Normative Narratives


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Transparency Report: Prison Paradox Redux

A few months back, I blogged about what I termed the “Prison Paradox“: “The number of Americans in state and federal prisons has quintupled since 1980, and a major reason is that prisoners serve longer terms than before” “The shift … Continue reading


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Transparency Thursday: The Prison Paradox

It would seem natural that longer prison sentences would reduce crime. Given a stronger punishment, the “costs” of performing a crime should outweigh the benefits, causing a would-be criminal to rethink his actions and possibly decide against committing a crime. … Continue reading


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Economic Outlook: Free College Education For All (Including Prison Inmates)

Taking the above quote to the extreme, defending something because it is “how we currently do it” is an even more “dangerous” way of thinking. America’s public college and prison systems are currently flawed. Prison reform has gained traction because it … Continue reading


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Economic Outlook: Executive Orders and Prison Reform

The “Prisoners Paradox“–the idea that longer prison sentences, as opposed to their stated goal of deterring crime, actually perpetuate a criminal culture, has been a recurring theme here at Normative Narratives. Their are undeniably certain instances where criminals pose a … Continue reading


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Economic Outlook: The “Neighborhood Effect” on Social Mobility

The “Neighborhood Effect” on Personal Development: In a recent blog, we examined Harvard economist Raj Chetty’s study on the “Neighborhood Effect” on social mobility–how where a child grows up impacts the life he or she comes to live. The neighborhood one grows … Continue reading


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Economic Outlook: The High Cost(S) of Being Poor

I have previously written about different poverty traps in America, including our outdated criminal justice system (the “prisoner paradox”) and the developmental impacts of stress passed from mother to child. If these poverty traps seemed a bit abstract, consider a more … Continue reading


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Transparency Report: Reconciling The Micro and Macro Narratives on Police Reform

Original article: Statistically, New York police shoot more often at blacks than at whites–by about 700 percent. But, statistically blacks are armed and shoot at police more often than whites–by over 700 percent, according to national statistics and the NYPD’s annual firearms discharge report. Recently, … Continue reading


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Ferguson, MO: Justice is a Dish Best Served Well Done

I will not comment on the actual decision not to indict Darren Wilson; I was not at the scene of the crime, and even amongst those who were, there are differing accounts of what happened. I trust the judicial process … Continue reading


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Transparency Report: In Opposition of Reduced Gun Penalties

Last Friday I went shooting at a gun range with some friends, the first time I had ever done so, and I had a blast. This experience reinforced what I have always known–there are legitimate reasons to own a firearm … Continue reading