AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Rushed answers don’t solve complex policing problems

Police | Slogans and social media posts oversimplify complicated issues
by Sophia Lee
Posted 7/22/20, 02:10 pm

I first learned about the “defund the police” movement, like many others, via social media—that place where everyone has a platform to post or repost very complex ideas into 280 characters or a square box. So when I saw people I follow call passionately for defunding the police—whether it’s outright abolishing them or diverting parts of their budgets to social services—what I saw wasn’t well-thought out ideas so much as a call to reimagine a better world. 

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Eric Risberg (file)

Supporting prisoners without seeing them

Compassion | Prison ministries around the country find creative ways to reach inmates
by Seth Johnson
Posted 7/22/20, 02:04 pm

When South Carolina began locking down its prisons in March, the ministry Jumpstart had to quickly adjust. The organization’s leaders and volunteers typically partnered with about 150 trained inmates across 16 different prisons to run a 40-week discipleship program. But in response to COVID-19, prison officials began restricting the inmates’ movement, banning gatherings, and blocking visitors, including Jumpstart volunteers. The group is now limited to sending letters to its inmate leaders, many of whom are doing their best to carry on with classes from their dorms.

Read more

Greg Schneider/Genesis

Hands up—“Defund the police!”

Law Enforcement | It’s easy for activists to dream of abolishing the police, but urban realities make such plans a nightmare for some
by Sophia Lee
Posted 7/16/20, 02:26 pm

On a warm February morning, Julian Canales, a Los Angeles Police Department officer, stood at an alley in East Hollywood, watching a homeless man camped behind somebody’s back gate. The man was in his 60s and had an undiagnosed mental illness. He had a frizzy salt-and-pepper beard, a lime-green comb sticking out of his large Afro, and an astringent body odor. His dirt-caked hands trembled from Parkinson’s disease. His legs were raw, peeling, and oozing from some kind of infection. For the past five years the man had been refusing any kind of services from a homeless outreach team.

Read more