Brittney Revan

AU School of Public Affairs Leadership Portfolio

Work Samples

Overrepresentation of Black and Brown Communities in Prison

The United States is a world leader in incarceration rates. This statistic is even more concerning once demographic information is added to the conversation. Non-whites make up roughly ⅓ of the U.S. population, yet they make up about ⅔ of the prison population. There are discrepancies in the racial and ethnic makeup of the prison population. This memo points out the main symptoms, which include data that reveal just how substantial the disparities are. It also states some of the innumerable consequences, such as community degradation and economic burdens. Many of the causes listed surround educational deficiencies and zero-tolerance policies. The memo concludes by alluding to possible solutions such as incorporating anti-racist education and investing in rehabilitation and restorative justice policies to alleviate the problem of overrepresentation of minorities in correctional facilities.

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Public Policy Paper – Recidivism Rate

“About two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and three-quarters (76.6%) were arrested within 5 years.” (Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005) These stats are representative of the larger issue in the United States Prison Industrial Complex – the rising recidivism rate. Beyond the ridiculously high United States incarceration rate, we also have a relatively high rate of prisoners who return to prison less than 5 years after being released.

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What is Democracy? Can it be measured?

The definition of democracy at its most basic form is, “rule by the people”. This definition stems from the Classical age and is the most common element among all of the definitions of democracy. A more complex definition is: democracy is where power is given to a person to vote – of their own free will – for representatives of their choice, thereby giving those in office power by the whim of the people. Both of these definitions pose problems because they are extremely vague. They do not specify things such as: how a democracy is supposed to be measured, how many elected agents there needs to be for it to be considered a democracy, and how the power is supposed to be distributed.

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Think Tank Memo

In today’s political climate the need for think tanks is essential; they are extremely important parts of our society and showcase the flexibility and duality of our changing government. Think tanks serve as institutions that push for change through ideas and networks. They are generally not affiliated with a particular party or ideology and release articles containing evidence–based discussions. Some of the more established think tanks attempt to hire employees with differing ideologies and encourage them to voice their opinions and engage in productive political discourse.

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How Democratic is Japan?

“Japan recently experienced the greatest mass movement in her political history. Thirteen million people signed petitions requesting the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the holding of new elections.” (Parties and Politics in Contemporary Japan) This movement was in response to the revised United States– Japan Security Treaty and the methods used by the government in obtaining the passage of the treaty.

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Policy Memo – Food Deserts 

South Florida has multiple food deserts and people are struggling to put food on their tables. I am urging you to create a policy initiative including various solutions to make conditions more livable. There are over 125 food deserts in South Florida alone. A food desert is essentially an area that lacks access to affordable fruits, vegetables, and other foods that make up a healthy diet. Food deserts come about mainly because of the lack of grocery stores or other healthy food providers in an area. About 23.5 million people live in food deserts and nearly half of them are low income.

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