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October 2015 Archives

The Impact Of Over-incarceration On Families

A report using data from the National Survey of Children's Health helps put into perspective the full impact of our criminal justice system's fondness for incarceration. The research, conducted by Child Trends, shows that one out of every 14 children has had a parent locked up. In total, more than five million children in this country have had that experience. The report is entitled Parents Behind Bars: What Happens to Their Children, and contains a number of eye openers about one of the hidden costs of mass incarceration.

The High Cost Of Prison Phone Calls

There are countless reasons to do everything you can to avoid going to prison. Shockingly expensive phone calls rank far down the list, but they do impact prisoners and their families. Prison phone calls have been known to cost as much as $14 per minute. That cost is obscene and serves to isolate prisoners from contact with family and loved ones. That isolation exacerbates an already serious problem--the dehumanization of incarcerated people.

Body Cameras And Law Enforcement

The national debates concerning the use of deadly force by police officers have often resulted in calls for body cameras. Asking the members of law enforcement to wear body cameras raises a number of issues, not the least of which is whether it will actually result in better conduct. Body cameras can generally be turned off. The proper use of body cameras must be established clearly to ensure that they serve the purpose for which they are being recommended. With the right training and guidelines, body cameras could help improve the relations between law enforcement and an increasingly concerned public.

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Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C.

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Portland, OR 97201
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