Prison Industrial Complex

Hunger Strike

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Jonathan Simon: In California’s SHU, scores of prisoners have served more than twenty years of such conditions, and hundreds for more than ten.

Protesting 22 Consecutive Years in Solitary

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Angola3News: Ultimately, the people of the U.S. need to rise up and fight back against the imperial prison state, which is also an imperial torture state, decimating minds, bodies, and souls throughout the country on a daily basis.

Gov. Brown Can Release Prisoners Early Without Compromising Public Safety

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Lizzie Buchen: Keeping low-risk inmates behind bars does not enhance public safety; in fact, doing so may endanger the public, as excessive prison terms hamper reentry, damage families, and weaken communities.

Transformative Justice and Mass Incarceration: Can Faith Communities Help Create a New Frame?

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Rev. Peter Laarman: A safe society is first and foremost a just society. In that respect we have an awfully long way to go. Let’s not waste any more time.

Why Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz Must Be Released From Solitary Confinement

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Angola 3 News: This month, a 30-day action campaign was launched demanding the release of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz from solitary confinement, where he has been held for over 23 consecutive years, and 28 of the last 30 years, in Pennsylvania prisons.

How Los Angeles Wrestles with Mass Incarceration

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Dick Price: With jails straining to absorb thousands of prison inmates, jailhouse guard-on-inmate beatings grabbing headlines, and public concern rising about possible spikes in crime rates, public safety issues have Angelenos of all stripes scrambling for answers.

Why Jerry Brown Bucks Prison Realignment

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Gov. Brown’s recent actions show that it is not just the most visible partisans of the “prison industrial complex,” who we must persuade or overcome, but unfortunately the political establishment of the State.

Unlikely Friends: When Victims and Perpetrators Meet

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Diane Lefer: Punishment alone–though necessary and often satisfying–will not repair damage or help victims move forward with their lives. Restorative justice brings offenders and victims together to provide a chance for perpetrators to make amends and to promote social and individual healing.

People Are Changed

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Kevin J. McCarthy: When the public finally has to choose between educating its youth or building and maintaining another prison, it is my hope that reason and reasonable will start to prevail. The mighty social planners have attempted to stave off that dilemma by transferring state prisoners from one state to another to fill up any beds

Strategizing to Defeat Solitary Confinement

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Angola3News: Being sent to a control unit prison is tantamount to torture. Prisoners are held under conditions that today are not considered ‘humane’ even for animals. They are an extreme abuse of state power.

Amnesty International Denounces Torture in California Prisons

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Angola 3 News: Amnesty International considers that the conditions of isolation and other deprivations imposed on prisoners in California’s SHU units breach international standards on humane treatment

Graduate Them, Don’t Incarcerate Them!

russlyn Ali

Diane Lefer: Los Angeles Unified School District has cut suspension rates in half, in part thanks to a new policy that was adopted after tireless advocacy by community groups

Where You Will Find the Democratic Spirit This Fall

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Mark Naison: The signs of popular initiative are all around us, if we care to look. They are the real hope of the future in a country where the mainstream economic and political systems have been rendered stagnant by a concentration of wealth at the top.

The Senate Needs to Rein in Brutal Prison Practices

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Jeremy Kuzmarov: While railing against social welfare programs and excessive government spending, law-and-order hawks have presided over an unprecedented prison boom funded by taxpayer dollars, and allowed prison conditions to deteriorate significantly in many states.

Stop and Frisk Policy Not Preventing Crime

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Bruce Reilly: The NYPD is stopping more Black and Latino people than actually live in the city, harassing nearly 700,000 people last year alone.Statistics show that the more you Stop and Frisk, the less crime goes down.

Selling State Prisons

Louisiana's Angola Prison, know as "The Farm"

Bruce Reilly: ALEC and for-profit prison lobbyists are fighting to stop the decriminalization of marijuana, to lengthen sentences, eliminate Good Time credits, curtail parole, incarcerate immigrants, maintain mandatory minimums, and increase Three Strikes laws because these efforts will increase their profits. But is this in the public’s best interest?

Prison Realignment or Expensive Musical Chairs

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Sharon Kyle: Given the public’s short attention span, it’s no wonder juicy celebrity gossip and salacious headlines have come to dominate the “news”. This is great for those who don’t want us to pay attention.

Mass Incarceration: Points of Agreement on the Right and the Left

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Diane Lefer: When a community sees daily injustice and doesn’t see the rule of law equally applied, it becomes morally and ethically easier to choose to live in a lawless way.

America’s Top Lobbyists on Criminal Justice Reform: Legal? Proper?

Martin Luther King Birmingham Jail

Bruce Reilly: For years I watched the full-time lobbyist of the Attorney General, their legislative specialist, testify against practically every attempt to reform the criminal justice system.

Seeking Unity Across Sex, Race & Class

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Diane Lefer: All women, she said, should be able to give their children what no one else can give, to have the right to stay home, if they want to, with their children up to the age of two or three without suffering loss of needed income.

Friday Feedback: Fixing the Prison-Industrial Complex

B. Cayenne Bird: The California legislature uses prisons and jails as a means by which to finance the bureaucracy. They use it for job creation and the $1.8 million that Brown took from CCPOA dictates his loyalty to the prison guards.

Should We Crash the Prison System by Demanding Trials?

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Bruce Reilly: If everyone refused a plea bargain and went to trial, the system would crash. This maneuver is not new. I could have never organized these men to refuse plea bargains and go to trial for several reasons.

Is California Reducing Prison Overcrowding Without Fixing Its Cause?

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Sharon Kyle: In a relatively short period of time, our nation has incarcerated enough people to create the second largest city in the United States. Releasing a few tens of thousand prisoners for overcrowding won’t change much or will it?

Santorum, Romney Square Off on Felon Disenfranchisement

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Bruce Reilly: Romney, at first, beat around the bush. “I don’t believe people who have committed violent crimes should be given their right to vote.”

The Cooler Bandits: The New N-Word Is Felon

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The Cooler Bandits follows four friends struggling to re-enter society after 20 years in prison, only to confront their future in the old neighborhood.

Survey Saturday: Voting Rights for the Formerly Incarcerated

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Survey Saturday: Here in California, people who have a felony conviction are only barred from voting if they are still in state prison or on parole.

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Our Fellow Felons

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Hannah Petrie: Even though the rates of drug-dealing and drug-using occurs equally among different races – (think weed here) whites deal to whites, blacks deal to blacks, Hispanics to Hispanics – it’s the people of color who get busted. And once you’re labeled a felon – and denied access to employment, housing, and other rights — your chances of returning to a straight and normal life are extremely low. It is a system designed to keep felons felons.

Private Prisons Spend Millions to Put More People in Jail

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Andrea Nill-Sanchez: In Arizona, 30 of the 36 legislators who co-sponsored the state’s controversial immigration law that would undoubtedly put more immigrants behind bars received campaign contributions from private prison lobbyists or companies.

The New Jim Crow: Our Role in Incarceration Nation

Michelle Alexander

Diane Lefer: Judge Gray referred to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who, in looking at the entire criminal justice system in which we hold the world record for the number of people incarcerated, concluded either we are the most evil people in the world or we are doing something seriously wrong.

America’s “Shoot ‘Em Up, Lock ‘Em Up” Mentality Is Its Undoing

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David Love: The land of the free is home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And we spend more than all nations combined on “defense”. We are addicted to shooting em up or locking em up. But we can’t provide healthcare to all.

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