Good Magazine created a short “transparency” to highlight the expansion of prisons in the U.S. Here’s how they introduced their work:
There are currently more than 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States. What does that look like, exactly? That’s equivalent to putting the combined populations of Miami, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis behind bars. Why is our penal system broken? How do we stack up against other countries? We take a closer look at prisons in our latest Transparency.
Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for posting this short video on his blog. I keep railing against the so-called War on Drugs and its direct connection to decimating communities of color. This video does a fantastic job of focusing on the facts of that case.
Just this month, the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a report that is a MUST READ for anyone who is interested in issues associated with mass incarceration. The report called “The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration” suggests that:
“a reduction by one-half in the incarceration rate of non-violent offenders would lower correctional expenditures by $16.9 billion per year and return the U.S. to about the same incarceration rate we had in 1993 (which was already high by historical standards)…As a group, state governments could save $7.6 billion, while local governments could save $7.2 billion.”
Most importantly the report says that “a review of the extensive research on incarceration and crime suggests that these savings could be achieved without any appreciable deterioration in public safety.”
The report can be found here and it is well worth reading in its entirety.
Please note that I added the caption to this infographic because it does beg the question: “How many of these players are black or brown?” I imagine that most of them are. As such, instead of being a “joke,” this infographic takes on added significance. It speaks to the fact that even famous black and brown athletes cannot escape the “racialized surveillance” that people of color are subjected to in the U.S. Hat tip to my friend Erica Meiners for advancing this concept of “racialized surveillance” in her book “Right to Be Hostile.”
This important new book is definitely worth reading if you care about issues related to mass incarceration. Gottschalk’s most salient point in the review is:
“Perkinson upends the conventional narrative of the rise of the American penal system with its emphasis on the northeast, notably New York and Pennsylvania. In the standard account, the foreboding penitentiaries of the nineteenth century, designed to restore errant citizens to virtue through penitent solitude, evolved by fits and starts into the correctional bureaucracies of the twentieth century, which, at least for a time, viewed rehabilitating prisoners as a central part of their mission. Perkinson suggests that the history of punishment in the United States is more a southern story than has been generally recognized. He contends that Texas developed an alternative “control model” of punishment that was unapologetically premised on officially sanctioned violence, strident exploitation of penal labor, a strong retributive urge, and stark racial stratification.”
Perkins’s book really does revise my own personal understanding about this history of the rise of prisons in the United States. This was the biggest take-away for me from the book. Texas Tough is well-researched and at times gruesome as Perkins describes truly horrific practices that have and continue to take place in Texas “correctional” institutions.
In the upcoming days, this site will catalogue some of the information that I come across as I research the way that the prison industrial complex intersects with all aspects of U.S. culture. I hope to blog about interesting articles that I have read and to include new resources that I find useful. I will also use this site as a way to document how the prison industrial complex operates and the ways that it is impacting U.S. society.
In India a juvenile under the age of 18 can only be tried by the Juvenile Justice Board. Parents of the woman challenged the order and petitioned the Supreme Court of India, wanting him to be tried as an adult. Speaking to Sky News, India's Minister for Women and Child Development Meneka Gandhi said: "The job […]
Ava was convicted of a DUI when she was 17 and was sentenced to three years of probation after being prosecuted as an adult in Florida—a legal process that she hardly understood, by her own account. I didn't know that you couldn't do any of these things if you have a record," she told Human […]
New Delhi, Feb. 27 (ANI): Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has, in a written reply to parliament, informed that the government proposes to set up special juvenile police units in every district and city under Section 63(3) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) A parliamentary standing committee has recommended that clauses dealing with differential treatment of children involved in crime between 16-18 years of age, as provisioned in the Juvenile Justice Act needs to be "reviewed". In a report tabled in both houses of parliament Wednesday, the department related standing committee on Human […]
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Sean Hosman is a leading voice in the national push to transform the justice system by predicting which criminals will commit crimes again. He also is a repeat offender himself, whose trips in and out of jail provide a striking case study of the movement he helps lead.
New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday directed the Centre to take steps for the expeditious appointment of the chairman and members of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), lying vacant since last October. The apex court's social justice bench comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit […]
A Wisconsin judge is expected to decide Tuesday whether two Wisconsin girls who police say stabbed their classmate 19 times to placate a fictitious online character will be tried in juvenile or adult court. In Wisconsin, juveniles over the age of 10 charged with homicide or attempted homicide are automatically tried as adults. If the […]