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President Obama on Criminal Justice Reform

by Mary C. Piemonte

Our country continues to faces “a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration that traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities,” according to U.S. President Barack Obama.

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Skyrocketing Tainted Heroin Overdoses in Chicago

Commentary by Mary C. Piemonte

public domain photo of someone injecting Heroin.

public domain photo of someone injecting Heroin.

The synthetic painkiller Fentanyl, a drug that is prescribed to cancer patients and those suffering from chronic pain, is the  potentially dangerous culprit back on the scene causing havoc and chaos in Chicago, according to city health and fire officials. Continue reading

Agreement Reached on Chicago Police “Stop and Search” Practices

News brief by Mary C. Piemonte

Chicago Police Department emblem on building headquarters at 3510 S Michigan Ave

Chicago Police Department emblem on building headquarters at 3510 S Michigan Ave. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

An official deal has been struck recently between the Chicago Police Department, and the American Civil Liberties Union following a report by the ACLU this March, regarding the questionable stop and search practices and procedures by local police officers. Continue reading

Youth Coders Build Apps for Policing Data

News brief: by Mary C. Piemonte

Fifteen-year-old Grace Clark teaches New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison how to write his first line of code. Official NOPD courtesy photo by Tyler Gamble

Fifteen-year-old Grace Clark teaches New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison how to write his first line of code. Official NOPD courtesy photo by Tyler Gamble

In response to President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Task Force on Policing, youth from New Orleans recently took park in a three-day event that engaged them and others “to build apps on top of soon-to-be released policing data sets” according to an e-blast from Denice Ross, a Presidential Innovation Fellow, who is co-leading the White House Police Data Initiative.

Read more here about the “group of 15 young coders and their tech mentors” at the event hosted by the nonprofit Operation Spark “where local law enforcement agencies from New Orleans worked with the youth to produce coding data on policing “as a means to build community trust,”on July 13–15, 2015.

President Obama Makes History by Visiting Federal Prison

by Mary C. Piemonte

U.S. President Barack Obama at NAACP Convention in Philadelphia on July 14, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama at NAACP Convention in Philadelphia on July 14, 2015.

Barack Obama made history recently, when he became the first U.S. President to visit a federal prison.

He went to a medium-security lockup in El Reno, Oklahoma,“to shine a spotlight”on his criminal justice reform efforts that include reform “in the cell block” according to remarks he made two days earlier at the NAACP’s 106th national convention in Philadelphia, Pa. on July 14, 2015.
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