Monday, January 28, 2008

Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short

From the CCRS and the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness:
  • From 2000 to 2007, there were 2,815 reported deaths of homeless individuals in LA County.
  • On average, a person who is homeless has a 36% shorter life expectancy than someone who is not homeless.
  • The most common cause of death among homeless individuals was a cardiovascular event, accounting for almost a quarter of all homeless deaths, followed by unknown cause, and intoxication by substance abuse, comprising 23% and 22% of deaths, respectively.
  • The majority of homeless deaths were men (85%). Women comprised 15% of deaths.
  • Whites made up the majority of deaths among the homeless- 41% of deaths, followed by Hispanics (31%) and African-Americans (28%).
Full report HERE.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Haves Assume Control of Have-Nots

from American's most reliable news source, The Onion

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Edwards on Poverty and the Economy

Start the clip at about 2:40 to skip the usual silly campaign discussion.

Perhaps of Interest

Social Welfare Action Alliance
(formerly Bertha Capen Reynolds Society)

2008 National Meeting and Conference
April 4 – 6, 2008
Houston, Texas
University of Houston Hilton Hotel

Conference Themes:
Katrina Recovery
Social Activism

To respond to this Call for Participation, email a proposal by January 31, 2008
to: Susan Robbins,
Please note that the call for participation has been extended, as has the early bird registration

Agency-based social workers and human service workers, students, faculty, and community activists are all
encouraged to submit proposals. Please include the following:

• Cover page indicating names, addresses, and affiliations of all presenters.
• 250-word proposal linked to the conference themes and/or the principles of SWAA (see
• 50-word abstract for the published program.
• In the proposal, please indicate preferred format – paper, panel presentation, or interactive workshop
– and preference for a 45-, 60- or 90-minute time frame. (In addition, the conference committee is
open to proposals in alternative formats; please be specific if proposing an alternative format.)

Proposal authors can expect notification of acceptance by February 15, 2008. Presentations may be
combined and/or time frames limited for optimal scheduling. Presenters will be required to confirm a
commitment to present and to register for the conference within two weeks of acceptance. Early bird
registration has been extended to February 22nd, so please confirm by that date to get the early bird

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oldie, but Goodie

As a reminder, from CBPP, "What Does the Safety Net Accomplish?" Turns out, rather a lot, if not nearly enough. . . . .

Friday, January 18, 2008

Not Many Out There

Dumb, and willfully ignorant, even for him: O'Reilly denies homelessness among veterans:

For more info, visit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

"Subprime Mortgage Crisis Causing African Americans to Experience Greatest Loss of Wealth in Modern U.S. History"

From Democracy Now!:
A startling new report has predicted the subprime mortgage crisis will cause people of color to lose up to $213 billion, leading to the greatest loss of wealth in modern U.S. history. The figure appears in a new report from United for a Fair Economy called “Foreclosed: The State of the Dream 2008.” The group accuses mortgage lenders of deliberately targeting the poor and people of color with high-cost loans. We speak with Dedrick Muhammad, co-author of the report.

Watch it here.

Democratic Candidates on Poverty

Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality via Poverty Law Prof Blog. Compare, contrast.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nationally Unmatched Number

Texas must be so proud:
A man who contended throughout his 26 years in prison that he never raped a woman who lived five houses down from him was freed Thursday after a judge recommended overturning his conviction.

Charles Chatman, 47, was released on his recognizance as several of his eight siblings cheered. He was freed on the basis of new DNA testing that lawyers say proves his innocence and adds to Dallas County's nationally unmatched number of wrongfully convicted inmates.

"I'm bitter. I'm angry," Chatman told The Associated Press during his last night in jail Wednesday. "But I'm not angry or bitter to the point where I want to hurt anyone or get revenge."

He became the 15th inmate from Dallas County since 2001 to be freed by DNA testing.

Dallas has freed more inmates after DNA testing than any other county nationwide, said Natalie Roetzel of the Innocence Project of Texas. Texas leads the country in prisoners freed by DNA testing, with at least 30 wrongfully convicted inmates since 2001.

Mike Ware, who heads the Conviction Integrity Unit in the Dallas County District Attorney's office, said he expects that number to increase.

One of the biggest reasons for the large number of exonerations in Texas is the crime lab used by Dallas County, which accounts for about half the state's DNA cases. Unlike many jurisdictions, the lab used by police and prosecutors retains biological evidence, meaning DNA testing is a viable option for decades-old crimes.

District Attorney Craig Watkins also attributes the exonerations to a past culture of overly aggressive prosecutors seeking convictions at any cost. Watkins has started a program in which law students, supervised by the Innocence Project of Texas, are reviewing about 450 cases in which convicts have requested DNA testing.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"You're an idiot for staying so long"

Visiting prisoners:

Maybe you've never had to visit Rikers, but you probably know someone who has. Each year, about 350,000 people—or about 1,000 a day—visit someone at Rikers or elsewhere in the sprawling city jail system. There are a lot of reasons why Rikers visits take so long—some reasonable and others not—but together they amount to a hidden penalty exacted by the criminal-justice bureaucracy on a population largely made up of moms, wives, girlfriends, and sisters. . . .