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  January 5, 2018

Peter Edelman: Not a crime to be poor (part one)

The Georgetown Law professor and director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality talks about how the criminal justice system continues the cycle of poverty in America.

Peter Edelman worked for Robert Kennedy in the 1960s and later as an adviser in the Clinton administration, from which he eventually resigned after disagreeing on welfare reform. His most recent book is “Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America.” In part one of their conversation, Edelman tells host Robert Scheer about Robert Kennedy’s unprecedented attention to the poor in America during his presidential campaign. He says that in spite of the unacceptably high level of poverty in the United States now, programs like Social Security and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) do work and need to be protected. And he and Scheer discuss how, for the poor, a simple unpaid parking ticket can spiral into huge debt and even incarceration.

Photo credit: Bob Nichols.

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