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25 CUNY L. Rev. Footnote Forum [i] (2022)

handle is hein.journals/cunyform25 and id is 1 raw text is: VOLUME 25.1, FOOTNOTE FORUM:
Footnote Forum exists to challenge our assumptions about legal
scholarship. For Volume 25.1, we invite readers to consider the value of
lived experiences. What can the lives of those directly impacted by the
criminal legal system teach us, especially when they have no access to
databases normally used for legal research? Does this perspective pro-
vide a fuller understanding of the law, and is that valuable for scholar-
In presenting these questions, we will be publishing thoughts, es-
says, and articles by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated writers.
Some give us well-researched articles in a traditional format, while oth-
ers present what they have seen, heard, hoped for, and felt. All write
from the overflow of their lives.
While editing this volume of the Footnote Forum, the editors en-
countered restrictions on communicating with Frank Pruitt and Felix Sit-
thivong, authors who are currently incarcerated. Companies that admin-
istered email and telephone calls charged costly fees. Correctional
facilities placed time limits on calls that made it hard for editors to
communicate with authors about sources and suggested edits. Sending
and receiving mail were subject to unforeseen delays, pushing back our
publication timeline. As a Law Review, our editing process necessarily
had to evolve to respond to the barriers faced by incarcerated authors
and those who correspond with them. Our standard editing process did
not accommodate authors who lack easy access to digital research data-
bases, email, phone, relatively reliable postal mail, and the funds to cov-
er fees.
This first installment features David Campbell, a former political
prisoner, who discusses what defunding the police and reinvesting in
communities could mean if reinvestment took the form of paying in-
carcerated workers suitable wages. Professor Steve Zeidman, Director of
the Defenders Clinic at CUNY School of Law, writes on the notion of
whether prosecutors can actually be progressive.
In the second installment, Mr. Pruitt and Mr. Sitthivong recount the
challenges of writing amidst communication restrictions in prison as
well as the rewards of being a writer in their respective Q&As. Despite
the restrictions, Mr. Pruitt answers the question of whether prisons serve
a rehabilitative purpose with a resounding no in his article The Correc-
tional Institute of Nothing. Mr. Sitthivong examines the police reform
debate sparked by the uprising following the murder of George Floyd in


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