In the Journals

In the Journals – June 2016

Surveillance Camera

Welcome back to In the Journals, a monthly review of just a fraction of the most recent academic research on security, crime, policing, and the law. The summer solstice has passed, and many of us are no doubt in the throes of fieldwork. Regardless, we here at Anthropoliteia will continue to bring you the best and most interesting recent publications for the entirety of the summer season.

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DragNet

DragNet: February 9 – 22, 2015

Is America ready for an NYPD cop show with a Muslim twist? In my favorite post of the month, Wajahat Ali recounts the inspiration, hilarity and first steps of writing the pilot script of MJ for HBO.

Is America ready for an NYPD cop show with a Muslim twist? In my favorite post of the month, Wajahat Ali recounts the inspiration, hilarity and first steps of writing the pilot script of MJ for HBO.

What do women bring to police command positions? Decentralized leadership, partnership and transparency, according to Lieutenant Colonel Nadia Rodrigues Silveira Gerhard. We shared Professor Lenin Pires’ interview with Gerhard earlier this month as she is the first woman to take on a leadership position in Rio Grande do Sul’s military police. Pires works as an anthropologist with the Public Safety Department of Fluminense Federal University. Be sure to catch more articles in Cultural Anthropology‘s Protesting Democracy in Brazil series here.

When there’s something strange about an officer’s demeanor, who you gonna call? This is precisely the dilemma Lisa Mahon faced. Don’t miss her interview with This American Life’s Ira Glass, titled “Cops See it Differently“. You can view the video footage (recorded by Joseph Ivy, who was also in the car during the confrontation) referenced during the interview here.

In shocking news, Republicans and Democrats appear to agree on one thing lately: reducing federal prison costs. In an effort to lower recidivism, the crime rate AND federal prison system costs, H.R. 759 is quickly gaining bipartisan support. Also known as the Recidivism Reduction Act, the evidence-based measure would serve to connect eligible inmates with recidivism reduction programs. There, inmates could earn credits toward “alternative custody arrangements” to lower the amount of dollars otherwise being spent to house them within the federal system.

It’s no wonder the script for the first half of MJ has generated such an overwhelming internet response. The co-creation of Al Jazeera‘s Wajahat Ali and author Dave Eggers, MJ isn’t your typical cop show…it’s a cop show with a Muslim twist. In my favorite post of the month, Ali recounts the inspiration, hilarity and first steps of writing the pilot script for HBO. The only bummer comes toward the end, when you realize MJ hasn’t yet made it to TV (why, we ask, WHY?!). Feel free to peruse the piece, available here, and freer to clamor for Hollywood to make this show happen (Ali even entertains the idea of revamping it Walking Dead style if all else fails…)

In the aftermath of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, I’ve been surprised to hear several officers insist that citizen education about how to interact with officers would reduce such tragic encounters. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that at least one city has recently made baby steps in this direction. This month we shared ML Schultze’s post, which covers Akron’s first-of-its-kind “crib sheet”; detailing the do’s and don’ts of officer-citizen interactions. The sheet was created by high school students with assistance from the city’s police department. The question is, will other departments follow suit?

Did I miss something? No worries- it does happen on occasion. If you have any suggestions for DragNet, or if you want to call attention to a specific blog or article, send an email to anthropoliteia@gmail.com with the words “DragNet” in the subject header and I’ll get on it!

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DragNet

DragNet: January 26 – February 8, 2015

"I see how challenging the tour is to my class…they describe their discomfort of being the observers in what many liken to a human zoo," writes Ieva Jusionyte in my favorite post of the month.

“I see how challenging the tour is to my class…they describe their discomfort of being the observers in what many liken to a human zoo,” writes Ieva Jusionyte in my favorite post of the month.

It might be time for New York City’s Bill de Blasio to compare policing notes with Rafael Correa, writes Greg Grandin for The Nation. Ecuador’s president not only faced similar police-related challenges back in 2010, but managed to come out stronger than ever. Stay tuned to Anthropoliteia’s twitter feed for ongoing coverage of the NYPD-de Blasio fiasco.

What’s in a case study? The possibility that it is just that- a single set of potential results. Although police departments across the US are quickly adopting body-worn cameras, the results obtained by Rialto, CA’s pilot study are coming under scrutiny. New questions of interest include whether the verbal warnings (“You’re being recorded”) given by officers are the source of reduced citations, and whether any observed reductions in offenses will fade over time.

“I see how challenging the tour is to my class…they describe their discomfort of being the observers in what many liken to a human zoo,” writes Ieva Jusionyte in my favorite post of the month. Jusionyte demonstrates how the often “bland” classroom topics of theory and the criminal justice system take on new meanings when studied in the up-close-and-personal context of Florida State Prison. Jusionyte is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida.

Our loyal readers will recognize this familiar question posed by Dylan Kerrigan: Do police agencies need anthropologists? Kerrigan discussed issues raised by Anthropoliteia’s Jennie Simpson in his post for The Guardian Trinidad & Tobago last month. Perhaps a new question to ask is whether or not police agencies are ready to face “the cultural dynamics obstructing their innovation”.

Anthropoliteia was pleased to feature a “rebuttal” to the police-anthropologist question. Professor Wilson Pena-Pinzon’s post, “A Response to ‘Do Police Departments Need Anthropologists?'”, examines the flip-side of the police-anthropology coin by approaching it from a cross-cultural perspective. Pena-Pinzon is a professor and researcher for the Department of Anthropology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Escuela Colombiana de Carreras Industriales.

Finally, be sure to check out Anthropoliteia’s YouTube channel for new episodes in our interview series. Dr. A. Lynn Bolles sits with us to discuss police racism, violence and the actions of the 2014 AAA Meetings. Dr. Bolles is an affiliate faculty in the University of Maryland’s Anthropology, African American Studies, American Studies, Comparative Literature AND Latin American Studies departments (phew!).

Did I miss something? No worries- it does happen on occasion. If you have any suggestions for DragNet, or if you want to call attention to a specific blog or article, send an email to anthropoliteia@gmail.com with the words “DragNet” in the subject header and I’ll get on it!

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Announcements, Conferences

Anthropoliteia @ #AAA2014

As long time readers may know, we like to offer a run down of the sessions, papers and events at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association that may be of interest for readers of this blog.  This has been made considerably easier the last couple of years by AAA’s personal scheduler function, which allows for the creation of sharable schedules.  You can see a full* list of these papers and sessions via our shared Google Calendar, here.  If you’re also a user of Google Calendar, you can easily copy individual events to your own schedule there.

In particular, though, I’d like to highlight a few events that are either directly sponsored or otherwise associated with Anthropoliteia.net.  Perhaps the most important of these is the first ever Anthropoliteia “Tweet-Up.”  Based on the previous success of similar events hosted by Savage Minds (among others), our Editorial Board has decided to extend an invitation to anyone interested to come meet with us–along with a select group of our various Section Editors and Contributors–to discuss, imbibe, and otherwise commiserate.  You can find** us Thursday, December 4th from 6-8pm at Murphy’s Irish Pub, around the corner from the conference hotel [UPDATE: Harry’s Pub, in the Wardman Park Marriott].

Besides the tweet-up, there are a few official sessions that come out of collaborations on Anthropoliteia and the CFP we circulated earlier this year:

On Wednesday, December 3rd from 4-5:45pm in Washington Room 3 of the Marriott Wardman Park will be the panel “Thinking Through Police, Producing Anthropological Theory: police ethnography as a tool for critical thought,” organized by and featuring yours truly, along with Avram Bornstein (John Jay-CUNY), Mirco Gopfert (U Konstanz), Beatrice Jauregui (U Toronto), Matthew Wolf-Meyer (UC Santa Cruz) and Matthew Hull (U Michigan).

On Friday, December 5th from 6:30-8:15pm in the Diplomat Ballroom of the Omni Shoreham will be a roundtable on “Critical Potentialities of the Anthropology of Policing.  Accounts of Police, Power and Politics on Public Display?” organized by our own Paul Mutsaers (Tilburg U) and featuring Beatrice Jauregui (U Toronto), Eilat Maoz (U Chicago), Simanti Dasgupta (U Dayton), Daniel Silva (Unicamp), Michelle L Stewart (U Regina), and Craig William Schuetze (UC, Santa Cruz).

Finally, on Saturday, December 6th from 9-10:15am, again in the Diplomat Ballroom of the Omni Shoreham, will be the panel “Violence and Ethics in Ethnographies of Security in Latin America,” organized by Stephanie Savell (Brown U), guest editor of this summer’s Forum “Security in Brazil: World Cup 2014 and Beyond“, and featuring Erika Robb Larkins (U Oklahoma), Aldo Civico (Rutgers U), Stephanie Savell (Brown U), Kristen Drybread (University São Paulo/ NEV) and Danial M. Goldstein (Rutgers U).

We hope to see you all there!

* As always, if you notice any oversights or would like to suggest additions send an email to anthropoliteia@google.com
** If you’re not sure who to look for, I basically look like this, possibly with shaggier hair.  Also, I’ll try to be attentive to twitter–@anthropoliteia and @kevinkarpiak–especially towards the beginning

 

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DragNet

DragNet: October 21 – November 3, 2014

It is often the data that is not there that reveals what is most important. I was reminded of this fact again by Scott Vollum's post, The Ghost of the Condemned: What the Death Penalty Leaves Behind, Captured in a Snapshot

It is often the data that is not there that reveals what is most important. I was reminded of this fact again by Scott Vollum’s post, The Ghost of the Condemned: What the Death Penalty Leaves Behind, Captured in a Snapshot

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Practicum

Confinement, Surveillance, Control: Renewing Anthropology’s Relationship with Criminal Justice Systems

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Police Call Box 3, © Jennie Simpson, 2014

This month, Practicum would like to welcome Scott Catey, Ph.D., J.D. who will be a regular contributor to the section. Dr. Catey is a Senior Program Specialist at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) and the National PREA Resource Center (PRC). PREA is the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a federal statute designed to reduce the incidence and prevalence of sexual violence in confinement facilities at federal, state, and local levels. The statute was passed in 2003, and the national PREA standards were issued in 2012 to provide the detailed regulatory requirements for PREA implementation and compliance in confinement facilities. Prior to working at NCCD and PRC, Dr. Catey worked as the PREA Coordinator for the Montana Department of Corrections, and as adjunct professor at Georgia State University and Agnes Scott College.  

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