture ready to advance their causes. With Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder continues to not only make music but also make a progressive mark on society as well.

Further Reading

Jenkins, P., & Maier-Katkin, D. (1992). Satanism: Myth and reality in a contemporary moral

panic. Crime, Law and Social Change, 17, 53-75.

Pearl Jam (2011). Pearl Jam Twenty. NY, NY: Simon & Schuster.

http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/254/233

http://www.wm3.org/

5 Pointz Graffiti Space Faces Redevelopment

Nickie Phillips

photo credit: 5ptz.com

While New York City was going gaga over a month-long visit by Banksy, a homegrown virtual gallery of artistic street-tagging was on the brink of destruction.  5 Pointz, an area of abandoned industrial spaces in Long Island City where graffiti artists have covered all available spaces with their art, faces redevelopment that would destroy the art. Luckily, it won't be destroyed completely.  On October 10th, a deal was reached which will preserve the graffiti at the base of the buildings and remove and save other facades for auction.

The owner of the building originally planned to create 600 luxury apartments sans graffiti.  The tagging community was up in arms that their living museum was under threat, holding a number of community meetings and demonstrations earlier this month.  Although the deal is not ideal, it represents a compromise that the graffiti community can count as a win-- their community activism and outrage made a difference. 5 pointz can be seen from the elevated 7 train and grew up organically.  Easily, and some not-so-easily, scaled facades of completely abandoned had been abandoned for the last two decades and therefore, have been the perfect canvas.  As one Long Island City resident and blogger has written:

...5 Pointz—subtitled “The Institute of Higher Burnin’”—is a haven for what [taggers] and many others consider an inherently valid art form, one that needs no apology or context.

The buildings are covered in a mosaic of styles, colors and messages that have been added to, covered over, and embellished over the last 12 years.  Losing this treasure would have erased the work of hundreds of talented artists.

And as graffiti ethnographer Gregory Snyder has argued in his book

Graffiti Lives

, for many, what begins as street-tagging can spin-off into viable a career in the visual arts.  In essense, 5Pointz is the space where future new media moguls are potentially practicing their skills and perfecting their aesthetic.  Crimcast hopes that the spirit of 5Pointz lives on through the redevelopment phase  and that home-grown NYC graffiti lives on.

Environmental Justice at Stake in Canadian Provincial Election

Nickie Phillips

Sierra Club of Canada

Crimcast caught up with environmental activist John Wimberly who alerted us to an upcoming critical vote for the anti-fracking movement in Nova Scotia, Canada. As the documentaries Gasland and Gasland II have shown, regular people's access to fresh, clean water and unspoiled natural spaces have been threatened in U.S. states like Pennsylvania and North Dakota where corporate interests have been making big money off a risky form of extracting natural gas from deep underground in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Recent protests in England flared up at the prospect of fracking companies operating there for the first time. Canadians are wrestling with the same problem-- is short-term profit worth risking a natural habitat in the long-term? As John Wimberly explains:

Preventing fracking is tremendously important, especially in a small province like Nova Scotia. We have varied geology and nowhere to retreat if we experience a worst-case scenario event, like a spill of waste-water or a polluted water table. As such, many citizens have been pushing for a ban or moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

Unfortunately, a legislated moratorium or ban does not have any guarantee of stopping it from happening. These laws are made by the provincial government and can be removed by the provincial government if it so suits its interests. The only way to prevent fracking is by having a provincial government that is committed to the same goal.

NS fracking

With a provincial election nearing its final week, this is where I point out who the best option will be. It’s the New Democratic Party (NDP), the current provincial government and Canada’s foremost left-leaning political party. By a long-shot. No fracking is going on in Nova Scotia because they created a moratorium. They’ve also initiated two studies into fracking on the environmental and human health impacts. Beyond treating fracking as a public relations issue, it fits in line with their environmental policy: banning uranium mining, hugely increasing the amount of protected lands in Nova Scotia, and moving us toward renewable energy. This is all in stark contrast to the alternative, the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, who – if the polls are any indication – are likely to form the next government.

The Liberals are directly misinforming Nova Scotians in their platform by claiming they were the ones who initiated a moratorium that the NDP opposed. On fracking, they’re even lying in their platform. Their leader, Stephen McNeil, opposed the NDP’s expansion of protected land, suggesting that what we needed was a “moratorium on protecting land.” McNeil and the mining industry were the only ones opposed to this protection – and now he might be the next premier.

Of the greatest concern is the Liberal plan for U.S.-style deregulation of Nova Scotia Power. While there is certainly support for his broadly-stated call to “break the monopoly” of Nova Scotia Power, there are obvious consequences that directly undermine the interests of Nova Scotians – especially those concerned about environmental issues, fossil fuel use, and our contributions toward climate change. The Liberal plan to deregulate would remove our ability to continue to mandate a switch to renewable energy – which is both an environmental and fiscal issue for our province, as the cost of the coal we’re currently using is quickly increasing.

Infographic by Lucy Kim

And who makes up each party? The NDP, while not delivering a perfect environmental record, have environmentalists as a core-constituency and they occupy the highest levels of the party. They have also spent the vast majority of their political capital on switching to renewable energy – popular for being clean, green, and providing stable rates, but very unpopular for being more expensive than the coal we burn now.

The Liberals candidates and record is deeply troubling. One of their Halifax candidates declared that Nova Scotia should become a world innovation capital for fracking, and that he would pursue “green fracking”, a process that even the most unapologetic oil baron hasn’t suggested as ‘something that exists.’ In rural Nova Scotia, they have a candidate who has promised to bring liquid natural gas ports to the coastal community for trans-Atlantic shipping. Poorly thought-out plans like “the free-market will solve the problem” U.S.-style deregulation, combined with candidates that seem squarely opposed to moving away from fossil fuels, leads me to believe that the right decision for voters is clear-- go with the NDP.

The NDP have been far from perfect, and they have, especially recently, been very open about that. They didn’t live up to the expectations many of us had for them. But they remain the best choice for Nova Scotians, especially those concerned about environmental issues.

20130311-133059.jpg

John Wimberly is a social, political, and environmental activist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He works for the NDP and also as a freelance writer. He is a regular contributor to Crimcast.

Brooklyn Aesthetics - Writers on Writers: Graffiti, Poetry and Narrative

Nickie Phillips

SFC presents: Brooklyn Aesthetics - Writers on Writers: Graffiti, Poetry and Narrative Please join us for Writers on Writers, a panel discussion on parallel notions of literature and

Writers on Writers

graffiti as narrative constructions. Participants include Adam Mansbach, New York Times bestselling author of the graffiti novel Rage Is Back; Jean Grae, prominent underground hip-hop artist and producer; and Brooklyn graffiti legend Blake ‘Keo” Lethem.

The evening’s wide-ranging conversation will explore narrative and identity in both literary and graffiti cultures; the relationships of both literature and graffiti to authority; and the persistence of "beef" across the genres. Participants will also confront the notion of a hip-hop aesthetic, discuss the importance of codes and code-switching, and discuss the parallel evolution of graffiti, hip-hop, and new literary cultures in New York City.

Adam Mansbach is a NY Times bestselling authorMansbach's latest novel, Rage is Back, set in NYC graffiti culture, was named a Book of the Month by Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, and is currently being adapted for the stage by Mansbach and award-winning playwright Idris Goodwin.

Jean Grae is an internationally recognized underground hip hop artist. She has released 9 solo albums since her debut in 2002. Throughout her career she has collaborated with major hip hop artists, such as The RootsTalib KweliMos Def, and Styles P.

KEO TC-5 is a bona-fide Brooklyn legend in the realm of NYC graffiti and hip hop. SCOTCH 79 came of age in the Brooklyn of the 1970s and learned his craft in the tunnels and yards of the MTAs subway system.

Friday, September 27, 2013 at 5pm Founders Hall

Urban Utopia in Southwark, London: The Lake or The Shard?

Nickie Phillips

20130909-224018.jpg

Wandering around South Bank London on a damp evening, Crimcast stumbled upon a compelling sight-- a small lake constructed out of timber in the middle of an urban scape.  Nestled next to a stone archway for commuter trains to and from Waterloo station, "The Lake" featured lounge chairs, a cafe, and playground.  A sign indicated that this was an urban oasis, built by architects, carpenters, and other artistic visionaries to bring the notion of being on holiday directly to the people.  Had we arrived just a couple days earlier we would have seen the many community members enjoying some late summer sun and floating homemade model sailboats. The privately owned land has been donated to a collective called EXYZT whose manifesto calls for utopian imaginings and community experimentation.As such, the gates are open for all comers who may wish to relax, enjoy a tea, or take on a project in one of the many work spaces underneath the railway arches.  We particularly liked a piece in the gallery space created by a local artist featuring a baby stroller resting on a treadmill on cardboard.

20130909-224212.jpg

Architect Nicolas Henninger explained that the members of the collective, who have spaces throughout Europe, live on-site and bring their brand of enthusiasm for building social capital to local people.  "We had families here throughout the summer who made small boats and enjoyed themselves.  It's  temporary installation so we will have something new next year."

Whether the The Lake, or previous years' projects featuring gardens and faux Lido seasides, the zeitgeist is one of anti-commodification and collectivism through art and design.  Playing and building together forms a key part of the collective's modus operandi.  A game of "Anti-Monopoly" was ready to go in the tea shop.

20130909-224057.jpg

A passing bicyclist who stopped to explore along with us couldn't help but notice The Lake stood in poetic contrast to The Shard looming above it-- a brand-new sky-scraper, purportedly the tallest in the European Union.  It houses a hotel, residences and offices. Talk quickly turned to the hundreds of millions of pounds it cost and that one can buy a small space there for a mere £8 million.  The bicyclist was concerned that The Shard would create problematic traffic flows for the area and that once inside the complex it would isolate people from interaction with the existing Southwark community around it.

The_Shard_on_Opening_Night

Although Southwark has come a long way from its Dickensian roots, the borough's revitalization is happening in two distinct ways represented by The Lake and The Shard.  One envisions social capital the other panders to global capital.  One empowers locals to work and play together in a low-key, creative space; the other is a silver cage for the cosmopolitan elite, rising above the neighborhood and barely grounded in it.

20130909-224239.jpg

Sketching Some Thoughts on the Walking Dead

Nickie Phillips

Read Thom Gidden's entire post, "Sketching Some Thoughts on the Walking Dead," here.

The world of The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic one.  It is a dangerous and infected one.  Disease and death fill it, and threaten at every turn.  To survive takes courage and strength, but not just physical.  Emotional strength, compassion, and a faith in the worth of surviving in a world that is so diseased and broken (i.e. it is not only classically 'masculine' traits of successful violence and protection that are required).  In this infected world, the concerns of law and order become increasingly important.

Characters_Portal