Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Public Hearing

Forwarded from the Louisiana Justice Institute:

Oct. 14 Public Hearing on Future of RSD Schools

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) will be holding a public hearing at 5:30pm Thursday, October 14, 2010 in the auditorium of McDonogh #35 High School (1331 Kerlerec Street) to discuss the future governance of the sixty eight New Orleans schools currently operating under the Recovery School District (RSD).  This public hearing comes following therelease of recommendations by State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek in mid-September regarding potential plans to return RSD-New Orleans schools back to Orleans Parish control, and will be followed by a meeting on December 7 where the Board will take a formal vote on the matter.  Students, parents, educators, groups and all citizens of New Orleans are encouraged to attend the public hearing to offer feedback and input. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Political Uses of Crime

For the past few years I've used a book called "Making Crime Pay" by Katherine Beckett in my criminology courses.  I like it because through the combined use of historical research, political discourse, media narratives, and public opinion polls, she shows how both fear of crime and the image many of us have in our heads of the young black male criminal are social and political constructions.  Here's the basic outline/argument:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Iberville Public Housing Development

Here's an email I received regarding the Iberville Public Housing Development. Thought I'd repost it for ya'll.

Dear Fellow Friends of New Orleans’ Iberville Public Housing Development,
Iberville Public Housing residents need the support of you and your students.
Many of you participated in the New Orleans “Disaster Capitalism” tour while either at the Spring 2009 meeting of the Southern Sociological Association or the Fall 2009 gathering of the American Humanist Society. We salute you for bearing witness to the criminal destruction of public housing, including the Lafitte development, that the Bush administration carried out post-Katrina, in flagrant violation of international human rights law.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Interesting Social Fact on Urban Crime

So, one of the most recognized social facts among criminologists is that violent crime and crimes against property are more commonly found in certain areas of a city and less commonly found in others. This is no surprise, but the interesting thing is that as people who live in the crime ridden sections move out, the crime, by and large, stays. That is, it doesn't move with them. This was something criminologists discovered way back in the 1920s. Today, the reasoning and argument are much more complicated than was the case back in the day. For instance, it's now also widely recognized that some of the high rates of crime in particularly urban areas are also due to the high rates of policy surveillance, so that some of the difference in crime rate is due to the simple fact that some areas of the city aren't crawling with police. Despite this issue of visibility and enforcement on crime rate numbers, the fact remains. As people move out of crime prone areas, the crime tends not to move with them. The reason people believe this is an important social fact is because it make us ask about crime as a function of an individual, where it's due to one's psychological makeup or genetics or a function of conditions/environment. That is, an area as criminogenic, where crime is a somewhat normal reaction to abnormal conditions.