#356 : A criminal justice system … in need of justice.

A criminal justice system … in need of justice. In America, can it be a crime just to be poor? In the war on drugs, who are the real victims? Plus, Bill Press talks with journalist Emma Roller about … “prison abolition”.

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This week, Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman on his new book about the criminalization of poverty in America. Author and Harvard political scientist Danielle Allen tells a tragic story of how the “war on drugs” is failing our nation’s young people. And Bill Press interviews journalist Emma Roller about a radical idea to reform America’s prisons.


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Peter Edelman

Peter Edelman is a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He served as an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration. In 1996 he resigned because he opposed a welfare reform bill signed by President Clinton.  His latest book is  “Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America”.

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is  the director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.   She was  awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2001.

In her most recent book, “Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.,” she tells the story of her cousin, a young man who was tried as an adult at age 15 for attempted carjacking.  After 13 years in prison, he was released and died violently at the age of 29. It is a story she says, about a failed “war on drugs” that has given up on our nation’s youth.

Emma Roller

Bill Press interviews journalist about Emma Roller about the “prison abolition movement”  that seeks a more humane response to incarceration.

Jim Hightower

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