The Senate Needs to Rein in Brutal Prison Practices

abu graib

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.

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

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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.

Census Bureau Prison Miscounts Burden Local Governments

California-State-Prison

Leah Sakala: Rather than forcing counties and municipalities that house prisons to grapple individually with the distortions caused by flawed population data, it is far more logical for the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people at home in the first place.

From Behind Bars to Law School

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Bruce Reilly: I came to New Orleans knowing but a few criminal justice activists, legal professionals, and some friends of friends. It was good to have folks who knew I had spent twelve years locked in prison.

Prison-Based Gerrymandering

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Sharon Kyle: Prison-based gerrymandering may result in the loss of both federal dollars and political representation for struggling inner-city districts.

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.

California Prison Typify the Incarceration Society

prison-overcrowding

Sherwood Ross: If you want a glimpse into the soul of a nation, visit one of its prisons. California is no exception. It’s typical.

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