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.

More Black Men in Prison Than Were Enslaved II

prison

Prison Based Gerrymandering Vote ecently we ran a piece written by Dick Price entitled, “More Black Men Now in Prison System Than Were Enslaved“. Tens of thousands read it. Many left comments. The popularity of his article and the comments posted lead to this follow-up. The article Dick wrote was a recap of a talk [...]

Fast 4 Freedom

curb

Diane Lefer: AB900 was a huge victory for the prison-industrial complex. “People are making a profit out of putting people in cages,” said Geri Silva.

Blacks Prison and Unemployment

black child

Sherwood Ross: Slumlords charge exorbitant rents. “Convenience” stores charge higher prices. Military recruiters have their pick of jobless youth desperate for work. And the for-profit, private prisons increase their head count (and income) as the judicial system hands off the young drug peddlers caught in the legal web. As the Kaiser Family Foundation reported, African-Americans fill 40 percent of the nation’s prison cells. Yet they make up just 13 percent of the nation’s population.

First Solve Prison Crisis, Then Fix California’s Budget

Gary Gilmore

Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.

School to Prison Pipeline

School to Prison Pipeline

Public forum: Is There a School to Prison Pipeline at the Pasadena Unified School District? Soaring dropout rates, rising suspensions and expulsions, police on campus, overly harsh one-size-fits-all discipline policies, high poverty rates, court involvement and juvenile detention all suggest the pipeline to prison is present at the Pasadena Unified School District. Join us to [...]

Is Obama Serious About Ending Failed War on Drugs?

drug-wars

Efforts by President Obama to put an end to the nation’s failed “War on Drugs” can’t come an hour too soon—if that’s his intent. From his actions, it’s hard to know. Drug offenses account for about half the 200,000 Federal prison inmates behind bars, compared to just 15% of prisoners convicted of violent crimes involving [...]

Prisoners’ Rights: An Oxymoron?

prison

More than 100 people of all races and all ages traveled to Watts from several California counties on Saturday May 30, sharing a single desire: Bring our loved ones homes. They weren’t talking about family members serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. These are the families torn apart when someone is sent to prison with an [...]

How to Combat Mexican Drug Cartels—Legalize Their Activities

american-kite

While the U.S. superpower has meddled in many far-flung nations around the globe in the name of enhancing its security, as prior to 9/11, it has ignored a threat much closer to home. In recent years, the Bush administration blithely blamed Mexico for the flow of illegal drugs into the United States and virtually ignored [...]

Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons Making Thousands Psychotic

handcuffs

The United States today is housing tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement, a form of numbing mental torture that drives about one-third of them psychotic, induces irrational anger in 90%, and ups the likelihood they will commit violent crimes upon release. “It’s an awful thing, solitary,” U.S. Senator John McCain once wrote [...]

Close Down Guantanamo? What About Our Own Hellholes?

Senator Jim Web (D-Virgina) with wife Hong Le Webb

As Tom Paine once opined on this subject: “When it shall be said in any country in the world, ‘My poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive’— when these things can be said then may that country boast of its constitution and its government.” Folks, we gotta ways to go.

Color of Law: Please Don’t Feed the Prison Monster

justice-maze

At its worst, America’s criminal justice system represents the place where racism, greed and corruption intersect. At its best, it is inherently flawed, unjust, and unreliable, and little better than its worst. The engine that drives this injustice system is known as the prison industrial complex. It is the theater in which the nation’s foremost [...]

Friday Feedback: Methadone Maintenance Does Work

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Zenith in response Eric Schneider’s “The War on Drugs Redux.” Zenith writes: I have to disagree that the methadone experiemnt prved less promising than expected, or that it was “failing”. In fact MMT is [...]

Prison Expansion Pushed Forward While Massive Cuts to Education Proposed

Prison Budget Expands, Education Budget Cut While the Governor and legislature propose massive cuts to education and 2,000 public works projects are on hold, a bill to propel a $12 billion prison construction project was sent to Governor Schwarzeneggar. This bill is designed to fix problems with AB900, the largest prison construction plan in history. [...]

Troy Davis: The Case Continues

alan_bean

by Dr. Alan Bean – The Troy Davis case indicates just how subjective the legal system really is. The federal 11th Court of Appeals deals with cases in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. A panel of three judges, selected from this court, considered the Davis case yesterday.

Update: Troy Anthony Davis

After the United States Supreme Court refused to hear Davis’ case, the Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta, Ga granted Troy Anthony Davis a temporary stay of execution. This stay was granted just days before he was scheduled to be executed on Monday, October 27, 2008. “Upon our thorough review of the record, we conclude that [...]

Senator Cox Speaks Of Crime and Government

Crime

In his latest constituent newsletter, California State Senator Dave Cox confuses coincidence with causation by connecting imprisonment with lower crime rates. He also rejects the notion that California imprisons too many, saying: “California’s incarceration rate [is] very ordinary with at least 20 other states reporting more inmates per 100,000 residents.”

Healing the Black-Brown Divide

African American and Latino Communities Must Unite. Traditional allies and friends in a common struggle for equal opportunity, the African American and Latino communities of Los Angeles have grown apart in recent years. Where once blacks and browns stood shoulder to shoulder in the decades-long fight to correct the social injustices they both faced and [...]