From Gang ‘Shot Caller’ to Pastor: A Life-Altering Journey

Darwin “Casey” Diaz was once one of California’s most violent criminals. Today, the former gang leader counsels at-risk  young people. In a conversation with TCR about his new book, Diaz explains how he changed his life.

Dannemora escape

Dannemora Escape: In Defense of the Prison Guards

The June, 2015 escape by two inmates from a high-security prison in upstate New York triggered a country-wide manhunt, a national media feeding frenzy, two movies, and a TV mini-series. In a new book, a former guard reveals what everyone missed.

el chapo

Catching a Kingpin: The Hunt for ‘El Chapo’ and the Deadly Lessons of the Opioid Crisis

When drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman was convicted last month, many people scored it as a major victory in America’s drug war. But in a conversation with TCR about his new book, Jack Riley, the DEA agent who helped bring Guzman to justice, said the country still hasn’t learned the real lessons of the struggle with opioid cartels and their enablers.

gun protest

Americans and Guns: Are the Politics Changing?

U.S. public opinion is shifting towards an acceptance of stricter gun regulations, according to Igor Volsky, founder of Guns Down America and author of a new book on the issue. In a conversation with TCR, Volsky offers a blueprint for taking advantage of the shift to go beyond what he calls merely “incremental” reforms.

book cover

Why ‘Liberal’ Policing Shouldn’t Be a Contradiction in Terms

American policing has drifted disturbingly far from the liberal values that gird our democracy, warns Luke William Hunt, a justice professor and a former FBI agent. In a conversation with TCR, he discusses his new book, which offers a blueprint for getting us back to our roots.

child in prison

Can the U.S. Abolish Life Sentences?

Why is the U.S. almost alone among Western democracies in condemning people to life sentences? Ashley Nellis, co-author with Marc Mauer of a new book calling for an end to the practice, tells TCR why it’s time to change our hardline approach to punishment.  

justice scales

Has Plea Bargaining Distorted American Justice?

Every day, in the corridors of most U.S. courts, defense attorneys and prosecutors quietly negotiate plea deals in a system of “underground justice” that often shortchanges defendants. In a conversation with TCR about his new book, Texas scholar William Kelly offers an alternative.

cybercriminal

How ‘Dark Commerce’ is Making Us Poorer—and Sicker

In the last few years, the sophisticated connections enabled by cyber technology have emboldened criminals from all corners of world. TCR talks with Louise Shelley, whose new book explores how the illicit economy threatens our future.

drinking fountain

The Unbroken Link Between Slavery, Jim Crow and Mass Incarceration

Belton “Money Rock” Platt, a young, flamboyant drug dealer in Charlotte, N.C., spent 20 years in prison before emerging to become a minister.  In a new book, journalist Pam Kelley places his life story in the context of generations of southern racism, and in a chat with TCR she explains why such stories remain painfully relevant today.

prison

‘Don’t Mistake Punishment for Justice’

A journalist whose brother was sent to prison for murder recounts the long-term impact on his family and community in “My Brother Moochie.” In a conversation with TCR about his book, Issac Bailey explains how the experience informed his own perspective about race and incarceration in the American South.