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HS 544 FBF: The Need for Criminal Justice Reform with Bernard Kerik

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Today’s Flash Back Friday comes from Episode 262, originally published in July 2015.

Bernard Kerik was an NYPD Commissioner who was sentenced to 48 months in prison for an ethics violation. For over 30 years, Bernard put bad and violent criminals away, but when he was on the inside he noticed not everyone was bad or even deserved such harsh prison sentences. He tells Jason that the criminal justice system is setup to destroy people’s lives, not to reform them. What should be simple fines or suspension of licenses has turned into lengthy prison sentences. Bernard shares his story and why he firmly believes the criminal justice system needs to change.

Key Takeaways:

[1:54] How did Bernard go from being an NYPD Commissioner to an inmate?

[7:50] Prison has become a business.

[11:15] Prison creates monsters, which is why the recidivism rate won’t drop.

[14:15] Today we’re taking people for ethics violations and we’re turning them into convicted felons.

[20:05] Bernard has concluded that you really don’t have any constitutional rights anymore.

[22:40] Has police brutally always existed or is it just more in the news?

[26:55] How is it possible that the U.S houses 25% of the world’s prisoners?

Mentioned In This Episode:


From Jailer to Jailed by Bernard Kerik

Three Felonies a Day by Harvey Silverglate



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