This story is horrific, even by the horrific standards we labor under these days.

And if this seems shocking and incomprehensible to you, it sadly shouldn't.

The US has a long history of this. And not an ancient history. It runs right to the present.…
Here's a piece by @cjciaramella, with @ProperlyZuri, on a woman in federal prison threatened, repeatedly, to get a hysterectomy in... 2018:…
Here's a story from California, that sterilized over a hundred women, just in the early 2000s. Over a hundred more in the years before that:…

The dehumanizing language of the doctor who did this is... jaw-dropping. Not unusual,. Still jaw-dropping.
Here's one of a woman who had forced tubal ligation in for a MARIJUANA conviction. In 2009.…
Here's a history of forced sterilization in prisons, from 1907 onward, by @Lollardfish:…
If what is alleged to have happened at that ICE facility is true--and our history sure says we should expect it to be so--this is not something that can be washed away with just an election.

This is a dark path that requires a bigger reckoning.

But it's not unexpected, either.

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More from @JohnFPfaff

30 Jul
An essential post on the toxic culture that permeates economics.

My first year of grad school remains the single most emotionally destructive and exhausting year I've experienced... even worse than the one where one of my newborn twins had 5+ critical surgeries.
And I am a straight white guy. So I had every single advantage, and it still was emotionally abusive in a way that still sticks with me, over 20 years later.

I'd say I can't imagine what it was like for the Black students in my entering cohort, but... yeah. There weren't any.
But I do remember one overarching act of cruelty, which reflects how little the department valued grad student lives.

One classmate of mine was an older guy. Already had a PhD in Philosophy. Wrote some paper on econ, sent it to a prof at Chicago. They liked it, but....
Read 12 tweets
17 Jul
Feel like we’ll be hearing a lot abt crime in NYC in the weeks ahead, so:

1. Don’t forget: NYPD makes its data public, and quickly. You can verify claims yourself here:…

2. Be wary of cherry-picking. Some things rise, others fall. The Narrative adapts.
Right now, shootings are up, but rape, assault and robbery are down. So we hear a lot abt shootings. Flip that, and we’d have discussions of robberies.

3. Only the upticks seem to trigger discussions of reforms. I’ve seen nothing asking if, say, reforms cut assaults. Note that.
4. NYC isn’t the only place w reforms, and it isn’t the only place w protests. Be wary of cherry-picking cities, too.

5. Related, crime in cities won’t always move the same way. If someone discusses “rises of X in cities A, B, and C,” need to also know if X fell in D, E.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jul
As "defunding the police" continues to pick up steam, I think it may be helpful to appreciate the relatively minor role formal enforcement actually plays, and thus why investing in alternatives makes so much sense.

Start here: ~50% of violence, 65% of prop crime NEVER REPORTED.
Next: of those crimes that do get reported, about 30% to 40% of violent crimes, 15% of property crimes yield an arrest.

So we are at 20% of viol victims see an arrest, 5% of prop crimes see an arrest.

Only a fraction of crimes enter the system at all.
Now, to be clear, clearance rates (like 911 calls) are not a complete picture of police efficacy.

Officers standing at the corner, walking the beat, etc., may prevent all sorts of crimes without needing make an arrest. In fact, that's likely their most effective impact.
Read 9 tweets
2 Jul
I see that #EpsteinDidntKillHimself is trending again, given the arrest of Ghislane Maxwell.

So it bears repeating: he probably did, in fact, commit suicide.
As @Popehat pointed out a while back, our prisons are brutal inhumane and inhuman places where the sort of indifference needed for Epstein to commit suicide is routine:…

In the notoriously understaffed MCC, Epstein’s jail, that risk just goes up.
We have this strange belief that the our prisons and jails are tough but ultimately mostly functional places.

They are not.

It is, of course, possible that Epstein was murdered. But it remains the less-likely explanation.
Read 4 tweets
16 Apr

Prior to #COVID19, we released ~1,700 ppl from prisons every DAY, and ~275,000 (!!) ppl every DAY from county jails.

The paltry releases under COVID prison furloughs and jail reductions are mere drops in the rivers of people flowing in and out of penal instititions.
Given the 625,000 releases from prison and 10,000,000 releases from jails--and given the trauma ppl experience in prison and jails and our inadequate re-entry policies--it will ALWAYS be possible to find a striking salient case of reoffending to hype up.
This is, ofc, the bread and butter of tough-on-crime politicians, law enforcement officials, and the media who support them (hi, @nypost).

But important to note something about this effort to weaponize the "Willie Horton Effect": we have NO real evidence if it actually matters.
Read 5 tweets
22 Mar
As faculty debate this, just wanted to share my thoughts on why I think mandatory P/F is the right response to this crisis.

Basically, if we unpack the “grades allow students to prove they can excel under stress” argument, it quickly becomes clear that... they won’t. At all.
What grades will reflect is that some students:

1. Are wealthy enough to live alone, as libraries close and we are crammed together more. In NYC, this is huge.

2. Don’t have kids now out of school. Even if both parents are home, this disadvantages women.
3. Don’t have to care for ailing parents, or other siblings as parents self-isolate.

4. Don’t have underlying conditions that induce stress.

5. Have parents with the resources to look after themselves, and to stay (relatively) safe.
Read 11 tweets

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