Steven Greenhut walked to his office in Sacramento in a suit, tie and reading glasses. His appearance nondescript. Mild mannered. A little like Clark Kent. Like the super-hero's other half, Steven Greenhut fights for justice. Where you wouldn't expect him to have to. He watches over the police and California government and protects and serves the public by exposing some of their flaws. Instead of using physical strength, Steven Greenhut exercises his brain with tenacious research and polished writing. Like Clark Kent, he might need an alter identity.
Born in Philadelphia he has had a normal life. He's never had any police brutality hit close to home or overzealous law problems to motivate him. So what leads a journalist to go after the abuses of our government?
"I got involved in politics at the Iowa Caucasus and began writing about it. I found my calling."
From a small newspaper in Ohio, then the Orange County Register, a number of magazine articles, and a published book, "Abuse of Power" later; he stands in front of the Pacific Research Institute as the director of the California Watch Dog to expose the state's corruption and excess.
"It was my vision."
An example of his writing and the target is found in his article "COP LOBBY FLEXES ITS MUSCLE". He sits in on the California Public Safety Committee hearing in Sacramento where at stake is the public right to know when police break the law, senate bill 1019. The fix is in. A seat that used to hold Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat who supported police oversight was empty. Now, The seats were filled with special, invited guest - various law enforcement lobbyist. Now an officer of the law can mistakenly arrest you, beat you, kill you and then the public (including the victim and their families) will learn nothing about the investigation or whether that officer was disciplined. The public is now forbidden from learning about the background of officers who repeatedly use excessive force.
With another article featured in the Orange County Register that slams the California Prison Union as thugs who take advantage of the state with increasingly outrageous pay raises, pensions and perks, or another article that slams the L.A. Police for brutality; Steven Greenhut watches over California like a sagacious eagle.
In response to another story he wrote in the L.A. Times about a dirty cop, you can see part of what makes Steven Greenhut tick.
"Law enforcement unions want us to believe that all their members are heroes and should be afforded every benefit of the doubt. Since 9/11, Americans have become much more slavish in their obedience and less willing to echo the views of our founding fathers who understood that free citizens should be afraid of their own government. As Thomas Jefferson said, 'when the people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.'
The only retaliation he's had so far for trying to keep the law honest with his research and writing as a watchdog is a few threatening messages telling him not to get pulled over in their town. He turns and walks into the Pacific Research Institute hungry to get back to work and doesn't seem to worried.
The answer is smart on crime and we have to look at Nevada as an example. In Nevada released inmates are placed in jobs such as sanitation. Nevada has the lowest rate of return to prison for released prisoners in the nation.
I started http://www.lockdownpublishing.com to help prisoners learn how to write all manner of scripts like I did with Roll Call by Glenn Langohr, a drug war novel related to the drug war movie Traffic by the New York Reviews.