Karen Dolan

Karen Dolan

Karen Dolan is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and directs the Criminalization of Poverty project there. She is author of "The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty." Follow her on Twitter: @karendolan

Articles by this author

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Sunday, March 05, 2017
The Worst Thing About Sessions? Everything We Already Knew.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in hot water following revelations that he met twice with Russia’s U.S. ambassador when he was a surrogate for the Trump campaign — and then lied about it to Congress. Many of his critics are now calling for his resignation. The contents of Sessions’ talks with the...
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Gender Explained: How the Obama Administration Is Getting It Right on Gender Identity
The U.S. government is officially suing the state of North Carolina over its controversial, discriminatory “ bathroom bill ,” which bars transgender residents from using public restrooms appropriate to their gender identity. In announcing the lawsuit, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch gave a...
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016
It's Time to Get Cops Out of Schools
I’m still shaking from watching the recently released video of a white, uniformed police officer violently body-slamming a 12-year-old Latina girl face-first into a brick walkway. You can hear a “crack” when her face slams into the brick. The child was reportedly talking with another student when...
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Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Will Any Presidential Candidate Connect Federal Tax Policy and Police Killings?
An 18-year-old Mike Brown was walking to his grandmother’s house one summer afternoon in Ferguson Missouri. An officer stops him for jaywalking. He ends up lying dead in the road for four hours. Walter Scott is pulled over for a broken taillight in a high poverty area in South Carolina. He flees-...
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Monday, November 09, 2015
The Harsh Reality of ‘Ban the Box’ Reform Efforts
One in three Americans has a criminal record. Regardless of conviction, circumstances, age, and severity of crime, this record can and does have significant effect on that person’s ability to find housing, employment, education, food assistance and even essential health care. That’s one hundred...
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Thursday, October 29, 2015
How The Assault at Spring Valley High Brutally Demonstrates the ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’
Officer Ben Fields had not a moment’s hesitation in putting a black girl in a chokehold to yank her from her desk chair, slam her to ground and throw her across her classroom. The video of this assault has gone viral and has rightly prompted outrage from white people. Here’s the thing: The...
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Thursday, October 01, 2015
A Significant Step Forward on the Road to Reform
Weldon Angelos is a young father who wouldn’t have been able to be in his two children’s lives until he was 80 and his children were old and grey themselves. Angelos made mistakes and sold some marijuana. Because he also happened to have a gun in his possession, he got a 55 year mandatory minimum...
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Thursday, April 23, 2015
How A Broken Tail Light Leads to Death
The situation that led to the alleged murder of Walter L. Scott by a white police officer in North Charleston SC is indicative of the crisis created by the growing criminalization of poverty in America and the persistent de-humanization of black people. Poor people are targeted and aggressively...
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Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Guilty of Being Poor
Here’s something you might not know about Ferguson, Missouri: In this city of 21,000 people, 16,000 have outstanding arrest warrants . In fact, in 2013 alone, authorities issued 9,000 warrants for over 32,000 offenses. That’s one-and-a-half offenses for every resident of Ferguson in just one year...
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Friday, November 02, 2012
Beyond the Jobs Report: A Call for a Transformational Economy
Don't count on the latest round of good economic news to have much of an impact on the elections. There are very few undecided voters left and these minor changes aren't likely to change anyone's mind.
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