Many children are raised by loving families, and it’s those families that instill a sense of responsibility in their children who expect the best from them. That is exactly how James Bolen remembers his childhood. “I grew up on the Southside of Chicago, and my parents were postal employees. They made the necessary sacrifices so my sister and I would get a good education, and I am glad they did. We were raised to believe that the older we got, the more responsibility we would assume.”
As a child, he was drawn to issues regarding crime and punishment. “Some of my favorite television shows were Perry Mason, Judd for the Defense and Mission Impossible. Two of my uncles were Chicago Police Officers and another was a Special Agent with the Naval Investigative Services (NIS, and later it became NCIS). I knew that some people did bad things, and that bringing the right people to justice was important. I have a competitive nature and I couldn’t think of any competition that was more important than the Criminal Justice System.”
After graduating from high school, James enlisted in the Marines. “It was the perfect choice for me, and my main motivation was the ‘free college’ benefit for Veterans.” He studied Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and eventually became a Police Officer. During his fifteen-year career with the police he received four Department Commendations and twenty-one Honorable Mentions. “When I began my training at the Chicago Police Academy there was an uptick in crime, and the Mayor assured the citizens he was sensitive to this. It did not take long for me to recognize that there were different rules for persons who were the favorite sons and daughters of influential people.”
Eventually his journey led him to write his book, Fixing This Broken Thing…The American Criminal Justice System. “The prison system has become the de facto long-term mental health facility in our country. Our recidivism rate is obscene, and we spend much more money incarcerating our youth than educating our youth. Our criminal court system provides numerous avenues for offenders to eschew responsibility for their misdeeds. Overburdened criminal courts rely heavily upon ‘deal making’ as the primary means to adjudicate their caseloads. And in the rare instance when a case goes to trial, the primary objective of the attorneys is to win the contest, attainment of justice be damned.”
This book does more than illustrate the various inequities and deficiencies of the Criminal Justice System. “It provides tangible solutions for such. This text shall ruffle the feathers of liberals and conservatives alike…oh darn! The sole objective of this book is to advocate for a Criminal Justice System that is effective, and that serves each of us identically.”
The book has been well received by readers all across the country. “I have seen several positive reviews on Amazon, and a few of the supervisors at my place of employment have complimented me. A multitude of my former co-workers at the Chicago Police Department have lauded my book. One of my former Watch Commanders stated that he loved reading the book. It reminded him of my police reports…concise, to the point and fraught with information. During a radio interview in Jackson, Tennessee, a Jackson police sergeant drove over to the radio station to get an autographed copy of the book. Retired State of Mississippi judge William T. Gay enjoyed my book so much he bought a second copy to gift his son, an attorney.”
James is currently busy working on his next book, The Problem Is…We the People.