Laura Prepon for Bella Magazine.
wow…. I can’t stop looking at this picture. She is strikingly beautiful.
Laura Prepon for Bella Magazine.
wow…. I can’t stop looking at this picture. She is strikingly beautiful.
America’s mass incarceration, in one map.
Most federal inmates are not violent offenders, and prison costs are projected to reach $6.9 billion in fiscal 2014.
Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week, but there’s little reason to expect substantial legislation between now and the November election. In one policy area, however, Congress can and should act now: reforming the federal prison system.
Half of all federal inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses, not violent crimes. The federal prison population, currently 216,381, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is expected to increase by 5,400 in fiscal years 2013-14. Prison costs are projected to reach $6.9 billion in fiscal 2014, up from $4.4 billion in 2001. The Justice Department’s inspector general said in a 2013 performance report that the costs are “unsustainable” and are squeezing out spending for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, federal prosecutors, counterterrorism agencies and other crime-fighting efforts.
States are facing the same cost explosion. Prisons are the second-fastest-growing item in state budgets—second only to Medicaid, according to research conducted by the Pew Center on the States. Several states have passed meaningful reforms, including expanding drug courts to order mandatory drug treatment programs, increasing funding for drug and mental-health treatment, and limiting costly prison beds to violent and serious repeat offenders. These state reforms passed in part thanks to conservative support.
Right on Crime, a national organization founded in 2010 that we both belong to, is helping spread the word that backing sensible and proven reforms to the U.S. criminal-justice system is a valuable conservative cause.
On a panel at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in March in National Harbor, Md., Texas Gov. Rick Perry explained how reform worked in his state. In 2007, Texas scrapped plans to build more prisons, putting much of the savings into drug courts and treatment. The results have been impressive: Crime in Texas is at the lowest rate since 1968. The number of inmates has fallen by 3%, enabling the state to close three prisons, saving $3 billion so far. What inspired the reform, Gov. Perry said, was this: “Being able to give people a second chance is really important. That should be our goal. The idea that we lock people up, throw them away, never give them a chance at redemption is not what America is about.”
In 2010, South Carolina followed Texas’ example, toughening penalties for violent criminals while creating alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders. These included providing community drug treatment and mental health services for lower-level lawbreakers—mostly drug and property offenders—who made up half of the state’s prison population. South Carolina also increased funding for more agents to supervise offenders in the community. Three years later, the prison population has decreased by 8%, and violent offenders now account for 63% of the inmate population. South Carolina’s recidivism rates also are much improved and the state has closed one prison.
Other states—Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Mississippi—have adopted similar reforms. As is so often the case, the states are showing the way. Congress should apply these common-sense reforms to the federal prison system.
The reforms have developed in the states, as conservatives tend to prefer. But now that there is proof that prison reform can work, the debate has gone from an ideological discussion to evidence-based changes that can be applied to the federal system.
Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, who have seen the benefits firsthand in Texas, have been joined by Republican Senate colleagues such as Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Jeff Flake and Ron Johnson in backing one or more prison-reform bills. Two bills, the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act (S. 1675) and the Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410) have already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and await action by the full Senate.
In the House, Republican Reps. Jason Chaffetz, Raúl Labrador, Trey Gowdy and others are backing similar legislation.
This push for reforming the federal prison system has support on the other side of the aisle as well. Such liberal stalwarts as Sens. Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Reps. John Conyers, Tim Scott and Jerrold Nadler have signaled their backing.
On Tuesday, the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security will hear from witnesses who are experts on state reforms. With luck, their testimony will provide even more impetus for Congress to take advantage of the unusually strong bipartisanship in the air on Capitol Hill and fix a criminal-justice system badly in need of repair.
New research from Stanford Law Professor Joan Petersilia shows realignment’s record so far is mixed. But she sees many roads to improvement.
I’ll be the first to say its very easy to read an article and give your two cents… like how about low-level (particularly non-violent) felonies result in no prison? Why not address them through the realms of (re)habilitation? If mental health programs are predicted to lower recidivism rates… umm… let’s start there.
Monday, 14 July, 2014 - 13:14
The Justice and Corrections budgets will make a saving of well over $100 million annually under ALCP policy.
Around 10% of the prison population is being held for cannabis only offences at a cost of $90,000 per prisoner, while the courts are spending over $20 million each year prosecuting cannabis cases.
ALCP leader Julian Crawford said cannabis only prisoners would be freed, cannabis convictions would be quashed and compensation issued, according to ALCP policy.
"Not everyone with a cannabis conviction would be eligible for compensation but if they can convince a panel of judges that their travel or employment prospects had been impacted, they would be entitled to between $5,000 and $100,000 each," he said.
"This is to allow people to restore their careers and dignity and to be compensated for any stigma they suffered under prohibition."
A Royal Commission of Inquiry will be set up to assess each claim on a case-by-case basis.
This is amazing to me… I wonder how many will actually receive compensation….
"A prisoner’s interest in unimpaired, confidential communication with an attorney is an integral component of the judicial process and mail from an attorney implicates a prisoner’s protected legal mail rights," Detroit U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood had written in her May 15 decision. Jail officials said they were suspicious about mass mailing, and the county said in an April filing that the ACLU was seeking to "solicit inmates for the furtherance of the plaintiff’s own political agenda." The U.S. Supreme Court "has established that jail officials … may limit inmate access to mail that is not a privileged legal communication," the county said.
Performances of many kinds can result in peaceful revolution :) not matter how small, still significant that these inmates used their own bodies to make a statement and it worked, their concerns are being heard! Imagine doing this on a grand scale.
The federal agency that sets criminal sentencing policies for judges voted on Friday to allow tens of thousands of inmates serving time for drug crimes to apply for reduced sentences, the largest such sentencing reduction in modern U.S. history.
The unanimous vote by the seven members of the U.S. Sentencing Commission will apply to most drug offenders in federal prisons, according to the commission.
Their decision came after the commission studied the results of a similar 2007 vote that affected only those serving time for crack cocaine offenses and found that inmates released early posed no greater risk of committing another crime than those who served their full terms…
Congress has until November 1 to disapprove of the commission’s decision. If lawmakers let the new rules stand, judges across the country can begin considering individual petitions from inmates for sentence reductions, but no prisoners can be released until Nov. 1, 2015, according to a special rule added by the commissioners.
— George Lakoff (via justinacuff)
Sunday, July 20 - 5pm
204 Bay Street, Staten Island, NY 10301
Rally/Speak Out: Come out and stand in solidarity with the Garner family, friends and community to continue to create a voice that is loud and precise that it could not be ignored.
On July 17, 2014 Eric Garner was approach by plain clothes officers from the 120th precinct. In the video that was taken by Ramzey you could see that Eric Garner was upset because he was targeted by these plain clothes officers before. He begs the officers to leave him alone and one of the officers waited for the opportunity to sneak behind Gardner and jumped up and place Garner in an illegal chokehold and Gardner slowly fell down to the grown while the officer still had the chokehold on him, then the same officer released Garner and put his knee on Gardner neck while he was screaming that he could not breath. Police continue to stay on top of Garner until he became motionless and died.
Eric Garner was murdered by Daniel Pantaleo, a plain clothes officer that put Gardner in an illegal chokehold.
Police Patrol Guide: 203-11 states, “Members of the NYC Police Department will NOT use chokeholds”.
Brothers/Sisters in that community are tired of the abuse and they are tired of the police brutality they are facing in a daily basis.
On Dec. 22, 1994 Anthony Baez was put in a chokehold by NYPD officer Francis Livoti from the 46 precinct and it ended with the death of Anthony Baez. Bill Bratton was the NYPD commissioner and when he was confronted by the Baez family in a town hall meeting, Bratton called the Baez family a bunch of fools.
July 17, 2014 Eric Garner is put in an illegal chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo from the 120 Precinct and it ended with the death of Eric Garner. Bill Bratton is the NYPD commissioner and he said that people should not jump to conclusion until all the facts are out.
A 400-pound asthmatic Staten Island dad died Thursday after a cop put him in a chokehold and other officers appeared to slam his head against the sidewalk, video of the incident shows.
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eric Garner, 43, repeatedly screamed after at least five NYPD officers took him down in front of a Tompkinsville beauty supply store when he balked at being handcuffed.
Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, stopped struggling and appeared to be unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with smartphones.
“When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time,” Garner’s wife, Esaw, told the Daily News.
She got no details from police until after she had gone to the hospital to identify his body, she said.
“I saw him with his eyes wide open and I said, ‘Babe, don’t leave me, I need you.’ But he was already gone,” she said.
and people wonder why black people don’t trust or have any love for cops. they murdered this man. this black man. and for what? fucking cigarettes. yea, WE’RE the fucking problem.
Remembering the unvarnished truth of Mandela’s words means refusing to let anybody sanitize his legacy. As the United States attempts to piggyback on Mandela’s revolutionary spirit, never forget that it was the CIA who helped jail him for 28 years. His sentiments toward our imperialist government reflect what our government remorselessly tries to keep we citizens from seeing, that indeed ”…the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like" regardless of who we harm in the process.
Here are a few more quotes we are unlikely to see in the mainstream press:
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens."
"It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
“No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.”
"If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers."
I have been informed by several people that white people can not be the victims of racism. THIS. IS. AN. AMAZING. DAY. :)
Because in America they can’t be. Prejudice =/= Racism. Get past Websters dictionary and maybe listen to the perspective of those oppressed peoples whom…