When people who commit minor crimes can't pay their fines, they often end up in jail. It's just one aspect of systemic inequality in the criminal justice system. Peter Edelman explores this racially biased system in his new book Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America.
He argues that the phrases 'school-to-prison pipeline' and 'cradle-to-prison pipeline' are too narrow. The United States has developed a criminal justice system that ensures a cradle to coffin pipeline. What's being done to change a system that traps entire communities in inescapable cycles of poverty? We'll speak with Edelman and Brendon Woods, the first African American public defender in Alameda County.
Peter Edelman, professor of Law and Public Policy and faculty director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center, author of Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America
Brendon Woods, the first African American Public Defender of Alameda County with more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense litigation, and president of the California Public Defenders Association
Guardian US: How it became a crime to be poor in America
New York Times: Justice Dept. Revokes 25 Legal Guidance Documents Dating to 1975
The New Yorker: Kalief Browder, 1993–2015