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A reality check on crime and justice

Equal Time, Episode 45

If it’s an election year, expect crime to be an issue. Candidates and parties draw conclusions with every headline, and exchange rhetoric that sheds more heat than light. But the history and reality of America’s criminal justice system is more complicated than a “tough on crime” slogan would indicate. 

The just published “Excessive Punishment: How the Justice System Creates Mass Incarceration” offers essays by scholars, advocates, people who have experienced incarceration and former law enforcement who make the case that public safety, justice and fairness are not only compatible as goals, but they can and must be achieved together. Lauren-Brooke Eisen, the book’s editor, is the senior director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program, where she leads the organization’s work to reduce America’s reliance on incarceration, and is the author of “Inside Private Prisons” (Columbia University Press, 2017) and a former prosecutor. She joins Equal Time to talk about why the book is especially timely in the present political climate.

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