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Jennifer Roth
the treehouse retreat (in beautiful Kansas)
Ad Astra Per Aspera
Interests: all things Kansas, criminal justice issues, creative arts, appreciating and making little bits of beauty
Recent Activity
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In June 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon was charged with breaking into the Bay Harbor Poolroom in Panama City, Florida. He was accused of stealing wine, cigarettes and money. Mr. Gideon asked the judge presiding over his case to appoint him a lawyer because he could not afford to hire one.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2013 at Bends Toward Justice
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Today is Bends Toward Justice's first birthday. Last year I started a blog and an associated Twitter feed after attending a conference on public policy advocacy and criminal justice issues. I thought about these things as I drove across Kansas last August. As I explained in my introductory post: [Bends... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2012 at Bends Toward Justice
[Note on 4/27/12: I wrote this last night but now it is three hours until the hearing . . . so the time to act is now, if you want to. But first I guess you want to read what I am talking about . . . ] Sorry for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2012 at Bends Toward Justice
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Ever since this summer, I have been particularly sensitive about the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2012 at Bends Toward Justice
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Greetings! Since I last wrote, Kansas had a birthday (on January 29, turned 151) and my nerves over the session have settled down. I feel good about what I have been doing, but I haven't been doing it alone. I have been working with others and am fortunate to have... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2012 at Bends Toward Justice
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The 2012 Kansas Legislative session starts today. For me, it feels a bit like being a student starting a new school year, only with none of the nervous excitement. Just the nerves. Last night I read this article with the headline "Kansas issues coming to a boil" with a subheadline... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2012 at Bends Toward Justice
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Looking to do some last minute gift shopping? I have some ideas for you. A couple of weeks ago I saw this article about a perfect combination: being crafty and helping people. Right after that, I saw a friend's plea for support for a Kickstarter project called Bloodsworth: An Innocent... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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I turn 42 this week. No big deal, right? 42 is not the start of a new decade. It's not the voting age or rental-car-eligible age. It's not old enough to run for President. But it is significant to me because it is 21 times 2. And I realize how... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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Last Tuesday, I read this article about Kansas Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts' testimony to the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight. In short, he said the Kansas prison system is overcrowded and understaffed. According to the news story, Roberts said that budget cuts over the past few... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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Happy Constitution Day! September 17, 1787 was the final meeting of the Constitutional Convention and the day the Constitution was signed by our Founding Fathers. There are resources here to help people celebrate (including a link to an iPod/iPad Pocket Constitution app, which I bought). My daughter watched this Schoolhouse... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
"Working for awareness, action and accountability" -- that is part of my blog's subtitle. This week I have had something I wanted to say about these concepts - something I was struggling to put just the right way. Turns out someone did it for me. Today I received a handwritten... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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Greetings from my front porch on this cool Labor Day weekend! I Last Friday, Governor Brownback and other Kansas government officials hosted an ice cream social for state employees on the Statehouse lawn. I felt honored to have my ice cream handed to me by the Secretary of Corrections (speaking... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
Here are some other articles I ran into. Inmates working on refurbishing bikes: http://www.indystar.com/article/20110822/LOCAL/108220326/Inmates-fix-up-bikes-which-given-needy-people?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com and yoga in a Pakistani women's prison: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/18/us-pakistan-yoga-prison-idUSTRE77H1V220110818
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2011 on Breaking free in prison at Bends Toward Justice
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I realized several criminal justice-related issues in the news over the last two weeks have a common denominator: brain science. Well, I should say brain science and social science involving the mind. While the stories do not stem (ha, ha, get it?!) from Kansas directly, the science involved could (and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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I recently saw a documentary called The Dhamma Brothers. It blew my mind. It takes place in Donaldson Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Alabama, which held a Vipassana retreat: "an emotionally and physically demanding program of silent meditation lasting ten days and requiring 100 hours of meditation." The film... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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Last week the ACLU released Smart Reform is Possible: States Reducing Incarceration Rates and Costs While Protecting Communities. The report highlights Kansas as one of six traditionally “tough on crime” states – along with Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio – that implemented successful bipartisan reform to reduce their... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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I recently returned from a conference on criminal justice reform. While I skipped the long media workshop put on by Spitfire Strategies (it was my only chance to go to a brand new IKEA - even an activist must have her limits), I attended a shorter session where I learned... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
I am a lifelong Kansan, mother, lawyer and criminal justice policy junkie. All of these things led me to volunteer in 2005 to testify before the Kansas Legislature on issues concerning criminal law and procedure, which I have been doing ever since. At times during this past legislative session, I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2011 at Bends Toward Justice
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Aug 8, 2011