Thursday, October 25, 2018

Listen to Dallas DA candidates debate mass incarceration, bail reform, jailing homeless people, and how prosecutors should respond to police shootings

The Dallas District Attorney race has emerged as one of the hottest local prosecutor races in the country, and was featured in a New York Times story today.

Regular readers know that, last week, along with our partners at a Dallas-based group called Evolve, Just Liberty co-sponsored a debate between Republican incumbent District Attorney Faith Johnson and Democratic challenger John Creuzot. Deandrea Flemng, co-founder of Evolve and a trustee at DeSoto ISD, moderated the conversation as the candidates answered questions submitted by the audience for nearly an hour-and-a-half.

In the latest Reasonably Suspicious podcast, we broadcast excerpts from that debate, giving listeners a taste of the conversation. I said I'd put out the complete audio of their discussion this week, so the publication of the Times story seems like a serendipitous moment to make good on that promise, for anyone interested:

One more thing: At that event, we distributed a handout guiding voters who oppose mass incarceration on what to look for in District Attorney candidates. You can check that out here.


Anonymous said...

I see the term "mass incarceration" used frequently. Is there an agreed upon definition of it? Is there a certain threshold percentage that constitutes "mass incarceration?"

It would be helpful to know for those of us casual readers.

rozmataz said...

To me, if means locking up more people than necessary by encouraging poor, minority, or mentally ill persons to plead to an offense rather than use their constitutional right to a fair trial by a jury of one's pears. The reasons: less trouble, expense, time, research, etc. need be used by the "judicial system", and the DA's control this process and only try cases that can advance their reputations. People who plead are often not guilty of the crime they are accused of but see serving time as the only way out of a situation where they can't afford to hire a competent criminal attorney and can't post bond to get out of jail while they are awaiting trial. Also, locking up the mentally ill because we don't support facilities that can treat and sometimes rehabilitate them, incarcerates offenders without dealing with the cause of their criminality. Our government doesn't want to rehab anyone, and private prison systems rake in the money and do as little as possible for these marginalized citizens. Prisoners are often treated like sub-humans because of the low standards, lack of training, and employment of people who are often morally unfit to supervise frustrated, crazy and desperate people, many of whom never have a chance to experience freedom, and whose fellow citizens don't care about or see any reason to seek reform. They don't know what these archaic prisons do to people and don't care until or unless they personally know someone who is imprisoned and forgotten.

rozmataz said...

Sorry. I meant "peers" in the second paragraph.

Unknown said...

They need to do something about the MASS SENTENCES they throw out also

Unknown said...

Does it really do any good to give virtual life sentences for DWI or drugs