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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: criminal justice

Graphic Justice Discussions 2019 | Drawing the Human: Law, Comics Justice

Nickie Phillips

Drawing the Human: Law, Comics Justice”

28-29 November 2019, USC, Queensland, Australia

The 2019 conference of the Graphic Justice Research Alliance will be hosted by the USC School of Law and Criminology, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia. The conference explores the theme Drawing the Human: Law, Comics, Justice and will run on the 28th and 29th November 2019.

The conference seeks to examine the role of comics, graphic novels and graphic art in constituting as well as critiquing law, rights and justice as they relate to and extend beyond the human. Proposals for papers and panels are welcome from academics, postgraduate students and artists from across a range of disciplines including law, criminology and justice, comics studies, visual and cultural studies and the humanities.

Contact: Timothy Peters, USC Law School - tpeters@usc.edu.au

 

Graphic Justice Discussions NYC 2018

Nickie Phillips

We hosted the 2nd annual Graphic Justice Discussions Conference: Law, Comics, Justice on 20 October 2018 at St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, NYC. The conference was sponsored by the Graphic Justice Research Alliance and the Center for Crime & Popular Culture. The conference featured scholars and creators working at the intersection of law, comics, and justice.

We were thrilled to have legendary writer, editor, filmmaker, and journalist Ann Nocenti as our keynote speaker who held the crowd rapt with tales of her experiences in the industry.

We also welcomed Vita Ayala (The Wilds) and Kwanza Osajyefo (Black; Black: America’s Sweetheart; Black AF: Widows and Orphans) (Black Mask Studios) to speak about their work and experiences as creators.

You’re invited to take a look at the photos from the event. Hope to see everyone at the next Graphic Justice Discussions!

Murray Lee, University of Sydney, Australia on Fear of Crime

Nickie Phillips

Murray Lee

Lee and Mythen's International Handbook on Fear of Crime:

The Routledge International Handbook on Fear of Crime brings together original and international state of the art contributions of theoretical, empirical, policy-related scholarship on the intersection of perceptions of crime, victimisation, vulnerability and risk. This is timely as fear of crime has now been a focus of scholarly and policy interest for some fifty years and shows little sign of abating. Research on fear of crime is demonstrative of the inter-disciplinarity of criminology, drawing in the disciplines of sociology, psychology, political science, history, cultural studies, gender studies, planning and architecture, philosophy and human geography. This collection draws in many of these interdisciplinary themes.

ASC Board Statement on Trump Administration Policies Relevant to Criminal Justice Policies

Nickie Phillips

In Brief:

  • Immigrants do not commit the majority of crime in the United States
  • The proposed travel ban is not empirically justified and targets the wrong countries
  • The U.S. is not in the midst of a national crime wave
  • The U.S. government plays an important role in police reform

Chase Madar on Chelsea Manning - Wikileaks Whistleblower

Nickie Phillips

Chase Madar, author of The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story Behind the Wikileaks Whistleblower, spoke about Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning and her conviction for leaking nearly half a million classified government documents to Wikileaks. Madar discussed government transparency, the consequences of overclassification of documents, and the necessity for criminal justice reform.

Madar is a civil rights attorney and has written for numerous outlets including The Nation, Mother Jones, Al Jazeera America, and Vice

Hudson Link @ SFC Post-Prison Program Begins Third Year

Nickie Phillips

Beginning its third year and with just two semesters until the first person graduates, the Hudson Link @ SFC Post-Prison Program began the Fall semester with a welcome back gathering of students, faculty and special guest Keston Jones on Monday, September 12.

Formerly incarcerated, Mr. Jones is currently a Ph.D. student at Yeshiva University. He also serves as program director for the Fatherhood Program that works with community organizations and individuals to raise awareness around issues of fatherhood.

In addition to welcoming one new student, current students in the program expressed how the program has been instrumental in shaping their life trajectories including providing support and resources.
Johnny Perez

Johnny Perez

Johnny Perez ‘17 is set to graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice in May. “My upcoming graduation is not only an educational victory, but marks a day in my familial history as the first person in my family to graduate from college and therefore break the cycle of ignorance within it. That would not be possible without St. Francis College,” he said.

The Post-Prison program was recently featured in the Association of American Catholic Colleges publication, ACCU Peace and Justice and was recognized during The White House College Opportunity Day of Action which supports President Barack Obama's commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

Urban Justice Center: 2016 Celebration & Recognition Awards

Nickie Phillips

Join reentry advocate Johnny Perez and others to honor Roy Waterman and Julia Steele at the 2016 Celebration & Recognition Awards.The celebration will take place over Hors D'oeuvres, an open wine bar, comedy by funny man Kenny Woo, and my favorite: Spoken Word. Opening remarks will be made by Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline,” Since the event willbe held on a private rooftop residence in midtown, event location will be shared upon registration.

The Urban Justice Center(UJC) Mental Health Project (MHP) has provided re-entry services for people with mental health concerns who are leaving New York State prisons or New York City jails and returning to the NYC community. Safe Re-entry advocate, Johnny Perez, has been the driving force behind MHP’s re-entry work, and this work has demonstrated to the UJC that many people returning to NYC from institutions of incarceration could benefit from assistance in re-entry.

The proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to research and develop a new project at the UJC: ReAP – the Re-entry Advocacy Project. With Johnny Perez’s direction, this project will provide support for people exiting our institutions of incarceration to obtain benefits and supports necessary to become integrated fully into the NYC community. The UJC hopes to begin ReAP in the fall of 2017.

Julia Steele Allen
Co-Writer, Producer, Performer
Mariposa & the Saint: From Solitary Confinement, A Play Through Letters

* Mariposa & the Saint is a play written entirely through letters between Julia Steele Allen and Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca over the course of three years, while Mariposa was held in isolation at a California women's prison. Partnering with grassroots organizations, Julia has performed the play over 50 times across 9 states, for legislators, judges, wardens corrections officials, faith communities, theater audiences, and students, using the play as an organizing tool to support the growing movement that will end solitary confinement in this country.

Roy Waterman
Director of Engagement for Drive Change and Owner and Head Chef of Caribbean Soul Caterers

* Drive Change is a non profit Social Enterprise that uses the mobile vending industry to train, employ, mentor, and encourage formerly incarcerated young people ages 18-25 years old who are released from adult jails and prison. Drive Change pays them a livable wage as well as a percentage of the food truck sales. Drive Change also provides licensed credentials such as the food handlers license and mobile vending license. The agency's focus is on the social and emotional leaning and on job training.

 

You can register for the Celebration here.

 

I really hope you are able to attend, or at the very least are able to purchase a ticket for someone who is formerly incarcerated, because freedom really is something to be celebrated in this era of Mass Incarceration. Please feel free to share the attached Celebration flier with your networks.  

Dangers for Female Prison Guards - New York Times

Nickie Phillips

“We’re trained how to deal with inmates. We’re not trained to be sexually assaulted by our co-workers, especially our supervisors.”
— Lisa Sullivan, NY Times

"A new Justice Department study shows that allegations of sex abuse in the nation’s prisons and jails are increasing — with correctional officers responsible for half of it  — but prosecution is still extremely rare." - Joaquin Sapien, Propublica

Notable Criminal Justice Docs at Tribeca Film Festival

Nickie Phillips

When the most powerful lobbyist in Florida discovers that the nanny has sexually abused his daughter, he harnesses his extraordinary political power to pass the toughest sex offender laws in the nation. UNTOUCHABLE chronicles his crusade, and its impact on the lives of several of the 800,000 people forced to live under the kinds of laws he has championed.
— Untouchablefilm.com
 
In 2012, California amended its ‘Three Strikes’ law—one of the harshest criminal sentencing policies in the country. The passage of Prop. 36 marked the first time in U.S. history that citizens voted to shorten sentences of those currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of ‘lifers’ was underway. The Return examines this unprecedented reform through the eyes of those on the front lines—prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions, and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law.
— The Return Project
Do Not Resist is an urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Opening on startling on-the-scene footage in Ferguson, Missouri, the film then broadens its scope to present scenes from across the country—a conference presentation where the value of high-end weapons technologies is presented to potential police buyers, a community that has just received its very own military-grade tank, and a SWAT team arriving at a home to execute a warrant. The cumulative effect of these vignettes paints a startling picture of the direction our local law enforcement is headed.
— Do Not Resist, Deborah Rudolph
Solitary investigates an invisible part of the American justice system: the use of isolation and segregation in US prisons, commonly known as solitary confinement.
— Tribeca Film Institute

Exclusive clip of Solitary at Deadline.

Randy Williams Speaks Out about Wrongful Conviction

Nickie Phillips

The ripple effect of wrongful convictions resonates throughout families and communities. Randy Williams’ time behind bars can never be returned, nor his time away from his family and the promise of his future.
— Private Investigations by Management Resources Limited of NY

Randy Williams and Bob Rahn

Randy Williams served nine years of a 22 years-to-life prison sentence as a result of a wrongful conviction. He was released in 2016.

On April 14, 2016, Randy and his mom, Rosie, spoke with students at St. Francis College to share their story. They discussed how Bob Rahn and Kim Anklin, of Private Investigations by Management Resources Ltd of NY, worked tirelessly on behalf of Randy uncovering false eyewitness testimony and police misconduct.

Criminologist Nickie Phillips, Rosie Benjamin, Randy Williams, and Bob Rahn

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

Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015 - Protecting Our Kids: How Sex Offender Laws are Failing Us

Nickie Phillips

Protecting Our Kids: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us by Professor Emily Horowitz has been named among the Outstanding Academic Titles of 2015 by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.

"Dr. Horowitz makes a persuasive case for why the current rash of draconian sex offender laws in the United States violate civil liberties, create an entire class of pariahs and outcasts, and above all, fail to protect children. Her interviews with offenders bring reality, insight, and clarity to a subject usually blurred by panic and hysteria." - Gavin de Becker, bestselling author of The Gift of Fear

Eli Silverman: Crime Numbers and the NYPD

Nickie Phillips

Nov. 3 at St. Francis College - Eli Silverman / Crime Numbers & the NYPD

Eli Silverman is a professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Silverman is author of numerous scholarly articles on policing management, crime rates, and policing performance. He is co-author, with John Eterno, of The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation and author of NYPD Battles Crime: Innovative Strategies in Policing. Dr. Silverman has served with the US Department of Justice and the National Academy of Public Administration in Washington, DC.

In My Neighborhood: First-Hand Stories of Police Interactions

Nickie Phillips

UPDATE: Marlon Peterson was a guest speaker for our "In My Neighborhood…" panel. Here is his account of what happened after: ‘Driving While Black:’ Anatomy of a Police Stop

Last month, I spoke at a panel on Urban Policing at St. Francis College in New York about the historical underpinnings of the animus of Back and Brown people toward police. I drew the linear connection between the Harlem Riots of 1943; Watts 1965; Los Angeles, 1992; Ferguson 2014; and Baltimore 2015.

I mentioned that although I work to reduce community gun violence and police violence—and often consult with elected officials about how to engage the community in various endeavors—I am still aware that my Black body is under threat from violent policing.

Two days later, my words came back to haunt me.…
— Marlon Peterson

This lecture is part of our Fall 2015 Senior Citizen Lecture Series focused on Urban Policing and Racial Conflict: Current Crises and Historical Contexts

Emily Horowitz & Nickie Phillips, Coordinators

Johnny Perez (Urban Justice Center and SFC '17) served as moderator for a discussion with panelists Damien Stapleton (Harlem-based community activist) & Marlon Peterson (2015 Soros Justice Fellow + activist against gun violence) & Pastor Terence Brunson (Clergy, Police, & Community in Unity Movement). Johnny, a St. Francis student, is a mental health advocate at The Urban Justice Center, a member of the Jails Action Coalition, the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), the New York Reentry Education Network, and the Bar Association’s Correction and Reentry Committee.  Drawing on his 13 years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system, Johnny has testified at the NY Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights; spoken at Cornell Law, Fordham,  Amnesty International, Princeton, the United Nations, and The American Justice Summit; appeared on Al-Jazeera, in a documentary about solitary confinement and NY1;  and received the Victor Hassine Memorial Essay Award for his essay on the transformative power of education.

Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the Center on Race, Crime, and Justice

Nickie Phillips


Vice: Fixing the System - Full Episode

Nickie Phillips

“Vice” also takes time to dig into the human side of the criminal justice system, not only in how Obama sits with prisoners and speaks to them about the choices and quirks of the system that led them to this place, but in interviewing family members left behind, whose lives are left with gaping holes, thanks to a generation lost to incarceration. -- LA Times Recap

Post-Prison: How has higher education helped change my life?

Nickie Phillips

Guest Contributer: Johnny Perez

The question of how higher education has changed my life is a question of not only cause and effect, but one of light versus darkness. I see ignorance as a state of darkness and education the illuminating light that so often eliminates it. My relationship with higher education has been an example of this battle; however, to truly appreciate the cure one must first understand the disease.

The worse part of living in a state of ignorance is not knowing about it. That was the situation I found myself in for many years, oblivious of the fact that I did not know that I did not know! As a result, I applied criminal solutions to my problems, reacted aggressively when confronted by others, and often gave up on myself when challenged beyond my comfort zone. Eventually, at the tender age of twenty-one, my self-defeating behaviors restricted me to a concrete cell for the following fifteen years.

I would like to say that receiving such an unbearable sentence served as a catalyst for change in my life, but I cannot. Like any pattern of behavior that takes shape over the course of many years, I continued to break the law despite the contradictory evidence against it around me. It’s important to understand that at the time I did not see my behavior in a negative light. This was mainly because I always shifted responsibility of my actions to others. As a result, I felt justified in my actions and that only served to perpetuate my behavior.

It wasn’t until I tried to do the right thing for the wrong reason that I received the right results. I signed up for the prison’s college program with the idea of spinning a positive light on all the negative behavior I was involved in. Instantly, I knew that I was in a different arena, but instead of quitting like my past indicated, the thought of leaving prison early motivated me enough to continue in the program. Before going to college I was not interested in education. School was were the squares and smart white people went to become lawyers and doctors. I never completed the tenth grade and my General Equivalency Diploma was the result of paying someone ten packs of unfiltered Marlboro Reds to pass the exam for me.

In prison, having reading material is the armor that protects you from the second-by-second attack on your soul that constant repetition can sometimes be. College gave me more protection from monotony that I could have ever hoped for. Within the first semester I traveled the world from inside my cell. I travelled alongside Martin Luther King Jr.; cried with Holocaust survivors; argued the philosophy of laissez-faire with Adam Smith, and even visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I also learned the meaning of new words and terms like multi-generational poverty, culture of violence, and synapse. Before college, I thought serendipity was a dancer at a gentlemen’s club, and a dichotomy was a type of surgery.

After some time, the funniest thing happened…I began to pull my pants up! I started to see opportunities where before I only saw challenges; stepping stones where before only obstacles were in sight; and college where before I only saw prison. I guess you can say that my paradigm shifted. The more I learned, the more I realized that I needed to learn more. The more I began to know, the more I came to the conclusion that I did not know anything at all. More importantly I began to see my behavior through the lens of responsible people, and slowly I became uncomfortable with some of the irresponsible behavior that I once felt so at home with. I could no longer use the N-word because I was conscious of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. I refused to continue smoking marijuana because I now knew the effects on the brain, and above all else, I felt compelled to break the cycle of ignorance and poverty within my family by being the first to complete a college education!

It has been elleven months now since the sound of steel gates slamming shut has filled my ears every night before I fell asleep. Today, I am a non-attorney mental health advocate at a well-known law firm. I’m responsible for connecting clients, who are reentering society from prison or hospitals, with services like medical treatment, housing, and yes, education. Sometimes, when I visit them prior to their release, they stare down at the handcuffs restricting the movement of their wrists and say, “You have no idea what it is to be in this hell hole.” I usually don’t self-disclose my past to clients, but the hopelessness in their eyes, the frustration painted on their faces, and the smell of their fear motivates me to tell them my story. As I share my past experiences with them I can see their eyes begin to widen with hope, their shoulders raise in confidence, and their smiles shine with joy as they come to realize that I am a living example of the past not dictating the future. An example that nothing is impossible.

So when I’m asked by anyone, how has higher education helped change my life? I can sincerely say that it has changed my life by changing who I am. I could not be a better father, employee, son, volunteer, advocate, or student, if I had not become a better person first. And as a result of higher education changing my life, it has also changed the life of the people who I come I contact with.

Mr. Perez will moderate the panel "'In my neighborhood'…First-hand Stories of Police Interactions" at SFC on September 29, 2015.

Johnny Perez is a non-attorney mental health advocate for the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project, a law firm providing pro-bono legal representation to underserved populations affected by social justice issues.

When he is not advocating on behalf of New York’s most vulnerable populations, Mr. Perez works to change the status quo of unjust policies and practices as a member of pro-social groups including the Jails Action Coalition, the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), and the New York Reentry Education Network. Johnny is also a member of the Bar Association’s Correction and Reentry Committee.