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.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) today announced a new partnership with the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY). UNITY will receive $850,000 from OJJDP to plan and implement the National Intertribal Youth Leadership Devel […]
WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), have partnered to significantly expand the body of evidence associated with improving outcomes for individuals re-entering the community. These Justice Department agencies will s […]
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Reducing the legally defined age of a juvenile from 18 to 16 was a "regressive" move and highlighted the need to focus on strengthening reform and rehabilitation, child rights organisations said here Monday. "The proper implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act and other children protection schemes like the Integrated […]
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The Women and Child Development Ministry has proposed that juveniles above the age of 16 years, involved in heinous crimes like murder or gang-rape, be tried as adults. If passed, the new proposal to amend the existing law will deny protection to juveniles aged between 16-18 years under the Juvenile Justice Act. The decision comes alm […]
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the central government on a petition seeking to strike down as unconstitutional the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act that bar criminal courts from trying juvenile offenders. Counsel Aman Hingorani told a bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice S.A. Bobde that under the provisions of th […]
WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released State Court Organization, 2011, which presents 2011 data on the organization and operations of state trial and appellate courts and examines trends from 1980 through 2011. Topics include court structure, distribution of judges by […]
To Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who originally publicized the charges, the outcome is satisfactory because the girls will receive “the services they need,” he said Thursday. He added that Sheriff Judd owed the girl an apology and that a lawsuit against him was a possibility. The sheriff may have been doing his best to respond to the community’s desire to […]
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious intimate partner violence, such as rape, sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault, declined 72 percent for females, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. During the same time, the percentage of female intimate partner v […]
New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) A Delhi court Monday sent Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) parliamentarian Dhananjay Singh and his wife, arrested for allegedly torturing their maid to death, to four days' judicial custody. Dhananjay Singh, who represents Jaunpur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested and booked for destruction of evidence and violating […]