Prison-based gerrymandering brings in power & extra money to towns housing prisons

black male incarceration
Source: blackcommentator.com via americantribune.org
The political aspect of prison-based gerrymandering is often presented as being the only aspect of the phenomenon worth discussing. It’s important, of course, but so is the net financial and services gain to a community housing a prison when compared against the net financial and services loss to an inmate’s pre-incarceration community – the community where his children and other family members may still live. The direct negative financial and social impact of prison-based gerrymandering on an inmate’s true “home community” merits attention and discussion as much as the political aspect does. read more

Hillary and Bill Clinton and Joe Biden laid the groundwork for imprisoning 1% of America today

Mass Incarceration in the US
Source: vlogbrothers’ video Mass Incarceration in the US
MotherJones describes Joe Biden’s relationship with mass incarceration as “complicated”. Biden helped put millions in prison & tightened noose on student loans. Intercept uses the same word to describes Hillary’s relationship and explains:

Hillary Clinton has a complicated history with incarceration. As first lady, she championed efforts to get tough on crime. “We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” Clinton said in 1994. “The ‘three strikes and you’re out’ for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets,” she added. read more

Book: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Category: Social Justice
"The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander"
Author Michelle Alexander-West is the wife of a United States federal prosecutor and an attorney in her own right. In this book, she does a truly remarkable job of drilling down through levels of strategy, policy and procedure that form the complex web of injustice that has brought the United States to the terrible point of imprisoning over 1% of our adult population and detaining 25% of all prisoners everywhere in the world … many of whom have been jailed for minor offenses, such as carrying a couple of marijuana cigarettes. Over 3200 non-violent offenders have been jailed for life for non-violent offenses like that, or for stealing an item of clothing worth $150. Unjust imprisonment is part of the intentional destruction of the lives of people of color. read more

Philly is closing down public schools – and building jails

chained door

Why Philly schools are in crisis

Yes, it’s true Philadelphia schools are in crisis, one so severe the district is scheduled to be completely shut down in two years. Salon tells us

To be clear, the schools are in crisis because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refuses to fund them adequately. The state Constitution mandates that the Legislature “provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education,” but that language appears to be considered some kind of sick joke at the state capital in Harrisburg. read more

Almost 1 in 100 jailed in US

Almost 1 in 100 Americans behind bars

Here are a few quotes and visuals to help us see what the United States’ almost 1% incarceration rate looks like – a phenomenon the ACLU condemnsin its new report Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration.

The imprisonment of human beings at record levels is both a moral failure and an economic one …

US incarceration rates 5 times world averagerefers to the reality that 750 people out of each 100,000 residents in the United States are being jailed. In mathematic terms, that equates to .0075% of our population (3/4 of a percentage point) meaning that it comes way too close to being 1% of our population (1 person out of every 100). read more

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