In his first year working in Los Angeles’s Skid Row, Forrest Stuart was stopped on the street by police fourteen times. Usually for doing little more than standing there. Juliette, a woman he met during that time, has been stopped by police well over one hundred times, arrested upward of sixty times, and has given up more than a year of her life serving week-long jail sentences. Her most common crime? Simply sitting on the sidewalk—an arrestable offense in LA. Why? What purpose did those arrests serve, for society or for Juliette? How did we reach a point where we’ve cut support for our poorest citizens, yet are spending ever more on policing and prisons? That’s the complicated, maddening story that Stuart tells in Down, Out and Under Arrest, a close-up look at the hows and whys of policing poverty in the contemporary United States. What emerges from Stuart’s years of fieldwork—not only with Skid Row residents, but with the police charged with managing them—is a tragedy built on mistakes and misplaced priorities more than on heroes and villains. He reveals a situation where a lot of people on both sides of this issue are genuinely trying to do the right thing, yet often come up short. Sometimes, in ways that do serious harm. At a time when distrust between police and the residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods has never been higher, Stuart’s book helps us see where we’ve gone wrong, and what steps we could take to begin to change the lives of our poorest citizens—and ultimately our society itself—for the better.
World events in 2017 have revealed the fundamental features of social systems and their trajectories. Is the world becoming a better place in terms of wellbeing, wealth, health, peace and the environment? The structure of power is changing, with the prominent roles played by Trump, Putin and Xi, and, while the West is growing and still dominant, the relative growth in the East is greater. Other cultural formations, such as languages, religions and political cultures, have also risen and fallen. How have different social groups related to one another, and how have social divisions manifested themselves in the different systems of society? An analysis of the surprising election in the UK here leads to a gravitational model of party trajectories in political space, while the fascinating 358-year trajectory of mathematical knowledge relating to Fermat’s Last Theorem and modularity is also presented. As such, this is a book about peace and conflict, politics, international relations, social science and quantitative methods.
Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing
Author: Issa Kohler-Hausmann
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Social Science
An in-depth look at the consequences of New York City’s dramatically expanded policing of low-level offenses Felony conviction and mass incarceration attract considerable media attention these days, yet the most common criminal-justice encounters are for misdemeanors, not felonies, and the most common outcome is not prison. In the early 1990s, New York City launched an initiative under the banner of Broken Windows policing to dramatically expand enforcement against low-level offenses. Misdemeanorland is the first book to document the fates of the hundreds of thousands of people hauled into lower criminal courts as part of this policing experiment. Drawing on three years of fieldwork inside and outside of the courtroom, in-depth interviews, and analysis of trends in arrests and dispositions of misdemeanors going back three decades, Issa Kohler-Hausmann argues that lower courts have largely abandoned the adjudicative model of criminal law administration in which questions of factual guilt and legal punishment drive case outcomes. Due to the sheer volume of arrests, lower courts have adopted a managerial model--and the implications are troubling. Kohler-Hausmann shows how significant volumes of people are marked, tested, and subjected to surveillance and control even though about half the cases result in some form of legal dismissal. She describes in harrowing detail how the reach of America's penal state extends well beyond the shocking numbers of people incarcerated in prisons or stigmatized by a felony conviction. Revealing and innovative, Misdemeanorland shows how the lower reaches of our criminal justice system operate as a form of social control and surveillance, often without adjudicating cases or imposing formal punishment.
This collection explores policing and race in relationship to political challenges, economic realities, and social ramifications. This is done through the use of evidence-based research and established best practices as presented in fourteen chapters written by accomplished scholars across various academic disciplines.