Monday, May 21, 2007

The Narrative Is Everything

A point I didn’t make when posting the story yesterday on the female sex offender in Tulsa was how important it was for corrections sentencing policy realists to start putting names and faces on the people harmed by “one size fits all” and other indiscriminate policies. Everything we do in corr sent is driven by the underlying narratives of "good guys" and "bad guys," completely innocent victims and totally evil offenders. We see and hear all the stories about the victims of crimes in the media so it’s easy for the public to have an idea of the harm caused by crime. But government, surprise, can harm people, too, and we need to be able to point to stories and folks that demonstrate the need for more thought and consideration. Pam Clifton at Think Outside the Cage has another good example, this time of a guy who fought off a drug addiction.

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