‘Rise Of The Warrior Cop’ – For Probation And Parole. A decade ago this summer, one of the best books on policing I’ve ever encountered was released. A year before Michael Brown’s murder and the American people becoming aware of a group called “Black Lives Matter”. That book traced the history of policing from its earliest roots in the British legal system through its then most modern incarnations in the US legal system, and offered a few modest proposals on how to correct its worst current abuses.
This book does largely the same thing, but with the concepts of probation and parole, rather than policing itself. At 30% documentation, it is reasonably well documented, and the author claims to have worked in several relevant areas and appears to currently be an activist within this space. He is also clearly a New York Liberal Elite… and this flavors his overall discussion quite heavily. Still, that is a more “your mileage may vary” level, and like with the more libertarian bent of Rise of the Warrior Cop… you need to read this book anyway, no matter your politics, if you truly want to be informed of the scope of the actual problem here. Yes, the “solutions” tend to essentially be “take money from prisons/ courts and give it to these other areas” or even simply “give more money to these other areas”, as one would expect from a New York Liberal Elite, but there are also quite a few realistic and useful approaches, such as Schiraldi’s discussion of having his offices switch from in person check-ins to computerized check-ins that both saved money and allowed a greater opportunity for those under his supervision to comply with the relevant controls.
Overall a mostly solid overview of this particular area, though it does gloss over several other realities better discussed in other works, and it does in fact focus on the “black men are disproportionately affected” statistics based lie that belies the reality that more white people are supervised under these programs as an actual whole. But there again – New York Liberal Elite. So this is expected. Read this book. Learn some things (assuming you weren’t already familiar with this space – and even there, there is likely *something* here for you to learn). And go and do.
Very much recommended.
PS: Because I know some reader of this review is at some point going to want a list of other recommendations for other books within this space, here is a list of others I’ve read in and around this space over the years, in alphabetical order by title:
Free by Lauren Kessler.
In Their Names by Lenore Anderson.
Just Dope by Alison Margolin.
Pleading Out by Dan Canon.
Punishment Without Trial by Carissa Byrne Hessick.
Rise Of The Warrior Cop by Radley Balko.
The Plea Of Innocence by Tm Bakken.
The Shadow Docket by Stephen Vladeck.
Torn Apart by Dorothy Roberts.
When Innocence Is Not Enough by Thomas Dybdahl.
When We Walk By by Kevin Adler and Donald Burns.
Why The Innocent Plead Guilty And The Guilty Go Free by Jed S. Rakoff.