Mother Jones’ Mac McLelland on New Orleans Public Defenders

A great piece from McLelland as always but yeesh:

A former client, Aubrey Anderson, beams about their dedication. “They really help if you want the help,” he tells me. He’s stopped by the office, as he often does, on his way back from his GED program to see his former lawyer, Lauren Boudreaux. He smiles gratefully when he describes how she got him into an intensive probation program instead of the life sentence he faced for breaking into an abandoned house. He says prison would have been hard for an illiterate paranoid schizophrenic homosexual habitual offender; when he was in jail, inmates cut him up and knocked out his teeth.

I can’t believe people have not yet tried to Occupy The Criminal Justice System since it is one of the biggest sources of injustice in our country. A few years back I read Ruthie Gilmore’s Golden Gulag about California’s extraordinarily oppressive prison system and was blown away by the messed up alliance of big business and prisons. She called it the prison industrial complex.