Raina Lipsitz on Breaking the ‘Toxic Cycle’ of Fear Over Justice Reform

In May 2023 I sat down with Tracy Siska of the Chicago Justice Podcast (S3, E16) to discuss an op-ed I wrote for The Crime Report in 2022 about how cities like Chicago are caught in an endless cycle of failure when it comes to passing meaningful criminal justice reform.

From Tracy Siska:
In an article published last summer in The Crime Report, Lipsitz discussed a couple national level examples including Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Adams has proven to be pretty retrograde on his policing and justice policies according to Lipsitz including moving to reopen Riker’s jail despite the unprecedented evidence of the harm the jail is causing inmates. Krasner for his part has stayed pretty true to his politics and even won reelection despite the alt right’s complaints about his policies.

This discussion is very timely as Brandon Johnson starts his first days in office his spokesman already started to flip flop on whether Johnson would be reopening the mental health clinics that he promised so thoroughly during his campaign. Johnson is not alone just about every mayor for at least the last three decades has in one form or another campaigned on doing something about the abuse of the Chicago police and then never really do anything about that abuse once they get in to office. Lipsitz in her piece so perfectly explains how Chicago liberals want to think they are for true justice reform but when in power they always bail on those plans. They don’t want what happened to Kim Foxx to happen to them.

Raina Lipsitz is the author of The Rise of a New Left: How Young Radicals Are Shaping the Future of American Politics, published from Verso. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera America, The Appeal, The Atlantic, The Nation, and The New Republic, among other publications. We are talking to her today about a piece she wrote last July in The Crime Report: Breaking the ‘Toxic Cycle’ of Fear Over Justice Reform.