Marie Gottschalk describes an American penal system that has all but abandoned any real attempt to rehabilitate its inmates.
The "war on drugs" approach to marijuana has had major costs. But the dawning era of legal marijuana presents its own set of public health problems.
Memphis is known for blues, barbecue, and kings. Elvis Presley, the "king of rock 'n' roll," shook, rattled, and rolled his way to stardom by drawing from the art of African Americans. He was, arguably, bigger than Jesus before John Lennon made that controversial claim for the Beatles in the 1960s. In that decade, Memphis became infamous for what happened to the preacher King. There to support the sanitation workers strike of 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and the legacy of bloodshed continues to haunt the city. Elvis and Martin are not the only kings of Memphis. There's also the king of kings.
Legislative action may be slow, but a new consensus is emerging: massive incarceration is unsustainable, both morally and financially.
To Robert Ferguson, Calvinist roots lead European-Americans to see all punishments meted out to humans as righteous. Yet ultimate blame for our prisons is our own.
Americans seem to relish putting their fellow citizens behind bars. Lately, some conservatives have begun to see this as a problem.