David Ball

Prison Fun Facts

What place (in space and time) does this describe? Plaintiffs also complain that numerous problems allegedly exist in the units in which they are housed including: (1) the toilets in the solitary confinement units do not function for long periods of time; and that feces, urine, food, and other debris covers the floors and walls,… Read more »

The California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Won’t Create the Next Big Tobacco

Today the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education released a report entitled A Public Health Analysis of Two Proposed Marijuana Legalization Initiatives for the 2016 California Ballot: Creating the New Tobacco Industry. Coming just a day after the California Medical Association endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, the new report is much… Read more »

Donald Trump: Lucha Libre

I woke up this morning with an idea for a blog post: an analysis of Donald Trump using the spectacle of wrestling as a backdrop, sort of an update of the paranoid style in American politics. Donald Trump would be the good guy, or face, who comes to save the day from Mexican, Muslim, and… Read more »

California Governor Announces Significant Sentencing Ballot Initiative

California Department of Corrections/Wikimedia Commons Today Governor Jerry Brown introduced the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 (link to initiative text), a sentencing reform ballot initiative slated to appear on the November ballot. This is potentially huge news—if nothing else, it may signal that the political calculation on crime could be changing—but I have… Read more »

Obama Restricts Solitary Confinement in Federal Prisons

On Monday President Obama announced that federal prisons would no longer use solitary confinement for juveniles or for inmates serving time for low-level infractions.  The move is long overdue–like almost 200 years overdue.  Consider, for example, this assessment of the harms of  solitary confinement in Pennsylvania from de Tocqueville (yes, that one) and de Beaumont from their 1833… Read more »