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PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: Is Solitary Confinement A Domestic Human Rights Crisis?

PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: Is Solitary Confinement A Domestic Human Rights Crisis? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Dickens, Tocqueville, and the U.N. all agree about this American invention: It's torture.
PeerSpring's insight:

In January 2016, President Obama  announced a ban on holding juveniles in solitary confinement in federal prisons, however it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Americans punished in this way. After reading this article, do you believe the practice is a Domestic Rights crisis? Why /  Why not?

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PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: Is justice color-blind?

PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: Is justice color-blind? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, explains how inequality and the abuse of power exploit people of color and the poo
PeerSpring's insight:

Black men are six times more likely to go to prison for committing the same offenses that white people commit. In this short video, Bryan Stevenson describes 'inequality as racism, as exploitation of the poor, as abuse of power.' Do you think justice is color-blind. Why / Why not? 

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WAR: What's the 'reality' of war?

WAR: What's the 'reality' of war? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
We need to talk about war. These powerful, crucial talks come from soldiers, politicians, journalists and others who've seen the reality of war firsthand.
PeerSpring's insight:

14 different TED talks look at conflicts from the viewpoints of:
1 international security strategist; 4 journalists; 1 army captain; 1 US navy admiral; 2 film makers; 1 doctor; 1 political scientist; 1 politician; 1 activist; and 1 military police officer. Watch 3 or more of these talks. Describe how each perspective was shaped and compare and contrast the different view points.   

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TERRORISM + GENOCIDE: What will be the long-term ramifications of ISIS repeatedly targeting children as soldiers?

TERRORISM + GENOCIDE: What will be the long-term ramifications of ISIS repeatedly targeting children as soldiers? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
"Nasir" is one of the lucky ones. He managed to escape from the grasp of ISIS, which was training him to be a suicide bomber. He is just 12 years old.
PeerSpring's insight:

Pictures of teenage suicide bombers without even a hint of a beard have began to be a common sight on social media as ISIS repeatedly target younger recruits. Although the recruitment of children under the age of 15 as soldiers is against international humanitarian law, ISIS has been using children on the frontline. Some experts believe it will be a matter of generations -- maybe 20 or 30 years to unwind the many horrors that are being passed on by ISIS to these young people. What will be the long-term ramifications of ISIS repeatedly targeting children as soldiers? Why systems are needed for those children who are lucky enough to survive? Explain.

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REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS: Not here to cause trouble

REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS: Not here to cause trouble | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
IN AN attempt to lend empirical heft to his assertion that America has become "a dumping ground" for Mexico's criminal element, Donald Trump, a billionaire landlord...
PeerSpring's insight:

Despite what Donald Trump might say about immigrants, a sociologist at Harvard, has found that Mexican immigrants are less prone to violence than native-born Americans, whites or black, of comparable age and socio-economic status. In recent years, El Paso, Texas has had the lowest murder rate of any American city with a population of 500,000 or more, despite sitting directly across the Rio Grande from Juarez, a Mexican city plagued with horrific gang violence. After reading this article, describe what factors have contributed to America's negative characterization of immigrants. How would you go about changing biased perceptions? 

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PUNISHMENT & IMPRISONMENT: Does America Really Rank Top 5 Globally?

PUNISHMENT & IMPRISONMENT: Does America Really Rank Top 5 Globally? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Only China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia executed more people last year.
PeerSpring's insight:

According to Amnesty International, the number of death sentences have spiked up 30% globally.  While some governments have used this as a tactic to stymie real or perceived threats, the question that needs to be considered is whether imposing the death penalty deters crime? Does your state have the death penalty? Approximate the expense of capital punishment versus life imprisonment. Which is more costly? Explain.

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CORRUPTION: A Devastating Year For Those Seeking To Stand Up For Human Rights

CORRUPTION: A Devastating Year For Those Seeking To Stand Up For Human Rights | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need.

PeerSpring's insight:

Civilians bear the brunt in conflict, and even though international humanitarian law decrees that armed conflict and attacks must never be directed against civilians, the rights of innocent people are repeatedly trampled without proper protection. Published by Amnesty International, this report looks backward at 18 tragic events that took place in 2014, and calls on members of the UN Security Council to give up their power of veto in cases where atrocities are being committed. Human rights organizations are sometimes accused of being too ambitious with their campaigns. Do you think this proposal -- now backed by some 40 governments -- will work? Why / Why not?

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TERRORISM & GENOCIDE: Concern Over Increasing Use Of Women By Terrorist And Extremist Groups

TERRORISM & GENOCIDE: Concern Over Increasing Use Of Women By Terrorist And Extremist Groups | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

Since 2009, Boko Haram has attempted to establish a caliphate -- or state ruled by Islamic law -- throughout Northern Nigeria.  Over the past six months, Boko Haram has taken control of more than two dozen towns in northeast Nigeria and launched attacks into Chad and Cameroon. Their territory now nearly equals the Islamic State’s in Iraq and Syria. 

PeerSpring's insight:

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Boko Haram violence has caused more than 10,000 deaths since the beginning of 2014. Despite the growing death toll, this Islamic terrorist group has received little of the world's attention. In fact in 2013, (according to the Tyndall Report, which monitors daily broadcasts of the 3 major U.S. networks), there was not a single television news story about Boko Haram. After the abduction of 170 school girls and now the practice of utilizing young girls as suicide bombers, Americans are for the first time asking themselves: what would be a useful U.S. response?

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PeerSpring's comment, January 13, 2015 12:23 AM
Boko Haram: Behind The Headlines http://www.bu.edu/africa/files/2014/05/Boko-Haram-Teaching-Resource.pdf
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PUNISHMENT & IMPRISONMENT: Rolling Stone's Bombshell Story About Campus Rape Comes Under Fire

PUNISHMENT & IMPRISONMENT: Rolling Stone's Bombshell Story About Campus Rape Comes Under Fire | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

Much has been written about how a lack of due process in campus rape investigations can hurt the accused. 

PeerSpring's insight:

Jackie says that she was gang raped at a party at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in the fall of 2012. At first her story was viewed as a window into the self-protective, pro-frat culture of a college campus, and a universities’ general inability to investigate rape allegations. Now, in the face of criticism, Rolling Stone magazine has retracted the story, citing "Jackie as an unreliable source."   Though the story could have been better sourced, is calling Jackie's story a 'hoax' damaging to rape victims?


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PUBLIC PROTEST: The Disappearance of 43 Students Has a Nation Demanding Answers

PUBLIC PROTEST: The Disappearance of 43 Students Has a Nation Demanding Answers | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

On Sept. 26, a bus caravan carrying students from a teachers’ college in Mexico was traveling to for a protest about the lack of funding from their school when they were stopped by police as well as a group of gunmen believed to belong to a local drug cartel.

PeerSpring's insight:

Tension is high between Mexico's student activist groups and a police force perceived as corrupt. The International Crisis Group estimates that a staggering 47,000 to 70,000 people were killed in drug war-related violence between 2006 and 2012, along with thousands more who disappeared and whose fate remains unknown. After 43 students were arrested and allegedly killed by Mexican gang members on the authority of local officials -- a Mayor and his wife. What has ensued is the largest student protest on October 22nd involving 100,000 people. The Mexican President has unveiled a 5-point plan to tackle the ingrained problems in policing and justice in the country. Do you think this plan will work? Why / Why not?

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TERRORISM & GENOCIDE: The State Of Terrorism In The World Today

TERRORISM & GENOCIDE: The State Of Terrorism In The World Today | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
More than 80% of all terrorism occurs in only 5 countries.
PeerSpring's insight:

Approximately 17,958 people were killed in terrorist attacks last year, and of those deaths 82% occurred in just 5 nations: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria. According to the The Global Terrorism Index within a single year, the world has experienced a 61% increase in terrorist attacks. Four terrorist groups are responsible for 66% of all attacks: (i) Taliban, (ii) Boko Haram, (iii) ISIS, and (iv) Al-Qaeda. According to the report, more than 90% of all terrorist attacks occur in countries that have gross human rights violations. “Terrorism doesn’t arise on its own; by identifying the factors associated with it, long term policies can be implemented to improve the underlying environment that nurtures terrorism." Which country today do you think is the most impacted by terrorism? Explain by citing comparisons with more peaceful societies.

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REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS: Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, from 1990-2013

REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS: Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, from 1990-2013 | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Explore origin and destination totals of migrants from 233 countries between 1990 and 2013.
PeerSpring's insight:

According to a new report from the International Organization for Migration, there have been at least 40,000 deaths since 2000 as refugees and migrants risk their lives in search of a better life.  In considering the 'passages' that people will travel, should the destination governments be held responsible for the safety of these people? Why / Why not?

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WAR: ISIS Holding Thousands of Women and Children as Slaves in Iraq and Syria

WAR: ISIS Holding Thousands of Women and Children as Slaves in Iraq and Syria | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

The Islamic State is currently holding thousands of people hostage inside ISIS territory.

PeerSpring's insight:

The Yazidis are a Kurdish ethno-religious community whose cultural practices the ISIS consider sinful. In fact, Human Rights Watch recently released a report, warning of the abduction and abuse of Yazidi civilians. One young girl shares her story of her capture and escape. Word has quickly spread about the ISIS militants' brutality and how they were taking young women as slaves and forcing families to choose between death and conversion to Islam. While the United Nations has put the number of captives at about 2,500, other estimates are as high as 7,000.  Under international law, crimes against humanity include the crimes of persecution of a religious group, unlawful imprisonment, sexual slavery or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity when committed in a systematic or widespread manner as part of the policy of an organized group. Do you think it would help if Iraq became a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? Would the possible prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity be enough of a consequence to stop ISIS? Why / Why not?


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PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: Should This Guatemalan Father Face Deportation?

PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: Should This Guatemalan Father Face Deportation? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

An 18-year-old high school senior has played a key role in raising awareness to her father's plight with immigration and asylum claims, their story brought to you by Democracy Now!

PeerSpring's insight:

Angel Rosa is an undocumented Guatemalan national who illegally entered the United States at least three times sine the mid-1980s. In 2012, he was charged with a criminal offense for illegal entry and has a decade-old criminal record for assaulting his own son while under the influence of alcohol and another substance. He has since been a sober and loving father according to all reports. While he was held in a detention center in Utah, he developed gangrene, and the infection became so bad that he required severe medical care. Released for medical reasons, but mandated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to regular check-ins and with an electronic bracelet, Angel relied on his daughter to comply to all of his conditions, but after a few months, ICE arrested Angel and seeks to deport him. Based on this criminal justice investigatory piece, do you think Angel Rosa should be deported? Why / Why not? 

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PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: What can we do about the motley landscape of correctional education?

PUNISHMENT + IMPRISONMENT: What can we do about the motley landscape of correctional education? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Because somewhere along the line, juvenile justice took a sharp turn from rehabilitation to punishment. 
PeerSpring's insight:

Each year, the U.S. incarcerates more than 200,000 youthful offenders who are housed in more than 700 juvenile detention centers across the country. Less than 15 percent of this population will graduate high school, according to a 2014 report that Suitt’s organization authored; and only about 1 in 100 will go to college. Of the more than 50,000 kids who are locked away at any given time, 40 percent have special needs, most are poor and dark-skinned, and many come from broken homes and rough neighborhoods. What can we do about the motley landscape of correctional education?

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TERRORISM + GENOCIDE: What is terrorism costing Africa?

TERRORISM + GENOCIDE: What is terrorism costing Africa? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Terrorism on the scale witnessed in Paris last month is nothing new in Africa. In Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, the extremist group Boko Haram – famous for its kidnapping of 276 sch...
PeerSpring's insight:

Since 2009, Boko Haram has killed more than 10,000 people in Nigeria and has driven nearly a half million form their homes. In addition, it is costing the nation by sucking up scarce financial resources, thereby undermining GDP growth. Nigerian officials estimate that billions of dollars will be needed to rebuild ravaged infrastructures. Not only are frontier markets are at risk, so too are civil liberties as the power and legitimacy of the government is challenged. Select one of the 6 costly indicators and identify which you would chose to focus on and describe why that particular indicator may be the most costly for Africa.

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REFUGEES + IMMIGRANTS: How important is visual data in telling a story?

REFUGEES + IMMIGRANTS: How important is visual data in telling a story? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Two interactive infographics help users visualize today's global refugee crisis and compare it with similar crises in the past
PeerSpring's insight:

The United Nations counts that over 800 000 Syrian refugees have sought asylum in Europe between April 2011 and November 2015. Only a small fraction of refugees fleeing their homes make it to Europe. The UN has registered over four million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and North Africa. Most of them live in refugee camps close to the border. As the current refugee crisis continues to transform lives and challenges more nations to respond, do these visual data maps help build empathy and compassion? Why / Why not?

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PUBLIC PROTEST: Baltimore looks to free up $20 million to pay for riot damage

PUBLIC PROTEST: Baltimore looks to free up $20 million to pay for riot damage | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

Rioting in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody cost an estimated $20 million in damages in April, the Baltimore Business Journal reported.

PeerSpring's insight:

People were injured, neighborhood stores were burned, and now more violence has erupted since the Baltimore riots in April, 2015. The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assist with aid. However FEMA has not footed the bill for civil unrest since the Los Angeles riots of 1992.  Do you think FEMA should extend aid? Why / Why not? If you were to map this out mathematically, how can you calculate the city's costs for mutual aid?

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WAR: He's 14. He Was A Child Soldier. He's Suicidal. How Can He Be Saved?

WAR: He's 14. He Was A Child Soldier. He's Suicidal. How Can He Be Saved? | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder are high among teens in northern Uganda, a new study shows. Counselors, teachers and parents can help. So can walking on eggs — literally.
PeerSpring's insight:

30% of girls and half of boys in northern Uganda have been abducted at least once. Nearly a third of abducted youth suffer from PTSD. Research suggests that most children with PTSD benefit from talking through their problems with a trained adult in the community. Now a new counseling technique called narrative exposure therapy (NET) is being implemented to help victims come to terms with their traumatic past. NET involves telling your complete life story using a rope to symbolize their life with flowers to represent "good" an stones to represent "bad" moments, but it's not government sanctioned. Today thousands of children are being forced to join ISIS, Boko Haram and other militant groups as suicide bombers, spies, soldiers and sex slaves. Many are abducted or recruited by force, while others join out of desperation. Of the children who safely return home, few receive the kind of mental treatment they need. Do you think the solution to train teachers in mental health will work? Why / Why not?

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REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS: From the American Dream to the Nightmare of Deportation

REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS: From the American Dream to the Nightmare of Deportation | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

At least two flights from the United States and three buses from Mexico bring back around 150 deportees every day. The authorities are alarmed by the sheer numbers. In the first 11 months of 2014, a total of 47,943 deportees reached the immigration office – 43 percent more than in the same period in 2013.

PeerSpring's insight:

To save immigrants from the nightmare of deportation and bring them back into the fold of the American Dream, President Obama issued an executive action that will provide temporary residency permits and jobs to some five million undocumented immigrants, including parents of young people who are legal residents or U.S. citizens, as long as the parents entered the country before January 2010. Economically speaking, do you think it would cost Washington more or less to help El Salvador (and other countries like it) become more stable and prosperous than it does to deal reactively to the immigration crisis? Explain.

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CENSORSHIP: Saudi Arabia to commence public flogging of activist sentenced to 1,000 lashes

CENSORSHIP: Saudi Arabia to commence public flogging of activist sentenced to 1,000 lashes | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

Saudi Arabian activist, Raif Badawi, was flogged in public after Friday prayers in front of al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah. Under International law, this is considered a human rights violation.

PeerSpring's insight:

Raif Badawi (born in Saudi Arabia in 1984) created a public debate platform in 2012. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million Saudi Arabian riyals (about $266,600 US dollars) on the charge of "insulting Islam." Recently the Obama administration publicly asked Saudi Arabia to rescind its sentencingFlogging and other forms of corporal punishment are prohibited under international law, which prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  But officials say this kind of diplomatic rebuke will likely further strain Washington’s relations with the Arab monarchy. It seems as though the US and Saudi Arabia are entering a new era of relations: last year Saudi officials said they were blind-sided by the White House holding secret negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program especially when the U.S. is becoming less dependent on Saudi Arabia for energy.  The growing consensus in the West that human rights are universal has been fiercely opposed by critics in other parts of the world. Do human rights, as laid out in the international covenants, ignore the traditions, the religions, and the socio-cultural patterns of a specific country? Do we create the possibility of war by having the White House officially step in? Is this an issue of "people" or "government" or both?

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PUBLIC PROTEST: Black Friday Protests for Ferguson

PUBLIC PROTEST: Black Friday Protests for Ferguson | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it
MSNBC’s Richard Lui reports on new Black Friday protests by Ferguson demonstrators in cities across the country -- including Ferguson, San Francisco, Oakland, New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
PeerSpring's insight:

More than 170 protests took place across the country as activists organized large-scale Black Friday protests with signs reading: “If only America cared about black lives like it cares about Black Friday” and “Ferguson is everywhere, police brutality and murder must stop.” Aided by the hashtags #BlackOutBlackFriday and #HandsUpDontSpend, people around the world also raised their hands in solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th, 2014. By about four-to-one (80% to 18%), African Americans say the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that merit discussion. By contrast, whites, by 47% to 37%, say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves, according to this PEW Research survey. How effective do you think these protests are in bridging the racial divide? What else could be done?

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CORRUPTION: Why Police Departments Are Buying Body Cams

CORRUPTION: Why Police Departments Are Buying Body Cams | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

This past July, a Staten Island man named Eric Garner was killed when an officer held him in a choke hold for selling illegal cigarettes. A bystander’s cell phone captured Garner repeatedly screaming, “I can’t breathe,” before he died.

PeerSpring's insight:

Camera footage, especially from citizen cell phones, has shined a harsh spotlight on police tactics, making for some uncomfortable questions for police in recent years. Do you think adding a body camera will help protect citizens or police officers more? How will it potentially assist with issues of corruption?

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CORRUPTION: Why fighting corruption is key to improving healthcare

CORRUPTION: Why fighting corruption is key to improving healthcare | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

In a sector that is scarce and expensive to begin with, corruption can mean the difference between life and death. 

PeerSpring's insight:

Many have argued that decades of corruption and distrust of government left African nations prey to Ebola. Whether in Africa or any other continent, it should come as no surprise that complex, variable, and dangerously fragmented health systems can breed dishonest practices. A prominent theme at the Youth Summit was the role of data and technology in promoting transparency, accountability, and citizen collaboration. What does the author mean by this statement: "On a very basic level, corruption in the health sector is about patient or “consumer” vulnerability."

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PUNISHMENT & IMPRISONMENT: Nearly A Third Of All Female Prisoners Worldwide Are Incarcerated In The United States [Infographic]

PUNISHMENT & IMPRISONMENT: Nearly A Third Of All Female Prisoners Worldwide Are Incarcerated In The United States [Infographic] | > Peace and Justice | Scoop.it

Nearly a third of all female prisoners worldwide are incarcerated in the United States, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies

PeerSpring's insight:

There are 201,200 women in US prisons, representing 8.8 percent of the total American prison population. China comes a very distant second to the United States with 84,600 female prisoners in total or 5.1% of the overall Chinese prison population. Russia is in third position; 59,000 of its prisoners are women and this comes to 7.8 percent of the total. By comparison, many countries in Northern Europe have significantly lower incarceration rates and make much greater use of non-custodial penalties, particularly for nonviolent crimes. What is the cost-benefit analysis of criminal justice for these three countries? Discuss the inter-dependencies with a system of justice and explore what needs to be done to reduce incarceration rates.

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