Choose Community Programs Over Youth Prisons to Punish Juveniles

Sometimes Congress gets it right. This summer, the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on juvenile justice reform. The hearing was a call to end the draconian practices of institutionalizing America's juvenile offenders. The committee's chairman, U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) stated in his opening remarks, "We can all agree that juvenile offenders must be treated differently than adult offenders." 

Weiner and McDowell: Scams Against Elderly Are Multi-Billion Dollar Industry 

Elderly financial exploitation has become a multi-billion dollar industry. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that more than three million Americans over the age of 60 are victims of financial fraud annually. Most cases go unreported. Too often feelings of embarrassment and shame accompany the crime.

A Lit Club at Venice High School is Transforming Students Harmed by Mass Incarceration 

POPS is the first high school club in America that focuses on the needs of students who are victims of the mass incarceration crisis. The Center for American Progress released research showing nearly half of all U.S. children now have a parent with a criminal record. Expand that number to include siblings, friends, aunts and uncles, and the numbers explode. This population becomes at risk for complex trauma, depression, social isolation and increased poverty.

Barron Trump is Going to My High School and I Don't Know How to Feel About it.

I was surprised at my own reaction after I read how many of those were intolerant— or that they would stop donating to the school as a result— a school they were lucky and privileged enough to attend. I thought I’d join in with them: Down with all of the Trumps at any cost!But then something happened. I couldn’t help but see myself in Barron after reading some of the comments.

A Warning to Trump Supporters From the Daughter of a Man Just Like Him

I write all of this to you because the man you voted for in the hopes (or expectation rather) that he will support you and protect you has an uncanny resemblance to my father- so much so that my night terrors have returned. I wake up sweating, disoriented, crying. If you don't have experience with pathological narcissists and sociopaths, let me share my experience with you

How Carl the Mailman Became Larchmont Village's Biggest Celebrity 

Carl, my neighborhood postman, wears his blue uniform as he sits across from me at Lemonade Café on Larchmont Boulevard, a street filled with artists and business owners, the wealthy and the struggling, one block from the Paramount Studios backlot. Nearly five minutes go by before I can begin our interview because so many people are walking up to our table to give him a fist bump or a pat on the back, or offer a quick hello, letting me and everyone around us know how much they adore him.

An Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street, and the Wolf Himself 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, dear Kings of Hollywood, but you have been conned. Let me introduce myself. My name is Christina McDowell, formerly Christina Prousalis. I am the daughter of Tom Prousalis, a man the Washington Postdescribed as "just some guy on trial for penny-stock fraud." (I had to change my name after my father stole my identity and then threatened to steal it again, but I'll get to that part later.) 

Victimhood, Fame, and My Date with Aziz Ansari 

This is not a story about Aziz harassing or assaulting me. This is not a story blaming "Grace," the woman accusing Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct. This is a story intended to be part of a larger, more complicated conversation that is far from binary, a place my younger self would not have wanted to accept. This is a story about accountability, our individual lack of it, and our collective obsession with fame and celebrity. 

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