New head of VA looks to put system’s troubles behind

Robert McDonald

At the inaugural Disabled American Veterans Distinguished Speaker Series at Harvard Law School, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald said the troubled agency is making progress in getting its house in order, citing more — and more timely — appointments and authorizations to see private doctors for veterans who live far from VA hospitals.

Fighting Unequal Justice

Alec Karakatsanis ’08 (left) and Phil Telfeyan ’08 (HLB Fall 2014)

Until last spring, scores of destitute people—virtually all of them African-Americans—were locked up in the city jail of Montgomery, Alabama, for traffic tickets they couldn’t pay, sentenced to a day in jail for every $50 they owed. They could earn a $25 credit daily by providing free labor, scrubbing blood and feces off jail floors and cleaning buildings.