Because of this growing disconnect between the people and their rulers, more and more citizens are choosing to practice “selective obedience”. By simply choosing not to observe certain laws, boundaries are stretched and eventually they become irrelevant. For example, many (if not most) young people in America today violate copyright laws. They download music and movies from pirate sites overseas, and most never experience any legal issues. It has become the norm. Persecuting a few poorly chosen individuals to make “examples” out of them simply makes the entertainment industry and their friends in the new Apparatchik look that much more foolish. Drug prohibition, clearly a long-standing example of the total failure of policy-making, serves only to profit the prison-industrial complex, while the vast majority of casual users continue to enjoy altering their realities un-hindered by big-brother. Speed limits? They only matter if you get caught. Taxes on barter, trade or cash payments? Yeah right.
Victoria Law is a longtime prison activist and the author of the 2009 book, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (PM Press). Law’s essay “Sick of the Abuse: Feminist Responses to Sexual Assault, Battering, and Self Defense,” is featured in the new book, entitled The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism, edited by Dan Berger.
In this interview, Law discusses her new article, which provides a history of radical feminist resistance to the criminalization of women who have defended themselves from gender violence. Furthermore, Law presents a prison abolitionist critique of how the mainstream women’s movement has embraced the US criminal justice system as a solution for combating violence against women.
Ms. Head said the findings show that college students approach research as a hunt for the right answer instead of a process of evaluating different arguments and coming up with their own interpretation.
“Not being aware of the diverse resources that exist or the different ways knowledge is created and shared is dangerous,” she said. “College is a time to find information and learn about multiple arguments, and exploring gets sacrificed if you conduct research in this way.”
LOS ANGELES—When Bruce Karatz was running KB Home, the giant home builder pulled in billions of dollars a year in revenue. But now, a mere $11 million could help determine whether Mr. Karatz spends more than a half decade in prison.
On Wednesday, the former chief executive is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court here for his April conviction for fraud and making false statements in connection with an options-backdating scandal. Mr. Karatz, who the government alleges tried to make nearly $11 million from backdating, has denied wrongdoing and plans to appeal his conviction.
The U.S. Probation Office, an arm of the courts, has recommended that Judge Otis Wright give Mr. Karatz probation and eight months of home confinement. The U.S. Attorney’s office here wants a 6.5-year prison sentence. In a filing, the prosecutors argue that confining Mr. Karatz in his “24-room Bel-Air mansion,” would suggest “a two-tiered criminal justice system, one for the affluent….and a second for ordinary citizens.”
Faced with a possible $20 billion budget gap, Texas legislative leaders had hoped to discuss closing some state prisons to save money. However, those prisons that for months have had empty bunks are slowly filling back up.
And while officials are split about the reasons, most agree that if the trend continues, it could make decisions about slashing state spending even more difficult when the Legislature convenes in January.
Full prisons cant be closed without releasing convicts, a politically unthinkable solution. That leaves treatment and rehabilitation programs — two areas where Texas has expanded its funding and has been successful in recent years at reducing its prison population — as the likely targets for cuts that by some estimates could reach 15 percent of current spending.
Between the Bars is a weblog platform for prisoners, through which the 1% of America which is behind bars can tell their stories. Since prisoners are routinely denied access to the Internet, we enable them to blog by scanning letters. We aim to provide a positive outlet for creativity, a tool to assist in the maintenance of social safety nets, an opportunity to forge connections between prisoners and non-prisoners, and a means to promote non-criminal identities and personal expression. We hope to improve prisoner’s lives, and help to reduce recidivism.