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Constitution Day 2019: President's Speaker Series

Constitution Day is Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

Celebrate Constitution Day in Conjunction with the President's Speaker Series Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 7 – 9pm

The Delta College President's Speaker Series presents "Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration".

Emily Bazelon sheds vital light on the enormous and oft-misused power of the American judicial system in shaping our society. Her new book Charged, which debuted on the New York Times’ bestseller list, provides a bracing investigation of a criminal justice system with unchecked power, and the remarkable efforts being made to address and reform the national crisis that mass incarceration represents.

Following the presentation, please join us for a reception and book signing at the new Downtown Saginaw Center, located at 319 East Genesee.

 

 

Location:
Temple Theatre
201 N. Washington Avenue

Saginaw, MI 48602


Contact:
Delta College
info@delta.edu
989-686-9192 or 989-686-9374

Interested in learning more about the Criminal Justice System and Mass Incarceration?

Anatomy of Injustice

From Pulitzer Prize winner Raymond Bonner, the gripping story of a grievously mishandled murder case that put a twenty-three-year-old man on death row.   In January 1982, an elderly white widow was found brutally murdered in the small town of Greenwood, South Carolina. Police immediately arrested Edward Lee Elmore, a semiliterate, mentally retarded black man with no previous felony record. His only connection to the victim was having cleaned her gutters and windows, but barely ninety days after the victim's body was found, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Elmore had been on death row for eleven years when a young attorney named Diana Holt first learned of his case. With the exemplary moral commitment and tenacious investigation that have distinguished his reporting career, Bonner follows Holt's battle to save Elmore's life and shows us how his case is a textbook example of what can go wrong in the American justice system. Moving, enraging, suspenseful, and enlightening, Anatomy of Injustice is a vital contribution to our nation's ongoing, increasingly important debate about inequality and the death penalty.

Are Prisons Obsolete?

Since the 1980s prison construction and incarceration rates in the U.S. have been rising exponentially, evoking huge public concern about their proliferation, their recent privatisation and their promise of enormous profits. But these prisons house hugely disproportionate numbers of people of colour, betraying the racism embedded in the system, while studies show that increasing prison sentences has had no effect on crime. Here, esteemed civil rights activist Angela Davis lays bare the situation and argues for a radical rethinking of our rehabilitation programmes.

The Autobiography of an Execution

Near the beginning of The Autobiography of an Execution, David Dow lays his cards on the table. "People think that because I am against the death penalty and don't think people should be executed, that I forgive those people for what they did. Well, it isn't my place to forgive people, and if it were, I probably wouldn't. I'm a judgmental and not very forgiving guy. Just ask my wife." It this spellbinding true crime narrative, Dow takes us inside of prisons, inside the complicated minds of judges, inside execution-administration chambers, into the lives of death row inmates (some shown to be innocent, others not) and even into his own home--where the toll of working on these gnarled and difficult cases is perhaps inevitably paid. He sheds insight onto unexpected phenomena-- how even religious lawyer and justices can evince deep rooted support for putting criminals to death-- and makes palpable the suspense that clings to every word and action when human lives hang in the balance.

Burning down the House

In what the San Francisco Chronicle called "an epic work of investigative journalism that lays bare our nation's brutal and counterproductive juvenile prisons and is a clarion call to bring our children home," Nell Bernstein eloquently argues that there is no good way to lock up a child.  Bernstein's heartrending portraits of young people abused by the system intended to protect and "rehabilitate" them are interwoven with reporting on innovative programs that provide effective alternatives to putting children behind bars. The result is a work that the Philadelphia Inquirer called "a searing indictment and a deft strike at the heart of America's centuries-old practice of locking children away in institution"--a landmark book that has already launched a new national conversation.

Caught

The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few defenders, yet reforms to reduce the numbers of those incarcerated have been remarkably modest. Meanwhile, an ever-widening carceral state has sprouted in the shadows, extending its reach far beyond the prison gate. It sunders families and communities and reworks conceptions of democracy, rights, and citizenship--posing a formidable political and social challenge. In Caught, Marie Gottschalk examines why the carceral state remains so tenacious in the United States. She analyzes the shortcomings of the two dominant penal reform strategies--one focused on addressing racial disparities, the other on seeking bipartisan, race-neutral solutions centered on reentry, justice reinvestment, and reducing recidivism. With a new preface evaluating the effectiveness of recent proposals to reform mass incarceration, Caught offers a bracing appraisal of the politics of penal reform.

Charged

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America's mass incarceration crisis--and charts a way out. "An important, thoughtful, and thorough examination of criminal justice in America that speaks directly to how we reduce mass incarceration."--Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy "This harrowing, often enraging book is a hopeful one, as well, profiling innovative new approaches and the frontline advocates who champion them."--Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted The American criminal justice system is supposed to be a contest between two equal adversaries, the prosecution and the defense, with judges ensuring a fair fight. That image of the law does not match the reality in the courtroom, however. Much of the time, it is prosecutors more than judges who control the outcome of a case, from choosing the charge to setting bail to determining the plea bargain. They often decide who goes free and who goes to prison, even who lives and who dies. In Charged, Emily Bazelon reveals how this kind of unchecked power is the underreported cause of enormous injustice--and the missing piece in the mass incarceration puzzle. Charged follows the story of two young people caught up in the criminal justice system: Kevin, a twenty-year-old in Brooklyn who picked up his friend's gun as the cops burst in and was charged with a serious violent felony, and Noura, a teenage girl in Memphis indicted for the murder of her mother. Bazelon tracks both cases--from arrest and charging to trial and sentencing--and, with her trademark blend of deeply reported narrative, legal analysis, and investigative journalism, illustrates just how criminal prosecutions can go wrong and, more important, why they don't have to. Bazelon also details the second chances they prosecutors can extend, if they choose, to Kevin and Noura and so many others. She follows a wave of reform-minded D.A.s who have been elected in some of our biggest cities, as well as in rural areas in every region of the country, put in office to do nothing less than reinvent how their job is done. If they succeed, they can point the country toward a different and profoundly better future. "Bazelon, cogent and clear-eyed as ever, lays out a welcome double-barreled argument: A prosecutorial shift toward mercy and fairness is crucial to healing our busted criminal justice system, and it's already happening."--Sarah Koenig, host of Serial

The Chickenshit Club

Winner of the 2018 Excellence in Financial Journalism Award From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, "a fast moving, fly-on-the-wall, disheartening look at the deterioration of the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission...It is a book of superheroes" (San Franscisco Review of Books). Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed "Too Big to Fail" to almost every large corporation in America--to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. The Chickenshit Club--an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs--explains why in "an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism...a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy" (Bloomberg Businessweek). Jesse Eisigner begins the story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. He brings us to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and FBI agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department's approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department's approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department of today, including the prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives. Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice. "This book is a wakeup call...a chilling read, and a needed one" (NPR.org).

Fist Stick Knife Gun

A new edition, including the story of the founding of the Harlem Children's Zone Long before the avalanche of praise for his work-from Oprah Winfrey, from President Bill Clinton, from President Barack Obama-long before he became known for his talk show appearances, Members Project spots, and documentaries like Waiting for "Superman",Geoffrey Canada was a small boy growing up scared on the mean streets of the South Bronx. His childhood world was one where "sidewalk boys" learned the codes of the block and were ranked through the rituals of fist, stick, and knife. Then the streets changed, and the stakes got even higher. In his candid and riveting memoir, Canada relives a childhood in which violence stalked every street corner.

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime

Co-Winner of the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize A New York Times Notable Book of the Year A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice A Wall Street Journal Favorite Book of the Year A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year A Publishers Weekly Favorite Book of the Year In the United States today, one in every thirty-one adults is under some form of penal control, including one in eleven African American men. How did the "land of the free" become the home of the world's largest prison system? Challenging the belief that America's prison problem originated with the Reagan administration's War on Drugs, Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: the social welfare programs of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society at the height of the civil rights era. "An extraordinary and important new book." --Jill Lepore, New Yorker "Hinton's book is more than an argument; it is a revelation...There are moments that will make your skin crawl...This is history, but the implications for today are striking. Readers will learn how the militarization of the police that we've witnessed in Ferguson and elsewhere had roots in the 1960s." --Imani Perry, New York Times Book Review

Homicide

From the creator of HBO'sThe Wire, the classic book about homicide investigation that became the basis for the hit television show The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly world. David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator; Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl. Originally published fifteen years ago,Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition--which includes a new introduction, an afterword, and photographs--revives this classic, riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience.

In My Father's House

The United States currently holds the distinction of housing nearly one-quarter of the world's prison population. But our reliance on mass incarceration, Fox Butterfield argues, misses the intractable reality- As few as 5 percent of American families account for half of all crime, and only 10 percent account for two-thirds.In introducing us to the Bogle family, the author invites us to understand crime in this eye-opening new light. He chronicles the malignant legacy of criminality passed from parents to children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Examining the long history of the Bogles, a white family, Butterfield offers a revelatory look at criminality that forces us to disentangle race from our ideas about crime and, in doing so, strikes at the heart of our deepest stereotypes. And he makes clear how these new insights are leading to fundamentally different efforts at reform. With his empathic insight and profound knowledge of criminology, Butterfield offers us both the indelible tale of one family's transgressions and tribulations, and an entirely new way to understand crime in America.

Incarceration Nations

Beginning in Africa and ending in Europe, Incarceration Nationsis a first-person odyssey through the prison systems of the world. Professor, journalist, and founder of the Prison-to-College-Pipeline program, Dreisinger looks into the human stories of incarcerated men and women and those who imprison them, creating a jarring, poignant view of a world to which most are denied access, and a rethinking of one of America?s most far-reaching global exports- the modern prison complex.From serving as a restorative justice facilitator in a notorious South Africanprison and working with genocide survivors in Rwanda,to launching a creative writing class in an overcrowded Ugandanprison and coordinating a drama workshop for women prisoners in Thailand,Dreisinger examines the world behind bars with equal parts empathy and intellect. She journeys to Jamaicato visit a prison music program, to Singaporeto learn about approaches to prisoner reentry, to Australiato grapple with the bottom line of private prisons, to a federal supermax in Brazilto confront the horrors of solitary confinement, and finally to the so-called model prisons of Norway.Incarceration Nationsconcludes with climactic lessons about the past, present, and future of justice

Infinite Hope

A powerful memoir about exoneration written by a wrongfully convicted man who spent 16 years in solitary confinement and 12 years on death row In the summer of 1992, a grandmother and five children were murdered in Somerville, TX, rocking the tiny community to its core. Authorities were eager to make an arrest, and five days later Anthony Graves was in custody. Graves, then twenty-six years old and without an attorney, was certain that his innocence was obvious. He did not know the victims, had no knowledge of the crime, and had an airtight alibi. Yet, despite a lack of physical evidence linking him to the scene, Graves was indicted, convicted of capital murder, and sentenced to death. Through the eighteen years, two months, and four days he spent in prison or on death row, Graves suffered the whims of rogue prosecutors, vote-hungry district attorneys, and Texas State Rangers who played by their own rules. To maintain his dignity and sanity as fellow inmates and friends were taken to their deaths, Graves wrote letters to whomever he thought would listen. Pen pals in countries all over the world became allies, and he attracted the attention of a savvy legal team that overcame setback after setback to win his exoneration and disbar the original prosecutor on his case. Haunting and poignant, Graves' moving account of his fight for freedom is as shameful to the legal system that betrayed him as it is inspiring to those still searching for justice.

The Line Becomes a River

This instant New York Times bestseller, "A must-read for anyone who thinks 'build a wall' is the answer to anything." --Esquire For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Driven to understand the hard realities of the landscape he loves, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Plagued by a growing awareness of his complicity in a dehumanizing enterprise, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the full extent of the violence it wreaks, on both sides of the line.

Lockdown America

Why is criminal justice so central to American politics? Lockdown America notonly documents the horrors and absurdities of militarized policing,prisons, a fortified border, and the federalization of the war oncrime, it also explains the political and economic history behind themassive crackdown. This updated edition includes an afterword on the War on Terror, a meditation on surveillance and the specter of terrorism as they help reanimate the criminal justice attack. Written in vivid prose, Lockdown America willpropel readers toward a deeper understanding of the links between crimeand politics in a period of gathering economic crisis.

My Brother Moochie

A wide-ranging yet intensely intimate view of crime and incarceration in the United States, and the devastating effects they have on those who commit crimes, their loved ones, their victims, and society as a whole. It also offers hope for families caught in the incarceration trap: though the Bailey family's lows have included prison and bearing the responsibility for multiple deaths, their highs have included Harvard University, the White House, and a renewed sense of pride and understanding that presents a path forward.

No Equal Justice

No Equal Justice is the seminal work on race- and class-based double standards in criminal justice. Hailed as a "shocking and necessary book" by The Economist, it has become the standard reference point for anyone trying to understand the fundamental inequalities in the American legal system. The book, written by constitutional law scholar and civil liberties advocate David Cole, was named the best nonfiction book of 1999 by the Boston Book Review and the best book on an issue of national policy by the American Political Science Association. No Equal Justice examines subjects ranging from police behavior and jury selection to sentencing, and argues that our system does not merely fail to live up to the promise of equality, but actively requires double standards to operate. Such disparities,Cole argues, allow the privileged to enjoy constitutional protections from police power without paying the costs associated with extending those protections across the board to minorities and the poor.

Picking Cotton

The New York Times best selling true story of an unlikely friendship forged between a woman and the man she incorrectly identified as her rapist and sent to prison for 11 years. Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken-- but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face-- and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives. With Picking Cotton, Jennifer and Ronald tell in their own words the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

Start Here

We are living at the beginning of the end of mass incarceration in America. Notwithstanding the posturing at the federal level, states have begun to take real steps to keep their citizens out of prisons. And yet the two million teenagers who report that they've used an illegal drug in the last month still remain at risk of arrest, and many will face the trauma of being cuffed and fingerprinted. The good news is that it's easy to change their lives for the better, right now: we just need to change our policies. This is but one example of the pragmatic case that Greg Berman and Julian Adler build in Start Here, which moves from abstract critique of the justice system to concrete action. Berman and Adler present three overarching, revolutionary ideas, each supported with a litany of practical solutions and battle-tested programs that could be implemented nationwide: to engage the public in preventing crime, to treat all defendants with dignity and respect, and to link people to effect

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