How far can the sanitizing of language go in the name of social justice? Well, sometimes the sanitizing is salubrious, but often it’s not. From the San Francisco Chronicle (click on screenshot) we have a particularly ludicrous example: changing the words used to characterize offenders in the criminal justice system. These guidelines were just adopted by the city’s Board of Supervisors, and they’re in a nonbinding resolution. Nevertheless, the Mayor and the city’s police department are considering the suggestions, while the district attorney’s office already agrees with them.
Here are some of the changes recommended in the article:
A “convicted felon” or someone released from jail is now a “formerly incarcerated person,” or a “justice-involved” person or simply a “returning resident.”
Parolees and people on probation are now “person on parole,” or “person under supervision.”
Drug addicts or substance abusers are now “a person with…
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