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Correctional Policy in an Age of Austerity

Sasha Abramsky, UC Davis and Freelance Journalist
Oct 13, 2011 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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In an era of budget deficits, a rollback of basic government services, and an inability to match accrued government obligations with sufficient revenue to pay for these obligations, governments at all levels are taking a second look at spending. In California, over the past thirty years, a large, and expensive, criminal justice system has taken deep root. Today, with courts critiquing conditions inside California's prisons, with social reformers and drug policy reformers critiquing the efficacy and fairness of policies such as Three Strikes, and with alternatives such as drug and mental health courts gaining attention, California stands on the brink of large scale and lasting criminal justice system changes.

 How did California's once vaunted criminal justice system become so dysfunctional and expensive, and what can be done to change this? Sasha Abramsky will explore the forces behind the build up of California's huge criminal justice system and also the forces now coalescing to produce change.

Sasha Abramsky is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to several journals; including The Nation, Salon and The American Prospect.  His work focuses on prison policy, poverty, homelessness, as well as general politics.  Abramsky is the author of Hard Time Blues, Conned, American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment, Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It and, most recently, Inside Obama's Brain.  He is currently a lecturer at the University of California, Davis University Writing Program.  Abramsky used to teach part time at UCCS.


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