Prison Industrial Complex

Hunger Strike

pelican bay

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

How Los Angeles Wrestles with Mass Incarceration

la county jail

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.

Unlikely Friends: When Victims and Perpetrators Meet

unlikely friends

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

prison visit 590

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

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?

Seeking Unity Across Sex, Race & Class

Selma-James-wide

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.

Our Fellow Felons

hannah petrie

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.