Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Posts Tagged ‘jakada imami

On Treating Violence as a Public-Health Emergency

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Although it’s unfortunately still not the dominant policy approach in the U.S., it’s also not that controversial to suggest that drugs should be handled as a public-health problem, not a criminal-justice problem. Jakada Imami of the Ella Baker Center argues that we should see homicide as a public-health problem, too:

If we add up all the deaths of all these young, predominantly men of color, and see what we’re looking at. I mean this country went to war over the attack on the World Trade Center and what will we be willing to do when you add up all these numbers of lives lost? Young men right here at home. The level of just trauma right now that people face when you’ve gone to more funerals than graduations. That’s just seen as normal, right? But when you think back to Columbine or the Virginia Tech shooting and you think about the level of resources and the care and support that those communities rightly received – you look at East Oakland or West Oakland or East L.A., you don’t see that level of support even though these communities go through that sort of trauma on a weekly basis. …

You can also triangulate, by looking back, figure out who is most likely to be the victim of a homicide or even kill somebody. Who’s likely? It actually turns out in most communities, that it’s not every single person. It’s also not every single black or brown person. It’s not every single person who lives in a particular neighborhood. It’s a very small subset, a very easily determined population who are most at risk of being killed, just like there are very specific and subset populations that are at risk of heart disease and are at risk of diabetes and any other public health crisis or issue. And so just as you would go about figuring out who most you need to treat first, who most you need to vaccinate first.

At Governing through Crime, Jonathan Simon has some not entirely unrelated thoughts on American responses to murder: Read the rest of this entry »

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