The unintended consequences of being "tough on crime" | ideas.ted.com

“We’re in this exciting moment where we’ve had 40 years of being ‘tough on crime,’ and we’ve finally come to recognize that it really hasn’t worked very well,” says sociologist Alice Goffman bluntly. America needs to think differently.

Suki Kim teaching a class at  Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, 2011.

Born and raised in Seoul, Suki Kim posed as an English teacher at an all-male university in Pyongyang run by evangelical Christians; she spent six months teaching the 19-year-old sons of North Korea’s ruling class. In this excerpt from her book, she describes the experience.

TED_14900563806_ed7d5ebcd4_o

Did Michael Brown receive the death penalty — only without any recourse to a fair trial? Criminal sentencing scholar Jelani Exum thinks so. Hear more from her along with 9 other provocative, thought-provoking takes on contemporary race issues within America.

iO Tillett Wright is currently 5,519 portraits into a mission to point out that we’re all, at heart, the same. Her goal: to photograph 10,000 people around the United States who identify as being something other than 100% heterosexual. Here’s just a small sample of her powerful photographs.

Since 2009, Lisa Kristine has been documenting the lives of people caught up in slavery. Her images are shocking, powerful, in-your-face. Yet they are also dignified portraits of those with no choice. Take a look at 17 of her photographs.

8652047539_df8e146c7b_o_2000px

Three men were executed by lethal injection in the United States last week. Helen Walters argues that the death penalty is wrong — and a new philosophy of criminal justice is desperately needed.

Investigative journalist Will Potter shares useful resources for anyone looking to find out more about “ag-gag laws,” legislation that seeks to criminalize people for exposing animal cruelty.