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, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Between 1997 and 2011, the number of youth held in residential placement facilities declined by 42 percent for juvenile offenders and 64 percent for status offenders to the lowest levels since the first census was conducted, according to a bulletin released today by the Justice Department. ...
New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The government Tuesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Juvenile Justice Act to treat 16-18-year-olds as adults when involved in heinous crimes. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Children) Bill 2014 was introduced by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. The amendment will empower Juvenile Justice
The bill to amend the Juvenile Justice Act (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 was introduced in the Lok Sabha Tuesday. * Juvenile Justice Board to decide whether a minor will be tried in a regular court or sent to a correctional centre.
Judges who have presided over juvenile courts say it will be an uphill task for the JJB to ascertain, as mandated by the proposed amendment, if a minor involved in heinous offences can be tried as an adult.
New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) The parents of the Dec 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape victim Thursday welcomed the government move to lower the age at which juveniles can be tried for heinous crimes, saying the step was urgently needed to check crimes committed by juveniles. The cabinet Wednesday decided to amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,
New Delhi, August 7 (ANI): Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief, Barkha Singh Shukla, said on Thursday that she welcomes the amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act passed by the Union cabinet yesterday. Barkha told ANI, "In a way I welcome this. The amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act was approved by the Union cabinet yesterday. The Juvenile Justice
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Loretta Rush, a longtime juvenile court judge who joined the Indiana Supreme Court in 2012, was unanimously chosen as the state's first female chief justice Wednesday, setting the stage for what could be a long run at the court's helm.
New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The union cabinet Wednesday gave its nod to amend the Juvenile Justice Act that will pave the way for 16/18-year-olds to be treated as adults when involved in heinous crimes. The decision was taken at a meeting of the cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, informed sources said. The amendment will empower Juvenile Justice (
New Delhi, Aug 6 (ANI): The Union cabinet has approved amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act, which proposes to treat juvenile older than 16 years as adults if involved in heinous crimes such as rape and murder. The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) will decide whether cases where a juvenile is involved in a heinous crime, would be tried under the provisions of t