Let's Chat

I recently read a post at another site that discussed some general ideas about criminal justice reform.  I started to dive in, but the more I thought about it, the bigger the problem became.  There are simply too many problems to name, too many places to start, and too many ways to get distracted by the loudest voices complaining about the smallest details.

It’s a good way to get nothing done in a hurry.  But I know a way to get over that.

Many years ago, the teachings of an engineer and statistician name W. Edwards Deming led to an industrial philosophy (for lack of a better term) known as Total Quality Management.  The system utilized many tools to drive process improvement and problem solving efforts. I’ve participated in the process many times over the years, and I’d like to use it over the course of several posts to crowdsource subtopics/problems under the general heading of “Criminal Justice Reform.”

First, I’m going to explain some data gathering and ranking tools that I think will be useful.


Problem solving teams use this process as a first step to determining the range of problems to be addressed.  Teams are given a fixed time in which to build a personal list of problems and issues that they find important and worthy of attention.  There is no minimum or maximum number expected, and it is anticipated that many problems will be duplicated by multiple people.

Once the fixed time has passed.  Each team member offers up one item on their list to a facilitator who records it. Reaction of any kind is discouraged.  The problem is the problem, it is neither good nor bad, and should not be assessed for value until the next step.  No duplicates are allowed.  If team member Sally has an item on her list that is first offered by team member Joe, then she would just cross the item from her list and move to the next one.

When every item is listed once, the process is complete.

II.  10-4 VOTING

The second step is for everyone to participate in a period of weighted voting.  Each team member is allocated a pool of ten equal votes.  After reviewing the list of items, they can vote for any item they like until they exhaust their pool of votes.  The only restriction is that the most number of votes they can give to a single item is 4.

For example, consider a 10-4 vote to determine what movie you and your friends are going to see.  You can distribute your votes for multiple choices, like so:

  • Superhero Action Movie        (3)
  • Pixar Movie
  • Oscar Bait Drama (4)
  • Rom Com
  • Independent Film  (1)
  • Cheesy Horror Flick   (1)
  • Highbrow Psychological Thriller (1)
  • Zero Budget Artsy Fartsy
  • Foreign Film
  • Musical

Here, someone made the Oscar Bait Drama their top choice, then the Superhero Action Movie, then split their last three votes across Independent, Horror and Thriller.

All the votes are tallied and the top choice is determined.  The visual result is called a Pareto Chart.


OOo_Pareto_Chart_finalA Pareto Chart graphically displays the result of the weighted voting, and is also a good graphical representation of the 80-20 rule.

  • 80% of work is done by 20% of staff.
  • 80% of resources go toward 20% of a project.
  • 20% of the issues are important to 80% of voters.

In this example, the sum of everyone’s votes will almost uniformly push one or two films to the top of the heap.  That choice will be the movie that the group agrees to see, provided no one gets all pissy and stomps off because they never bought into the process (which happens, and who cares because nobody really liked that guy, anyway!).

So, after all that horrible statistics lecturing, here’s what I want to try.

I’m going to post a list of topics below.  I’d like to give the Horde a couple of days to add to it.  Just plain, simple, vanilla subtopic names under Criminal Justice Reform.  No judgment of others and no advocacy or criticism.

Just a list.

I’ll cull everyone’s suggestions down to a singular list, so don’t worry about coming up with duplicates.   I’ll see if I can’t find a tool to allow 10-4 voting, or we can just do it in the comments if there are no better options.  One topic will float to the top, I’ll write something inflammatory and mean-spirited, and we’ll all have a lot of fun.

Here are 10 random topics, first ones out of my fingers:

  • Prison overcrowding
  • Criminal recidivism
  • Punishment vs. rehabilitation
  • Minimum sentencing requirements
  • Insufficient Judicial oversight
  • Prosecutorial discretion
  • Prosecutorial misconduct and immunity
  • The appeal process takes too long
  • The criminal code is too complex
  • Creative alternative sentencing

Comments are yours – I’ll start pulling your topic on Wednesday or so.



Author: Paul Krendler

The Thinking Man's Zombie

33 thoughts on “Let's Chat”

  1. Cousin Bill is a big ole drama queen. And I do mean "queen." As in "queer".

    Right about now, over at his crappy site, he's giving the "zombies their walking papers". Live, no less.

    Now, if he actually had any way to effect his decision, that might impact the "zombies."

    Since he's an ineffectual closet queer, with no resources, no friends, and no way to make anything he wants "stick", well...

    It's all bluster and monkey dancing, as far as they eye can see.

    Fuck off Bill, you pusillanimous pissant.

    1. His article is up. (I'll let PK handle the sweet, sweet mockery, as he is far more masterful at it than I, and I'll just give a 50,000 foot over-target overview...)

      We have a new Bill - "Saint Bill of the Holier than Thou". All Hail the New Bill!

      Stupid bastard thinks one article, written to ignore all of his evil actions, all of his harassment, all of his easily proven lies, will convince everyone that Bill is a saint, or even just a regular guy, set upon by a bunch o' crazee rightwingnutjobs.

      Yeah...nope, not going to happen.

      We have gigabytes of Cousin Bill's...stuff archived, indexed, and readily available. Words he cannot live down, actions he can't explain away, disgusting, subhuman behavior that will cause even the most jaded, ends-justifies-the-means, truth-is-relative progressive (Karoli, I'm looking at you) to regard him as radioactive.

      Stolen valor, accusations of rape, five protective orders against him from four states, nine failed court cases he has filed against his opponents. We turn everything he does against him, ju-jitsu style. Everything. And he makes it easy.

      As long as Bill Schmalfeldt continues to publish his lies and excuses, continues to harass people, and continues to publish rape, coprophilia, and pedophilia fantasies, zombies and lickspittles alike will continue to google-bomb William Mathew "Bill" Schmalfeldt with the evidence of his copious malfeasance, continue to mock his feeble attempts to intimidate, and continue to offer assistance to those he attempts to harm, intimidate, or frighten.

      I'm going to point out to Cousin Bill that we have read Alinsky's playbook! And it ain't just for lefty radicals, ANYBODY can apply those rules. It's a new age, DUMBFUCK, and only the agile survive. We draw an audience of thousands to see what we do to expose Bill Schmalfeldt, because we do it really well, and we have FUN doing it. On a really good day, Cousin Bill draws five or ten, most of whom quickly figure out who he is, avert their gaze, turn their backs and walk away as fast as possible.

      Most everything we do (except where we've improved the methodology) is derived from applying one or more of Alinsky's 13 rules, preventing Cousin Bill from applying those rules, and/or is designed to lure him, Cousin Bill, into misapplying/over-applying those rules, and thereby exposing who he really is, for the neutral audience.

      I can tell him this, openly and clearly without compromising a damn thing. First, this is asymmetrical warfare, and he hasn't the personel or the collective bandwidth to counter our actions, second, he is too damn stupid and vain to do anything effective about what we do, and third, the law and the truth is on our side. He can't change his spots, he can't even directly admit what he does, or how pitiful he actually is to any observer.

      Suck it, Cuz. Suck it hard.

  2. I've never understood why you don't just transport criminals to the colonies. If only they weren't so troublesome subsequently on sporting fields.

    1. No sadly, no landing strip on the island, and it causes too damn much paperwork if we push them out of the transport planes without parachutes.


      1. Let's be fair. Tie the knifes to their ankles as Paul suggests, tie them all together at the waist to the one parachute, say, thirty yards of cord between each and the parachute, and just before ya dump the who mess out, promise a pardon to any survivors - it'll focus them.

        Oh, did I mention the chute was packed by an orangutan? He get residuals on the video taken by the go-pro mounted on the backpack.

      2. I think we have fleshed out our reality TV concept, guys! #WINNING!!!

        Good work, I'll get the production team and the writers staffed, line up the orangutan, meet with management at corporate to sell the idea, gonna be too easy, they love anything with a drunk ape in it (Christine, talk with Clint and locate Clyde's agent, determine if one of Clyde's offspring is available, Clyde Junior if at all possible, promise 'em whatever they want, get back to me soonest, this is critical), and schedule meetings with four or five of the money guys!

        We're all gonna be rich! And famous! Right, boys?

      3. If you're talking about who I think you're talking about, what makes you consider any plane could get off the ground with such a passenger? Even a C17 can only carry one M1 Abrams.

    2. Duke, would you like to produce? Charlie Sheen is directing, he's already on his way from detox, and I need somebody classy, with a level head, to run this circus!

      Let me know by tomorrow, 'K?

      Ciao, Duke baby!

      1. Working title is "Survivor - the Long Drop", everyone - make a note!

        Christine, have legal check that!

        Someone, get me that fricking balloonist on the line that did that 130,000 foot drop last year - we can have him judge the contestants for style points!

        And where are we with Clyde Junior, dammit?!!??

        Is he in detox, too? Shit, get Sheen on the line! Maybe he hasn't checked out yet!

        Do I have to fucking tell fucking everyone what to fucking do around here????


    1. Misquoted again.

      "I love U2 Punkin'"


  3. My 10 thoughts:

    1. emphasis on accused rights over victims rights
    2. too many laws
    3. distrust of law enforcement and legal system
    4. prison overcrowding used as an excuse for light sentences
    5. restrictive gun laws
    6. news organizations focus on crime
    7. Bias of news media
    8. resistance to death penalty
    9. Corruption of LEOs and lawyers
    10. War on drugs

    1. My one and only (as an experienced former criminal) suggestion is medical treatment quality. Really, it is the lack of medical treatment and the resulting medical issues for prisoners when they are released. If I had proper medical treatment while a detainee prior to sentence, I would not need a dialysis machine every day. Had I been able to have access to insulin during my detainee perod and actual treatment for my diabetes at any point during my incarceration, I would not be in End Stage Renal Failure. It took a heart attack and the placement of five cardiac stents to get any treatment (too little too late for my kidneys) at all.


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