A "criminal justice reform" train has been heading down the track for quite some time, and it's gaining momentum. Over the years some significant power donors, foundations, media pundits, well-known advocacy organizations and mainstream political players have jumped on board.
Where is this juggernaut ultimately headed? Not exactly where its newly minted "bipartisan" front, the Coalition for Public Safety (introduced on February 19, 2015), and the powerful public relations and marketing campaigns backing it suggest.
The Coalition's formation represents a merger of myriad influential ideological, political and corporate interests that will certainly produce some "reforms." These reforms are predicated on privatization schemes, dominated by the anti-government right and neoliberal interests that more completely merge for-profit medical treatment and other human needs supports with the prison-industrial complex.
The Coalition's rhetoric and agenda also reinterpret and attempt to tame a longstanding and evolving progressive critique of mass incarceration, police abuse and misconduct, the expansion and privatization of "community corrections" and surveillance, and the structural racism and economic violence that drive them.