Defund the Police Shows: “Cops” Is Gone and “Law and Order” Should Be Next

by Daniel A. Rosen | The theme song is catchy and instantly recognizable - and it’s part of the problem. The criminals are the "bad boys," and the hero cops are coming for them. After 33 seasons, "Cops" was temporarily pulled off the air in late May when protests about George Floyd's death gained momentum. … Continue reading Defund the Police Shows: “Cops” Is Gone and “Law and Order” Should Be Next

The ‘Blue Normal’: Doing the Math on Policing and Justice in America

by Daniel A. Rosen | I'm sitting here in my prison cell, watching the protests on TV and doing some quick math. Every year in this country, according to the Washington Post, roughly a thousand men and women die at the hands of police. About half of them - 500 people - are unarmed. And … Continue reading The ‘Blue Normal’: Doing the Math on Policing and Justice in America

COVID Status: Code Red – Report from a Prison Cell

by Daniel A. Rosen | I'm an inmate at the Greensville Correctional Center in southern Virginia, the state's largest prison with over 3,000 inmates. Until now, we'd been spared much of the chaos engulfing other prisons - no inmates were reported positive for COVID-19 and only a handful of guards had been confirmed cases. All … Continue reading COVID Status: Code Red – Report from a Prison Cell

Barr to Governors: You Answer to Me Now

by Daniel A. Rosen | According to a recent Associated Press article (Barr to Prosecutors: Look for Unconstitutional Virus Rules, Michael Balsamo, April 27, 2020) Attorney General William Barr "ordered federal prosecutors across the U.S. to identify coronavirus-related restrictions from state and local governments 'that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of … Continue reading Barr to Governors: You Answer to Me Now

The Realities of Recidivism in Virginia

by Daniel A. Rosen | In early February this year, the Virginia Department of Corrections sent out a self-congratulatory press release claiming that the Commonwealth has the lowest three-year recidivism rate in the country, at just over 23 percent. My fellow inmates and I find that figure not at all credible; we know they've massaged … Continue reading The Realities of Recidivism in Virginia

The ‘Perfect Storm’ of Dysfunction in American Prisons

by Daniel A. Rosen | Last year, Attorney General William Barr attributed Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in prison to a "perfect storm of screw-ups" that resulted in his ability to take his own life. By this we understood him to mean that guards were derelict in making their rounds, and a cellmate who might have raised … Continue reading The ‘Perfect Storm’ of Dysfunction in American Prisons

Virginia’s Justice System is Not ‘Working’

by Daniel A. Rosen | In early January, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposed three modest changes to the state's criminal laws in advance of the Assembly's 2020 legislative session. All three common-sense reforms were passed and signed into law, though not without significant friction and controversy. The more serious justice reforms proposed during this Assembly … Continue reading Virginia’s Justice System is Not ‘Working’

Rape, Overdose, and Suicide: A Week of Dysfunction in Prison

by Daniel A. Rosen | Attorney General William Barr recently characterized Jeffrey Epstein's death in prison as the product of a "perfect storm of screw-ups" and "serious irregularities." As if only some unforeseeable and unpredictable machinations could have produced such a result. But at the prison where I reside, in one week alone in early … Continue reading Rape, Overdose, and Suicide: A Week of Dysfunction in Prison