Don’t mourn; organize!

From Kat:

Aloha Justice Advocates!

            I bet you woke up in the same state as I did…happy that the election madness is over and trying to figure out how to move forward after such a bruising battle. I am reminded of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emmerson, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” We all have great capacity to love, to understand, to accept, to give, to share, to build strong, healthy, and just communities. Our personal power is only limited by our own abilities to access these gifts.

            I am, therefore, choosing to buckle down and work even harder for justice. To work even harder to make people understand that building communities and bridges is a far greater strategy for peace. Now is the time for us all to come together to build the world we want to live in. Donʻt wait for our “leaders”. YOU ARE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR AND NOW IS THE TIME!

            We start off todayʻs post with a link to a Civil Beat article that outlines the 20 charter amendments for Honolulu that were on the ballot – 16 passed and 4 did not (# 10, 15, 17, and 19). FYI, the two constitutional amendments on the ballot both passed. The state is allowed to use excess revenues with refunding the excess to taxpayers and now small claims court threshold is $10,000 (not $5,000) which will impact people in the lowest economic situation.

            Next is a poll done by Marquette University on Public Attitudes toward Punishment,Rehabilitation, and Reform.

***

Honolulu Voters Say No To Longer Terms For Mayor, Council
But most of the other charter amendments were passing handily, including more police oversight and money for the Honolulu Zoo.
Anita Hofschneider and John Hill, Civil Beat, Nov. 8, 2016

Excerpt:
“Honolulu voters rejected a proposed charter amendment to extend term limits for top political seats and appeared to narrowly approve establishing a Department of Land Management .

“With most precincts reporting, voters backed amendments that give the Honolulu Police Commission more power to fire the police chief and create an office focused on mitigating climate change.

“There were 20 proposed charter amendments on the ballot. The charter is reviewed every decade by the Honolulu Charter Commission.”

*****

Public Attitudes toward Punishment, Rehabilitation, and Reform: Lessons from the Marquette Law School Poll
Michael M. O’Hear, Marquette University – Law School
Darren Wheelock, Marquette University Department of Social and Cultural Sciences
October 27, 2016
6 pages
Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2016
Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 16-13
Abstract: 

Since the late 1990s, many opinion surveys have suggested that the American public may be growing somewhat less punitive and more open to reforms that emphasize rehabilitation over incarceration. In order to assess current attitudes toward punishment, rehabilitation, and the criminal justice system, we collected survey data of 804 registered voters in Wisconsin. Among other notable results, we found strong support for rehabilitation and for the early release of prisoners who no longer pose a threat to public safety. However, we also found significant divisions in public opinion. For instance, while black and white respondents largely shared the same priorities for the criminal justice system, black respondents tended to see the system as less successful in achieving those priorities. Additionally, we found significant differences in the views of Democrats and Republicans, with Republicans more likely to favor punishment as a top priority and Democrats more likely to support rehabilitation. Finally, we found that survey respondents that hold negative views of African Americans are significantly less likely to support rehabilitation, even after statistically controlling for the other variables in the model.

  1. Conclusion

Despite a general reduction in public punitiveness, reformers face a complicated and challenging political environment as they try to shift the criminal justice system to a more rehabilitative orientation. Even as many voters express support for rehabilitation, they express no less support for ‘‘giving criminals the punishment they deserve.’’ Reformers must also contend with a widespread mistrust of the effectiveness of criminal justice officials. Although poor evaluations of the system might suggest an openness to real structural change, mistrust can cut both ways: voters might be skeptical of giving more discretion or resources to officials who are not believed to be using their current levels of discretion and tax dollars prudently. It is also clear that criminal justice remains a matter of real partisan and racial division. Reformers may need to frame their arguments quite differently for different audiences. For instance, Republicans seem rather less inclined than Democrats to view cutting prison budgets as an important priority. More concerning may be the possibility that some of the resistance to rehabilitative approaches is connected to deep-rooted racial resentment. None of this is to suggest that reform initiatives are futile, but it does highlight some of the reasons why repeated demonstrations of the greater cost-effectiveness of alternatives to incarceration have not led policymakers to embrace such alternatives in a more decisive fashion.

***

Please work through your grief. The people we advocate for need us now,  more than ever.

DONʻT MOURN; ORGANIZE!

 

“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Dr. Martin Luther King

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