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, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has published an application programming interface (API) that provides access to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) dataset in open, machine-readable formats.The NCVS API is a dynamic feed that allows developers and researchers to […]
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. jail population increased after three consecutive years of decline, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The number of inmates confined in county and city jails increased by 1.2 percent, from 735,601 at midyear 2011 to 744,524 at midyear 2012.Local jails […]
"The evidence does not support the view of Sensible Sentencing Trust spokeswoman Ruth Money, that restorative justice is only appropriate for low level offending" says Kim Workman, of Rethinking Crime and Punishment. "Much of the evidence points in the opposite direction." […]
India, May 17 -- "Judge saheb, meri beti ko insaaf dilaiye (please ensure justice for my daughter)," the mother of the December 16 gang-rape victim, with her hands folded, requested the special court hearing the horrific rape case on Friday.Deposing before the court of additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna, the woman made fervent pleas for justic […]
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department will recognize nine citizens and law enforcement officers from four states for heroic and exemplary efforts to protect children, during the annual National Missing Children's Day commemoration in Washington, D.C., 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 15. The award recipients are from Illinois, […]
India, May 9 -- A juvenile involved in a string of murders in Uttarakhand has joined the ranks of close to 24 persons to be apprehended for their alleged involvement in the sensational slaying of liquor baron-cum-real estate honcho Gurdeep alias 'Ponty' Chadha and his brother Hardeep last November.The accused juvenile hails from Rudrapur in Uttarak […]
Combatting violence against women in Iraq spawns higher education partnership between Vanguard University and University of Duhok. Visit to California includes training with 12th District Court Judge David O. Carter, OC Juvenile Justice Douglas Hatchimonji, OC Juvenile Services, OC Child Abuse Special Teams (CAST) and Westminster Police DepartmentCosta Mesa, […]