Video and Multimedia

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What I learned as a kid in jail

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As a teenager, Ismael Nazario was sent to New York’s Rikers Island jail, where he spent 300 days in solitary confinement -- all before he was ever convicted of a crime. Now as a prison reform advocate he works to change the culture of American jails and prisons, where young people are frequently subjected to violence beyond imagination. Nazario tells his chilling story and suggests ways to help, rather than harm, teens in jail.

  1. Do you agree with Ismael Nazario that the age of criminal responsibility should be fixed at 18 years old?

A System of Racial and Social Control

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Michelle Alexander is the author of the bestseller The New Jim Crow, and a civil-rights advocate, lawyer, legal scholar and professor. She spoke with FRONTLINE about how the war on drugs spawned a system dedicated to mass incarceration, and what it means for America today. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Sept. 5, 2013.

  1. Why does Michelle Alexander state that mass incarceration is social control?

Federal District Judge Upholds North Carolina's Sweeping Voter ID Law

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A federal district judge upheld North Carolina's new voting law, including requirements that voters show a government-issued photo ID at the polls and only vote in the correct precinct.

  1. Define “disenfranchised”.
  2. How do voter ID laws cause people to become disenfranchised?
  3. Who benefits from voter ID laws?

Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators

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The Washington State Department of Corrections manages all state–operated adult prisons and supervises adult offenders who live in the community.

  1. Define “civil commitment”.
  2. What requirements must be met to determine that a person is a sexually violent predator?
  3. Once determined a sexually violent predator, how often must their case be reviewed?

Related Article: How 'civil commitment' enables indefinite detention of sex offenders

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The Guardian is a British national daily newspaper. It was founded by mill-owners in 1821 in reaction to the closure of the radical workers' newspaper Manchester Observer.

  1. What are the reasons that civil commitment laws need to be reformed?

Characteristics of Total Institutions: Goffman on the Prison Experience

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Jeremy Baarbé uses Prezi to discuss prison as a total institution as per Erving Goffman.

  1. Define “total institution”
  2. Does Goffman's work on total institutions apply to today's prison experience? 

Social Contract

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  1. Define “social contract”
  2. Discuss the connection between social contract and deviance.