Flutterby™! : Breaking the Cycle

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Breaking the Cycle

2022-08-17 16:48:59.226649+02 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Petaluma police sent out a press release about a series of arrests resolved with crisis intervention techniques. Which is great, they took a couple of people who were potentially violent into custody without injury. But what struck me was that one subject has been arrested 58 times since 2003, another 16.

As a matter of public policy, we're clearly doing something very very wrong. Incarceration *clearly* isn't working if someone's getting arrested 58 times in 2 decades. The only thing it seems to accomplish is to make a person less employable, and more likely to run afoul of the law in the future.

So I invite you to think about what social structures might look like that'd actually help both the guy hallucinating while waving around a machete, and the society that feels threatened by him (people like me).

We do know that environment and stress are huge contributing factors in psychosis. We can see that policing as we currently practice it is just reacting to the same problem over and over again.

Estimates vary, but between policing and prisons we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year in this country, and we're getting this. Seems to me like we'd be *way* better off redirecting a whole lot of that to social safety net, mental health services, providing more stable childhoods.

Instead it sure feels like we're buying our local police forces more Armored Personnel Carriers.

I am happy that Petaluma has implemented the SAFE (Specialized Assistance for Everyone) team as an alternative to police response, and that Chief Savano is making the efforts he is, but they're working within a larger system that is designed not just for failure, but to self-perpetuate, and continue the cycle.

We've gotta break that cycle.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Health Nature and environment Bay Area Work, productivity and environment Law Enforcement Pedal Power Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Breaking the Cycle made: 2022-08-17 17:55:24.496087+02 by: markd

I've been working with Underdog Devs for a while, helping the formerly incarcerated getting their toes into the tech space. It's really sad seeing the roadblocks having a record puts in front of any kind of employment - a great deal of effort goes in to when to have "the talk" with the recruiters. And some places, it's a hard no for any kind of record. We're always looking for new mentors :-)

#Comment Re: Breaking the Cycle made: 2022-08-19 14:46:01.653236+02 by: DaveP

My former employer was a hard no on employment if you had a criminal record. They also required a drug test, but were willing to negotiate on that, as I was a hard no on a drug test for employment, even though I hadn’t used in… maybe a decade at that point.

I long thought that the way to break in would be either in a small firm, or as a contractor. The requirements for contractors were lower (no drug test at employer for contractors) and it was a good way in the door. And it gave me the leverage to say no after they’d had me for six months, and due to their own rules either had to hire me full time or let me go for three months before they could sign a new contract with me.

But starting a small firm or contracting house if you’ve got a record ain’t easy, either. I had a strong enough record that I could get work without too much hoop-jumping, but you can’t get a strong record without someone letting you in the door in the first place.

#Comment Re: Breaking the Cycle made: 2022-08-21 14:29:18.184802+02 by: meuon

I've found logs of payment/credit card info inside of systems built by "never arrested" programmers. Helped send one to jail. Why do they always buy flowers for their not-quite-a-girlfriend with a "borrowed" credit card? She ID'd where the flowers came from. My point is, having a record vs being stupid/evil is a hard call.

I've also hired people that have been arrested and jailed multiple times, including one of of the best people I know, in and out of tech.

In all cases, getting to know the person, situation, ethics and motivation matters.

Oh.. and being arrested for weed... no one should care. But I've had clients that were ex-meth and harder survivors. That shit messes up your head.

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