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02.20 Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help

02.20 Voyage to the Garbage Patch: the female sailors taking on plastic

02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

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Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

02.19 Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril [2:01 video]

02.19 The Political Revolution Is Back: Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run for President

Justice Matters

02.19 California Leads 16 States Suing to Block Trump Border Plan

02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

High Crimes?

02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism

02.21 Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

International & Futurism

02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw

02.18 They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There’s Razor Wire.

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  Thinking About Justice

COMMENTARY:

Thinking About Justice

by Fred Cederholm
There is the perception that justice (remedying a misdeed) and leveling the playing field applies for the rich and powerful, but heaven alone works for those in the lower and less affluent rungs of our society.

I’ve been thinking about justice. Actually I’ve been thinking about Goldman Sachs, large and small, the League of Women Voters monthly forums, Ogle County, State’s Attorney Ben Rowe, juveniles, Focus House, and Sinnissippi Center(s). This week we should see the beginnings of the hearings into the alleged malfeasance of the major Wall Street investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs. It will be an eye opener! Did they deliberately and with malice of forethought seek to criminally enrich the few (and themselves) at the cost to many in their selling and manipulation of BOTH sides of mortgage backed securities? The Goldman case will bring before the public the workings of our system (and I use the term loosely) of “man made” derived investments and the marketing of BOTH sides of the transactions. These are sum zero investments meaning for somebody to make a dollar, somebody else must lose a dollar. The issue is not only that BILLIONS of dollars were in play here, but what is “right” about the US system of investment markets and the regulation/monitoring of the system as well. There is the perception that justice (remedying a misdeed) and leveling the playing field applies for the rich and powerful, but heaven alone works for those in the lower and less affluent rungs of our society.

Last Thursday evening I attended a monthly forum sponsored by the Rochelle Area Chapter of the League of Women Voters. The presenters were Ogle County States Attorney Ben Rowe, Ogle County Director of Court Services Greg Martin, and Ogle County Juvenile Justice Council Executive Director Sheri Egan. I wish that literally EVERY person in our area had attended because the information presented was impressive! We are clearly ahead of the curve both statewide and nationally when it comes to this locality’s handling of its treatment of juvenile “justice.” The Ogle County plan and execution thereof through a working partnership of law enforcement, the court system, local auxiliary support agencies, and volunteers should serve as a model of what can be done in the rest of the State of Illinois and the nation as a whole.

Several “facts” are central to the effective workings of the Ogle County Juvenile Justice System. First it is not monolithic in that committing any offense against socially accepted norms will send a perpetrator directly to jail. There are degrees of offenses and the punishment/remedies match them. This does not mean that some parties will be “nailed” while others will get a “pass.” There are NO free passes at work here. There is accountability and accounting at work here. A child that is lost to substance abuse and crime costs our society an average of $2.4 MILLION over a lifetime. 75% of kids who have spent time in juvenile detention centers are incarcerated later in life. Note also that 42% of admissions to juvenile prisons are for non-criminal actions. Roughly one/third of youth in lock-up are of low risk to re-offend, 7% are in for misdemeanor offenses, and almost half of youth in custody are there for committing non-violent crimes. A single sentencing “outcome” for all offenders does not correct things!

The Ogle County Juvenile Plan/System calls for a pre-court evaluation of each case. This involves the offender, the victim(s), counselors, law enforcement, and the courts. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has funded “Models for Change” to accelerate progress toward a more rational, fair, effective and developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system. Ogle County and four other demonstration projects are working with this “Models” initiative.

The Juvenile Justice Council in Ogle County coordinates, guides, and engages the community. It works with school officials, law enforcement, and social welfare assistance agencies within the area. Whenever possible offending children are diverted to counseling programs, treatment, and live in safe facilities within the home community. The focus is on re-direction, counseling, and education. Rochelle Focus House and Sinnissippi Centers are unique both within the state and the nation. Their participation in the workings of this system have been critical to the growing number of successes achieved.

The community itself is involved in the Balance and Restorative Justice (BARJ) or “diversion programming” system. Community impact panels, performing community service, victim/offender conferencing, informal dispute negotiations, accountability contracts, restitution, and formal letters of apology also figure into the mix. Volunteers and local financial contributions are so critical to the successes of these programs. We can take a great deal of local pride in the workings and successes here.

To borrow from William Shakespeare: “And earthy power doth then show likest God’s when mercy seasons justice.”

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.


Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at asklet@rochelle.net.



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This story was published on April 26, 2010.

 

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