How can felons be rehabilitated when prison labor is good for big business?

Until the use of prison labor is banned, many stakeholders will be incentivized to prevent felons from being rehabilitated.

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
  • The Thirteenth amendment prohibits slavery in the U.S. except as punishment for a crime.
  • A considerable number of public institutions, private companies, and individuals benefit from prison labor.
  • Is true prison reform possible when some many stand to gain from this legalized form of slavery?
Keep reading Show less

FBI and ICE scan millions of DMV photos to find suspects, raising concerns

Researchers discover government agencies use facial recognition software on photos from local DMVs.

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. 2004.
  • FBI and ICE routinely scan through millions of photos in state DMV databases.
  • The agencies use facial recognition software to find matches for suspects.
  • Congressmen on both sides of the isle are worried about privacy implications of such unregulated practices.
Keep reading Show less

One man's idea for the 'greatest PTSD healing curriculum' in America

Activist and Big Think reader Roy M. Arce explains his idea for a new community policing team and how it can halt vicious cycles of PTSD and homelessness.

Photos: Roy M. Arce.
  • Roy Arce is a U.S. veteran with PTSD whose traumatic experiences with police led him to draft a proposal for how communities and police can work better together.
  • A new kind of police response team – made up of at least one police officer and a trained community peace representative – would be part of what Arce calls "the greatest PTSD healing curriculum" in the U.S.
  • This civilian proposal would also seek to treat homelessness in one of the country's most affected regions.
Keep reading Show less

Criminal reform: Why wake-up calls are windows of opportunity

Here's how we can use the concept of 'impact impression' for criminal reform.

  • In his work in criminal reform, Bishop Omar Jahwar recounts how a person's life trajectory can typically be traced back to a moment of trauma or an 'impact impression'.
  • An impact impression has two outcomes: It can be an awakening that steers people in a positive direction where they seek help, or it can become a negative spiral that lands them in prison. In the latter case, supporting people in undoing the damage and mental scars they've incurred from such impact impressions can help reduce recidivism.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.

How the hard-man mask can affect a prisoner’s sense of self

What happens to a person's identity when they are forced to play a hypermasculine role just to survive?

Photo credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images
  • Prison is not a place where it pays to be vulnerable.
  • Living in prison involves survival through developing a front, or a mask to live behind.
  • Many men in prison develop a hypermasculine sense of self that shows no fear, emotion or distress to cope with the threatening overtones of the prison community.
Keep reading Show less