Author: Andrew Extein.

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Was John Grisham Right? How Child Porn Laws Fuel Mass Incarceration

Popular author John Grisham made headlines this week for speaking out against harsh sentences for child pornography, citing the recent prosecution of a friend for downloading child porn. His friend was sentenced to three years in prison for downloading pornography that claimed to depict 16-year-old females. Predictably there was an immediate backlash,...

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Video: More Laws Equals More Violence–Criminalization as a Failed Strategy for Anti-Violence Movements

This incredibly on-point video created by The Barnard Center for Research on Women and the Columbia Center on Gender and Sexuality Law explains the many reasons why fighting for more punitive measures counteracts any agenda to reduce violence. The wonderful Dean Spade, Andrea Ritchie, Shira Hassan, and others talk about...

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NY Times: Lawyers Challenge Lewdness Arrests at Port Authority Bus Terminal

Kudos to the The New York Times for reporting on the anti-gay stings that still persist in our most “gay-friendly” cities. Port Authority Police are arresting men for allegedly masturbating at urinals, despite any evidence or oversight. Some of the men arrested and Legal Aid Society are saying that the police are targeting men...

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Yasmin Nair: There Is A Lot More to the Gay Marriage Story Than What Is In Jo Becker’s Book ‘Forcing the Spring’

Against Equality’s Yasmin Nair writes this illuminating response to Jo Becker’s new book documenting the Proposition 8 saga in California.  In her critique, she covers many of the core values of Against Equality including dismantling the harmful, violent, and dominant systems of marriage, the military, and prisons.  While these systems...

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Letter to the Center: From a Mother Heartbroken by the Imprisonment of Her Son

We received this letter from a mother who reached out to us after reading our essay Capitol Punishment: The Troubling Consequences of Federal Child Pornography Laws.  With her son in prison on a possession of child pornography conviction, she found that our arguments against the currently flawed child pornography laws resonated...

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The Bilerico Project: When People With HIV Became Suicide Bombers

Mark S. King guides us through the false history of HIV hysteria and explains how it relates to the ways that people with HIV are criminalized today.  A person with HIV can be charged and prosecuted for a number of crimes, including reckless endangerment and attempted murder.  The mere fact...

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Why Queers Should Care About Sex Offenders

This piece that I wrote for The Huffington Post summarizes a lot of what The Center for Sexual Justice stands for.  While it received a wave of criticism from some on both the left and right, many people reached out to me thanking me for publishing something that they have...

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The Huffington Post: Judge OKs Transgender Inmate’s Hormone Treatments

Transgender citizens in confinement must deal with a host of issues, and one major roadblock can be continuing hormone therapy while incarcerated.  Discrimination against trans* folk is especially bad in jail and prison environments, with many hormones denied through arbitrary and unofficial pathways.  Being denied hormones can cause physical and...

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The Huffington Post: Putting Prisons on the LGBT Agenda

This is a great article by Harper Jean Tobin of  The National Center for Transgender Equality on how queers, and particularly trans* folk, have been an continue to be uniquely affected by the criminal justice system.  As we at CSJ firmly believe, the mainstream gay advocates in power right now...

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New York Times: Inside a Mental Hospital Called Jail

The New York Times on the ways in which jails and prisons have become de-facto mental hospitals.  Mental illness needs to be decriminalized, and this article shows the devastating effects of bad policy. The largest mental health center in America is a huge compound here in Chicago, with thousands of...