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2018 January

Poverty and People of Color: Some Answers to Why

Review of Peter Edelman’s Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

By John Bouman

Prof. Peter Edelman has written a book about the criminalization of poverty in America. He details its many facets—criminal justice debt, money bail, child support, school discipline, and the criminalization of mental illness, public benefits, and homelessness—and its inextricable ties to race. These policies undermine the original goals of the War on Poverty. Edelman profiles the advocates and community leaders who are working to stop this criminalization.

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