This semester, I have attempted to shed some light on several different factors that have contributed to a broken criminal justice system in the United States. I have explored policing, for-profit prisons, prosecutorial discretion, grand juries, and the 1994 Crime Bill. My research on these issues was eye-opening for me. I was able to go beyond the headlines that brought these problems to the forefront and dig in to their causes and effects. I have come away with a deeper understanding of just how ingrained prejudice and abuses of power are in our country’s institutions.

However, the most important component…


This Thursday evening, presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump took the debate stage in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the six sections featured in the debate was race in America. During this section, the topic of criminal justice reform was fiercely debated by both candidates. Among the most contentious topics was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (better known as the 1994 Crime Bill) which Joe Biden drafted and co-sponsored. Trump repeatedly skewered Biden over the 1994 Crime Bill, and rightfully so. …


Every aspect of the criminal justice system is poisoned by the very thing it claims to fight — injustice. This broken system certainly merits reimagining and restructuring, and we must make concrete steps in this direction as soon as possible. In order to achieve this, there are six concrete actionable steps that can and must be followed. Therefore, we must:

  • Educate ourselves on the current state of the criminal justice system. This involves learning how the system is plagued by racism, classism, and xenophobia at all levels. This involves learning from sources that are reputable and detailed. …

On a seemingly normal night in mid-March of this year, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were asleep in their apartment in Louisville, Kentucky when three police officers forcefully entered without warning. Walker fired a warning shot (he has since stated that he believed the person entering the apartment was Taylor’s dangerous ex-boyfriend) that struck one officer in the leg. The police opened fire, shooting 32 times. Six of those bullets hit Breonna Taylor, killing her in her sleep.

A grand jury was convened to determine whether or not the police officers would be indicted. On September 23rd…


It has been roughly a year and a half since Lori Loughlin, actress of Full House fame, was implicated in the college admissions scandal. Loughlin and her husband were accused and convicted of paying $500,000 in bribes to ensure their daughters’ admission to USC. This month, Loughlin learned where she would be spending her two-month prison sentence: at the “prison of her choice” in Victorville, CA.

For the next two months, Lori Loughlin will be making origami ducks and practicing her downward dog while thousands of BIPOC across America are forced into slave labor by the private prison industry each…


Just this Monday, Dijon Kizzee was shot and killed by members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for the apparent crime of riding his bicycle. Kizzee was approached by police for an alleged code violation related to his bicycle riding and in the interaction that followed, Kizzee dropped a bundle of clothes he was holding. Police claim that a firearm also fell to the ground, and shot Kizzee 15 times in the back, killing him. He was only 29 years old.

Kizzee’s story is just the latest example of why policing in the United States is deeply flawed. Police violence…

Lee Fisher

Student at USC

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