The American justice system is fascinating to the world. The ongoing global success of books, movies and TV series dedicated to it is a clear indicator that this is true. Some, like "Law & Order" presents the system at it's best. Other show it's failures. This book is about the later, but it is not a fiction story for entertainment purposes. It is a troubling testimonial from someone who knows the system in and out, and is not looking to condemn, but to repair.
As a non-US citizen, I am not directly affected by any of it. However, as Mr. Bolen wrote in the book, the results produced by this system are often unjust, and people will not stand lasting injustice forever. This is how revolutions happen! A strong, stable America is an important force for good in the world. Should it diminish, weaken or, God-forbid, fall due to internal pressures, the world at large will suffer. As a citizen of the world, I hope that Bolen's last chapter, aptly named "Get Off The Couch" will indeed get people in the US to discuss and address the issues he raises and the solutions he suggests in this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Bolen's views, facts, and references cited in the book. It took me back to time and place of much more honesty and less sugar coating. This book really gave me a societal perspective on what is going on in our broken system today which I can truly respect and appreciate. We have TV Shows only portraying some of the injustice. This book takes a much deeper look into the entire system.
Thank you, Mr. Bolen, for having the courage to speak about what's really going on!
The author writes with an informed passion about topics beyond just the criminal justice system. He also touches on Black Lives Matter, racism, classism, and the Electoral College.
The examples of uneven justice that he describes aren't much of a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the news, but that doesn't make them any less awful. Very often, victims are punished more than criminals, and crimes stereotyped by race, with punishments not fitting the crime.
The author's suggestions stand to make the justice system more uniform and consistent across the nation, while trying to rehabilitate prisoners rather than just house them for their sentence. Some of the suggestions are sound, while some don't seem to allow for extenuating circumstances. Many of them are far too logical to ever be implemented, though he lost me at legalizing all drugs. We're already irresponsible enough with alcohol now; I feel those floodgates shouldn't be opened.
Overall, it's decently written with a fervent passion for the subject that would be suited to a preacher's pulpit, fist pounding to make his point. An example:
"One of my goals has been to expose the needless obfuscation of certain aspects of our society and to illustrate that only those at the top of the food chain have benefited. Overcoming the inertia to accomplish the necessary change in our Criminal Justice System will take herculean effort, and it will not happen quickly. But it will not begin until we get off the sofa, put our hard hats on and get to work."
He seems sincere in his beliefs and has covered a lot of ground. Some I agreed with and some were just apalling. At one point he states that abortion is ok in rape situations and yet he touts his extensive Catholic upbringing and faith. This does not compute. He believes the Electoral College should be eliminated and is therefore advocating mob rule. I agree with him that lobbyists have too much influence and term limits are a great idea. The book sufferers from a serious lack of commas, making it necessary to reread certain passages for understanding. It was jarring to see some errors such as the word tennants rather than tenets and populous when he meant populace. I'm glad he wrote this and happy that I was able to read it, it is food for thought. He has many ideas and his next step should be to run for office and try to put some of his ideas into action. (Only the ones I agree with). Lol
Definitely a police officer's perspective you couldn't get from a different role within the justice system. Eye-opening, balanced, no excuses, no whining. Mr. Bolen addresses the good, bad, and ugly with strong, thoughtful recommendations to remedy the bad. Continually grabbed my attention and challenged my perceptions.
There are just so many things I know absolutely nothing about. I do not know nothing about the justice system, but very little as it truly operates. I know the surface level text book operation or ideal way it is supposed to work, the reality? Very little.
This title just happened to catch my eye and I'm glad it did. Very interesting read.