Oops, I almost forgot. Today those of us taking part in WordCount Blogathon 2010 are talking about our favorite blogs. So I had to postpone an earlier entry, which is why this is coming to you a little later.
Fortunately, in the area of criminal justice, there are a number of good sites. Here’s a quick list of my top five:
1. Best and newsiest overall — Change.org’s Criminal Justice Blog.
I usually call this one Matt Kelley’s blog, since initially he was doing all the posts, though in recent months Change.org has added other writers. Kelley, an editor at the Innocence Project is always on the news, covering everything from prison reform to re-entry challenges and definitely calling it as he sees it. Some of my recent favorites were his posts on Taiwan pointing to the success of the death penalty in the U.S. as its reason for reinstituting the practice , the dangers of using software to predict what kids might commit crimes in Florida and the racial undertones of baggy pants laws.
2. Best Continuous Coverage of an Issue — Grits for Breakfast
Scott Henson describes himself as a former journalist turned opposition researcher/political consultant, public policy researcher and blogger. His insightful posts on criminal justice in Texas — a nation in and of itself — are a model for what a good blog should be. His long-running coverage of prison overcrowding in the state has been as dogged and as effective as that of any beat reporter. He’s well-sourced, well-read and even his rants, like this recent one on Knitta Please graffiti, are usually fairly amusing.
3. Most helpful — Jail to Job
Eric Mayo is an author, lecturer and motivational speaker, who specializes in helping people develop life skills and job readiness training . He uses his blog to answer questions ex-offenders have about finding jobs and re-entry. He also provides taped lectures and podcasts of his answers. What I like best is that no matter how obscure or difficult the question, Mayo’s answers are always smart and right on target. I’m hoping to have him answer some questions for Out and Employed later this month.
4. Tastiest junk food — Mind Hacks
I still haven’t found a blog I really love on criminology (readers, any suggestions?) , but I’m fascinated with psychology, which is another area where blogs are hardly in short supply. What I like about Mind Hacks is that it gives me a no-nonsense digest of psychology-related articles, television programs and other media. Authors Tom Stafford and Matt Webb have written a book by the same title, and their stated goal is to help people look inside their minds using the latest psychology and neuroscience. This is true whether they’re dissecting an article about a 58-year-old’s ability to memorize Paradise Lost, or how Agatha Christie’s last books reflected her dementia.
5. Best blog for building a perspective that will keep your children from crime (and you from doing something you’ll regret) — Your Kid’s Not Going Pro
What the heck is a blog about youth sports doing on my list? In truth, I discovered this one back when my middle son first got heavy into his travel soccer career (he was 8). Bob Cook is a journalist, veteran Little League coach and a guy after my own heart in terms of having the right attitude about games kids play. He also spends a surprising amount of time writing about criminal activity, though given the amount of cheating and violence that often seeps into our favorite American pasttimes, maybe this is par for the course. One of his recent posts on George Huguely, the prep-school lacrosse player at UVA who accidentally killed his girlfriend, is a perfect example of why I keep coming back to Cook’s site again and again. Quite simply, he gets it.
How about you? Anyone have a criminal justice blog they love that I should add to my list?