Sunday, October 10, 2010

Release From Rampant Incarceration

As a late-wave Baby Boomer, when I think of a cover of Bob Dylan's I Shall Be Released, I think of The Band.

Tonight, I'm adding another band, to go along with The Band.


Viewing the song through the prism of this blog, I was particularly struck by these words:

I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

The imagery of the sun setting in the West and rising in the East points to the way historical events often play out in cycles. Could it be that American sentencing policy, which has been so harsh for so long, is poised for a swing of the pendulum toward a more balanced approach? An approach more like the rest of the world - or at least the America of 30 years ago.

Maybe I'm naive, but I second the sentiment of Dylan's song. Release from the ideological blinders that brought us here could happen any day now. In fact, publication by the respected journal Daedalus of an entire issue on the subject of mass incarceration suggests that day may indeed be dawning.

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