Since the beginning of the year, arrests on New York City's subway have increased by 300 percent. The arrests have targeted subway performers and the homeless; they have included low-level crimes and violations such as panhandling and fare dodging; and also involve the NYPD handling MTA's standards of conduct.
Arbitrary rules such as "no sleeping on a subway car in a way that is hazardous or interferes with others" have turned into the NYPD brutally arresting a man on his way home from work in an almost empty subway car. He was later charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and violating local law (the MTA rules).
As the Police Reform and Organizing Project's (PROP) Report "A True Tale Of Two Cities" (where they monitored New York City’s courts) shows, these instances are not the extremes; they occur frequently. During one day of court monitoring, they found one lawyer who represented four different people for subway arrests because they had a foot on a subway seat: "One case stood out for the attorney: A 22-year-old black male college student with a part-time job, an appropriate ID, and no criminal record, had to spend well over 24 hours in jail. A police officer arrested him when the train was only four stops away from his house."
Liberals tend not to understand conservatives, and their confusion is showing. On the one hand liberals see conservatives in disarray and react with glee at the fragmentation: the Tea Party vs. Libertarians vs. Neocons vs. Wall Street. Eric Cantor, the Republican Majority Leader, brought down by a Tea Party unknown. John Boehner unable to control his majority in the House. Republican primary challenges everywhere.
How is it that promises to help prisoners and former prisoners successfully transition back into their communities turn into frenzies of profiteering fraught with corruption and abuse? How is it that, as a society, we have endorsed the idea that persons in prison or under the control of "community corrections" should be seen as commodities, and that private, for-profit services often rely upon quotas guaranteed by federal or state law or written into contracts?