Amid the ongoing controversy over policies and practices in criminal justice, we wonder, what is justice and how can we achieve it for all? Policing and criminal justice activism have long been at odds, and although it has been slow in coming, that trend is changing. In pockets around the country police and advocates are beginning to take a look at the same issues, including sentencing reform, alternatives to incarceration and the biased treatment of black males.
“Hope is Premeditated Disappointment,” provides a glimpse into the eloquent writing of Suffolk County Deputy Police Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis, whose memoir in progress about her encounters with gang-involved gunshot victims and shooters reveals a rare and deeply gripping perspective on both policing for community good and the failure of systems to protect those in poverty-stricken communities, where support is most needed.
Risco Mention-Lewis was one of only 130 national law enforcement leaders invited by President Obama to the White House in 2015 to discuss criminal justice reform and how we can achieve it for all. She is the founder of Cota (Council of Thought and Action) which helps gang-involved victims of perpetrators of violence to find a new way.
Where Police, Criminal Justice Activists and Shooting Victims Meet
The excerpt Risco reads in this episode, about bringing a shooting victim from the despair of violence to daring to act with hope, is a powerful wake-up call to see beyond the heartless and inaccurate caricatures of Black males that appear on television and in print in order to see their humanity. Her piece ultimately challenges us to come together to undo a system that dehumanizes Black males caught in lives of violence and hopelessness.
Together Risco and Herstory’s talk show host, Co-executive and Justice and Advocacy Director Serena Liguori, explore the larger impact of racism, the lack of understanding of the roots of violence among people of color, the inequity of the punishments they receive, and the challenge of finding new ways to bring equality and hope. This stunning presentation weaves together powerful memoir writing and the passionate search for solutions and a new kind of justice.
Listen to learn more about how Long Island’s communities of color are impacted by some of the highest segregation rates in the country.
Public Funding Provided by Suffolk County