Our criminal justice system is so broken

John Pfaff summed up this great twitter thread from Radley Balko thusly:

Man forced to plead guilty to a drug charge he was innocent of bc it would take months to clear his name, while he lingered in jail and lost his job and home. This isn’t cruel indifference. This is active malice.

But you really, really should read Balko’s whole thread.

Did you read it?  Do it.

But the point is that this is everyday horribleness.  This is how our system works.  It absolutely screws over poor and disadvantaged people constantly because that is how the system is designed and, individual actors in the system pervasively fail to account for the humanity of the people they are dealing with.

Yes, mass incarceration is awful.  Yes the war on drugs is an absurd slow-moving human tragedy.  But, damnit, the whole damn system is an out-of-control unfeeling machine that constantly, needlessly ruins people’s lives.

Honestly, this scene came to mind when thinking about all this:

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

3 Responses to Our criminal justice system is so broken

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    The criminal justice system is not in it’s own bubble. It is a reflection of our whole culture. Act fast, get it off your desk quickly, who cares if your numbers are good and who has time to worry about anyone else’s consequences.
    As for the criminal justice system- if the officer’s body camera is not operating when a contact or an arrest is made, charges will not be made or they will be dropped. So many officer shootings seem to happen when the body cam isn’t operating.

  2. Nicole K. says:

    I wish people would post stuff like that on a blog rather than a string of tweets. I don’t do Twitter other than having an account so that I can read stuff that’s linked to on the platform. But it’s not a great place for an essay.

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