Justice for All?

Justice for All?

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Thirty years of Tough-on-Crime policies have fueled an increasing reliance on imprisonment for dealing with crime, resulting in the highest incarceration rates in U.S. history. The number of prisoners has grown so dramatically that, in 2000, the United States became the leading incarcerator in the world. No one knows the long-term effects of these unprecedented numbers, leading some to call mass incarceration one of the great social experiments of our time. With people of color making up more than half the prison population, others have called mass incarceration the leading racial issue in America.

Justice for All? explores the impact of Tough-on-Crime policies, and the role of the criminal justice system in our society. Funding for this ThinkTV production has been provided by the Dayton Bar Foundation. Justice for All?, will be distributed state wide for broadcast by all Ohio public television stations.

Host Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, welcomes guests Judge Ronald Adrine, Cleveland Municipal Court; Michelle Alexander, Associate Professor of Law at the Ohio State University and Mark Mauer, Assistant Director of the Sentencing Project. The legal experts will examine the effect of the War on Drugs and Zero Tolerance policies, focusing on policing, sentencing and prisoner reentry. They will also examine the effect of mass incarceration on communities of color, and the long term financial and public safety implications of a growing prison population. Finally, alternative approaches to the criminal justice “funnel” created thirty years ago will be discussed and the new relationships between the criminal justice system and public safety will be explored.

ThinkTV will produce a one-half-hour follow-up program, which will feature members of the justice system as well as representatives of the local community who are involved with criminal justice issues. Together they will identify some of the chief issues facing the greater Dayton area community and explore possible alternatives.