Session #2 The Criminal Justice Landscape

Home Forums Session #2 Key Takeaways Session #2 The Criminal Justice Landscape

Tagged: 

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #4634
    Rhea
    Participant

    PART 1

    Please share your key takeaways / insights / “Aha” moments based on the three reading materials provided in the this thread by clicking the “Reply” button on the top right corner. Please feel free to use bullet points.
    1. The Art of Legislative Lawyering and the Six Circles Theory of Advocacy
    2. Criminal Justice Reform Strategy
    3. Reentry Overview Memo from Open Philanthropy

     

    PART 2

    In the article, The Art of Legislative Lawyering and the Six Circles Theory of Advocacy, please share what role do you think you currently play or want to play? 

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Rhea.
    #4657
    Rebecca_Dobkin
    Participant

    Reentry Overview memo from Open Philanthropy:
    This was especially interesting to me because I have two long-time clients who will hopefully be getting out of prison sometime this year, each having served over 30 years. What they’re each going to need in terms of support is something we talk about quite a bit. There were two main points in this article that really struck me, in that I hadn’t really thought about them before. The first was the line, “Women whose loved ones returning from jail and prison do the vast majority of reentry support in informal ways.” As the primary caretaker for my son, I think a lot about all the unappreciated and unpaid labor women end up having to do. It shouldn’t surprise me that it’s women who are informally in charge of reentry support for loved ones. Seeing that fact in writing made me wonder what we can do to support those women. The other fact that I hadn’t really thought much about is how recidivism rates are assessed. I hadn’t thought much about the fact that you end up with very limited success metrics when, “recidivism rates ignore context, reinforce class and racial biases and inequalities.” The idea that recidivism is measured on negative rather than positive outcomes isn’t something I thought of before. I thought it was interesting that “parole and probation revocation policies and practices determine recidivism success rates more directly than what services are offered.”

    Art of Legislative Lawyering:
    I always thought of lobbyists and “the bad guys.” I thought only big corporations sent lobbyists to Washington to push their capitalist agendas. It never occurred to me that there could be lobbyists for good. The piece also made me realize something about myself that is hard to admit. I like to imagine myself in a leadership role, but the truth is that my skills are much more suited to a supporting role. I would be pretty terrible at most of the roles discussed. But I would be an awesome lobbyist. In a sense, I already do that kind of work. I have to be incredibly persistent to be successful at my job, and convince people who don’t want to get involved in my clients’ case that they should. I have to build strong, trusting relationships very quickly and very often. Then I have to maintain those relationships over long periods of time.

    Criminal Justice Reform Strategy:
    I didn’t have any real “a-ha” moments while reading this, but it was very cool to see what sorts of work different organizations were doing.

    #4659
    Andrew Garcia
    Participant

    Reentry Overview Memo from Open Philanthropy
    One of the biggest takeaways for me came at the end of the passage when it states: “There is relatively little available research on reentry services and on what determines the efficacy of support services in helping returning citizens to reintegrate.” This resonated with me because it highlights that more needs to be done from a research standpoint, and it actually makes a direct connection to the role of a “policy researcher,” highlighted in “The Art of Legislative Lawyering and the Six Circle Theory of Advocacy.” It was interesting to see all that is being done, but that there is still room for improvement to better assess the services available.

    Criminal Justice Reform Strategy
    My initial impression was that I was rather Impressed about the amount of programs that exist at the state, local, and federal level. I also enjoyed reading about the different types and different approaches that these programs are taking in hopes of reform in the criminal justice system. Furthermore, It was interesting to note that there is often a moral dilemma with implementing policies, due to the idea that more freedom equals less safety for the general public, when your reality research shows that is not the case. My biggest “Aha” moment came when the author stated that many funded programs often narrowly focus on a particular policy, and it can often provide a “false message that fixing that policy will fix a huge chunk of the problem.” This really stuck with me because they highlighted the case of Kalif Browder, and they noted that many people (including myself) believed he was stuck in jail because he could not pay his bail. However, it is brought to light that he was on a probation hold, and he would not have been released regardless if he made bail. This leads to the idea that had there been more bail reform, then maybe Kalif would still be alive, but by narrowly focusing on bail reform, we ignore the harsh conditions that are often imposed on people with probation, as well as the cruel conditions that exist in jails and prisons. This only reiterates the idea that programs can give the wrong impression about fixing a bigger problem, when they are actually only focused on one aspect of the problem.

    The Art of Legislative Lawyering and the Six Circle Theory of Advocacy / Part 2
    Reading this passage was interesting, mainly because of the attributes a legislative lawyer may possess, and how they fit in the environment of advocacy and policy reform. Personally, I believe I am more of a policy researcher when it comes to my role in the field. My current work involves research on trauma-informed care among gang interventionists, and my evaluation can potentially lead to policy change within my organization. This not only serves a direct purpose for the program and its direction, but it also can impact the communities that the program serves. Clients have the potential to receive services from a program that has implemented trauma-informed care, and it is due in part to the research aspect of the field that serves as a catalyst for change.

    #4660
    biancatorresmurray
    Participant

    Part 1:
    – When reading “Criminal Justice Reform Strategy,” I found Chloe’s belief that “public support for significant changes to the existing justice system is unlikely to come without a persuasive vision of what could replace the functions of mass incarceration” really insightful. This is a critical aspect of our work that I have often overlooked.
    – The “Criminal Justice Reform Strategy” asserts that transforming what we view as “politically possible” requires emphasizing the communities impacted. Reading this helped re-emphasize to me the importance of community organizing.
    – “Reentry Landscape” reveals that returning citizens continue to confront an array of obstacles, such as discrimination, access to housing, and more. This was an “aha” moment for me because it further revealed to me that releasing individuals from prison is not enough; we must also ensure that the environment they return to is one that is just.
    – “The Art of Legislative Lawyering and the Six Circles Theory of Advocacy” demonstrated to me the valuable and crucial role of having a team and engaging in effective teamwork.

    Part 2:
    I would want to play the role of the legislative lawyer or the policy researcher. The job of the legislative lawyer intrigues me because I’m very passionate about both law and politics. I hope to attend law school in the future to learn more about the way law, policy, and politics intersect with each other. Moreover, I’m interested in the role of policy researcher because I love politics and academia. I’ve engaged in both politics, as a former member of the LA Mayor’s Youth Council, and academia in a way, as a researcher at Loyola Law School. I can see myself enjoying either of these important roles.

    #4661
    melvinsen
    Participant

    The Art of Legislative Lawyering
    Some of my key takeaways from this text included learning more about the Art of Legislative Lawyering, the Six Circles Theory of Advocacy, and the integral role of strategists in advocacy. I have always heard things about strategists but never understood the full depth of their efforts in executing advocacy efforts and coordinating teams of lobbyists, legislative lawyers, policy researchers, outreach strategists, and communications directions.

    Criminal Justice Reform Strategy
    This article exposed me to a variety of organizations which exist in efforts to reduce mass incarceration and towards policy reform. Many of these entities are based on state, multi-state, or national levels and advocate for individuals from different populations such as formerly incarcerated, survivors of crime violence, faith-based organizations, etc.

    Reentry Overview Memo from Open Philanthropy
    This memo was helpful in identifying some organizations that support reentry and provide services for those formerly incarcerated.

    #4662
    Dax
    Participant

    Reentry Overview Memo from Open Philanthropy
    This reading reminded me of the crucial reentry work the TransLatin@ Coalition (not mentioned in this memorandum) is doing for the TGI community in Los Angeles. When incarcerated TGI people prepare for reentry from carceral facilities, they are met with
    obstacles, including a lack of gender-affirming resources and services. This makes reintegration into society challenging, and often re-traumatizing. Even while attempting to begin a new life outside of prison or jail, TGI people are frequently targeted by law enforcement for harassment, just as they are inside of carceral facilities.

    As we create new policy and celebrate reform wins, we must continually ask ourselves: whose needs are still not being met by those reforms? Who is still being left out? Let us not forget that even the most well-intentioned reforms have the potential to cause harm.

    Criminal Justice Reform Strategy
    Lots of takeaways from this reading, but a big one for me is budget budget budget!
    Right now California is actually experiencing a decarceration trend. Despite a decrease in the prison population in California, corrections spending keeps going up. So if California is truly decreasing its reliance on punitive answers to public safety, then why has our corrections budget increased $200 million over last year to top out at a whopping ~$17 billion for 2021-22? The answer is that California has a statewide prison spending addiction. If we want to stay the course of our decarceration trend, we urgently need to stop spending so much of our taxpayer dollars on carceral systems.

    I also appreciate the way in which this reading supports key principles of Restorative Justice, such as that we cannot simply rely on the state to bring us healing and freedom from incarceration.

    The Art of Legislative Lawyering and the Six Circles Theory of Advocacy
    It is heartening to see that the advocacy structure implemented to enact the ADA is one I commonly see used in grassroots local organizing. I definitely vibe with the communications and outreach arms of this model. Also, this reading reminded me that power is not monolithic. People power/community is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. I love the concept that in order to shift dominant institutions, we must change hearts and minds one person at a time!

    #4665
    Angelaparks10
    Participant

    Reentry Overview memo from Open Philanthropy:

    Reentry is extremely important for those that are coming home. It helps build a strong foundation and support that someone might not have otherwise. Women are commonly the support base for a lot of the men coming home. This allows them to have a better success rate at getting back on their feet. What I always see missing from these discussions is the support for women. There are few organizations that specifically focus on women solely. They don’t get the support as their male counterparts. Often times they go without visits or even just a little money on their accounts for basic needs because they have children and those children are being taken care of by family members who are already strapped for cash. I definitely think there should be a reentry program focused on the needs of moms so they can reconnect with kids in a healthy and loving environment free of trauma.

    Criminal Justice Reform Strategy:

    This was good reading. Although there were many things that I could identify with things that really made me think were the budgets that exist for the local and state agencies. It’s hard to swallow seeing the city and counties wanting to build new police stations and sheriff’s stations when we are already over policed. More of this money really needs to be in the community for the people and not to be used against the people. If we truly want change to happen in the communities and for people to change their ways, then they need to dish out some money for folks to have access to making a better way.

    #4666
    Rebecca_Dobkin
    Participant

    @Angelaparks10 – Reentry programs focused on moms!?! I love it!!

    #4668
    marinatrejo7515
    Participant

    Part 1:
    In regards to the article Art of Legislative Lawyering, the biggest takeaway was not only understanding the much-needed roles for a successful legsilative advocacy group but also, a clear division of labor needs to occur as a way to ensure efficiency. By clearly defining the roles of each members, symbiotic relationships begin to form and, as I realized, that is crucial because advocacy efforts as such run more smoothly when individuals recognize a collective effort is needed.

    As for Criminal Justice Reform Strategy, I definitely had an “aha” moment when Chloe called out the hypocrisy of the reform system who uses the idea of safety to continue with mass incarceration. As Chloe explained, if the criminal justice system cared about safetly on a well-rounded level, there would not be 50% of crime going unreported, untested rape kits, and unsolved murders. Furthermore, my biggest takeaway was realizing how much of the criminal justice process is not overlooked and as a result, mass incarceration can subsequently be a result. For example, Chloe highlights prosecutor accountability; a part of the process to incarceration that I also belive plays a part in enabling the continuation of mass incarceration.

    The biggest takeaway from the Reentry Memo was making the connection and seeing the implications of measuring and collecting data concerning re-enrty programs. As mentioned, there are many debates regarding what makes a re-entry program successful. However, as the memo explains, one needs to take into account how difficult it is to measure success of reentry porigrams and how it affects the creation of said programs.

    Part 2:

    In the future, I would like to be a policy researcher because it highlights two of my passions: developinging interpersonal connections and research.

    #4670
    aleenacontreras
    Participant

    I was most interested in the “Reentry Overview Memo”. I think it demonstrated the growing number of organizations that are dedicated to reentry and recidivism. However, at one point it mentioned how the role of women significantly contributed to the reentry of formerly incarcerated loved ones in a very successful and informal way. I think this is a discussion point because it shows how strong family connections and care are key factors in reentry, and yet we know that it’s likely most of these women and family members have adverse life experiences coupled with other systemic oppressors. I think it’s very important to focus on the communities that individuals will be reentering as much as the individual themselves especially since we know that these informal relationships are key factors in the reentry process. Another point I wanted to highlight is “Credible messengers vs. Professionalization”, because I think it can go either way. While credible messengers may be very successful at building trust and rapport with clients, there needs to be a certain level of attained knowledge and professionalism, and vice versa, professionals bring knowledge and best practices, but might not be as successful when building relationships with clients. I think finding the right balance in a team’s experiences and qualifications can help organizations better meet the needs of those in the process of reentry.
    I found the “Art of Legislative Lawyering” was very informative on the process of changing and adopting policy. Broken down into the the six circles, it shows how much work and dedication a team must go through to make even the smallest of changes. It was actually a little frustrating because sometimes organizations and coalitions might go through the entire process and not have it turn out successful. It shows just how much effort goes into the work to better our communities even in the smallest of ways.

    #4671
    e_powells
    Participant

    Reentry Overview

    The topic of Re entry is one of my favorites. Because while release is important, stabilization is even more. Often times when men and women are released the pressures of not being detained are too much to handle. With parole/probation fees, difficulty finding employment due to curfews etc. most men and women will return to institutions within months of their release. I think my key take away from this article is that their are so many different areas of reform that need to take place. That includes within stabilizing individuals upon their release.

    Criminal Justice Reform Strategy

    I enjoyed this reading. Specifically when the author questioned if the system was actually putting firm efforts to do what their saying. Such as rape kits not being tested, certain crimes not being reported etc.

    I never thought about the idea of holding prosecutors accountable as well. How prosecutors are strict on some crimes and not the others. It shows that little discrepancies can have major consequences.

    The Art of Legislative Lawyering

    Everyone plays a role. Whether that is as a lobbyist, policy researcher, advocate etc collaboratively each person can make effective change. Although I love advocating, I never thought to attend lobby events because I did not feel they were super effective. I felt that advocating on more of a micro scale saw more change than in front of the big crowds. But this article made me realize that both roles are just as important. Someone as to lobby on a macro scale to push the things that affect the micro.

    #4672
    kenny.ng
    Participant

    One of my biggest takeaways from The Art of Legislative Lawyering and the Six Circles Theory of Advocacy is the disaggregation of roles in effective policy change. It was helpful to see the separate and distinct roles and skills separated out to analyze. Even in deciding which role I would fit best, I thought about the following quote: “While the skill sets of strategist, lobbyist, and communications person are often rolled into one person. The theory postulates, however, that merging several skill sets within one person is never the preferred option for a successful advocacy effort.” I thought about every nonprofit I’ve worked at and the scarcity of the industry that so often undercuts effective advocacy and change.

    While at first I gravitated towards the all-encompassing strategist, I wondered how much of that was out of habit from having multiple overlapping roles rolled into one from years of nonprofit work. When digging deeper, the communications director role is most interesting to focus on to me. In reading this and Criminal Justice Reform Strategy, it’s important to not overlook how important narrative and, ultimately, storytelling are to shaping public perception, and how public perception pushes and shapes legislative change.

    • The current political window represents a substantial opportunity to advance smart policy reform packages at the state and county level
    • But based on what types of state legislative reforms will be feasible within the current political climate, a 25% reduction in incarceration over ten years in a given state would be about as impressive a win as we would expect to see
    • Wide agreement in the field that to achieve the kinds of reforms that will result in reductions beyond 25%, the space of what is politically possible will need to be significantly expanded, including: Shifting norms around when, why, how of criminal justice system + lowering public’s tolerance for incarceration

    The Movement for Black Lives has caused important and helpful shifts in how the public thinks and talks about race and criminal justice, but much more is needed to turn the public against mass incarceration, BUT public support for significant changes to the existing justice system is unlikely to come without a persuasive vision of what could replace the functions of mass incarceration. So much of that comes from understanding and pushing the public narrative to create that change.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.