Here’s What Happens When One City Gave Homeless People Shelter Instead of Throwing Them In Jail

by AlterNet:

Kilee Lowe was sitting in a park when cops picked her up and booked her into jail overnight. After she got out the next morning, she returned to the park. The same officer who had thrown her into a cell not 24 hours before booked her again. It was back to jail for Kilee.

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Mental Illness, Homelessness, Drug Addiction: Do These Sound Like Crimes?

By Mychal Denzel Smith for The Nation:

Kajieme Powell told the St. Louis police to shoot him. He told them repeatedly to shoot him, and the two police officers who were called to the scene quickly obliged. But they didn’t shoot him because he told them to. The official reason St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson gave for why the officers shot Powell—which they did at least nine times, including several shots fired after Powell had already fallen to the ground—was that Powell was carrying a knife and charged toward the two officers holding that knife with an overhand grip.

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OverCriminalized: Alternatives to Incarceration?

by George Lavender for In These Times:  

America's prisons and jails are filled with people arrested for crimes connected to homelessness, mental health issues, and drug addiction. “Overcriminalized,” a series of videos from Brave New Films launching today spotlights attempts to offer alternatives to incarceration in three cities: Salt Lake City, Utah, Seattle, Washington, and San Antonio, Texas.

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Three Cities Are Trying To Keep Low-Level Offenders Out Of Jail

by Saki Knafo for Huffington Post:

Jeannine Owens was afraid that her adult son was planning to set their home on fire. So she picked up the phone and dialed 911, as she’d done many times before with heartbreaking results. She’d seen the police clap her son into handcuffs and drag him off to jail, but this time, instead of barking orders at him, the cops lowered their voices and began to talk calmly.

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America Needs Community Mental Health Care

by Mary Silver for Epoch Times:

It’s mental illness awareness week. Here’s to mental health, and to resilience. Very few people with mental illness become the dreaded sniper in the tower, but our idioms and our movies would make you think they often do. 

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Endless Flow of Weapons Fuels Endless War in Iraq and Syria

by Jon Queally for Common Dreams, reposted on MintPressNews:

An analysis of new data (pdf) collected by a group which tracks weapons in global conflict zones has found that a large proportion of the munitions now being used by ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria are from U.S. manufacturers, either captured on the battlefield or sold to them by supposed U.S. allies.

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How Does This End? 35 Military Interventions since 1980 and Terrorism Grows

posted on informed comment:

A day before a subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill is slated to look into police militarization, a short film has been released, documenting how the Pentagon has flooded small town police forces with tanks and equipment capable of waging war

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The Burning Bed,’ 30 years later. And Ray Rice, now

By Susan Grigsby for Daily Kos:

On the evening of October 8, 1984, over one-third of all American television sets were turned to NBC for the premiere of The Burning Bed, starring Farrah Fawcett and Paul LeMat. Based on the true story of Francine Hughes, it brought the brutal reality of domestic violence out of the shadows and into our living rooms. We sat mesmerized as Mickey Hughes' need for control over his wife grew ever greater as he seemed to lose control over the rest of his life. Slaps became punches. Pushes became throws across a room, followed by violent beatings.

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‘Relentless and Ruthless’: Filmmaker Robert Greenwald on the Koch Brothers

by Jon Queally for Common Dreams:

Robert Greenwald is the director of the recently re-released documentary film, Koch Brothers Exposed; 2014 Edition, and the founder and president ofBrave New Films, where he has produced and directed films including Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars. Recently, Greenwald spoke with NEA Today to talk about the billionaire Koch brothers’ efforts to undermine the public good and promote the interests of the 1 percent in America. 

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US Senate Approves $500 Million to Arm Syrian Militants

by Jon Queally for Common Dreams:

Despite loud warnings from many quarters—including foreign policy experts, the anti-war left and dissenting CIA analysts—that such a move could prove disastrous, the U.S. Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to approve $500 million in government funds to help arm, train, and support so-called moderate military forces inside Syria.

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