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Mass Incarceration in the U.S.

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Sarah Clements

on 24 April 2017

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Transcript of Mass Incarceration in the U.S.

New Slaves
Mass Incarceration in the U.S.

A History of American Imprisonment
1965 deinstitutionalization, rise of incarceration
Reaganomics; collapse of blue-collar employment led to increased crime
Race and class disparities increased imprisonment throughout the 1980s - 1990s
These inequalities contributed to increasing arrest rates and length of sentences in state and federal prisons
Determinate Sentencing

The War on Drugs
1980s Decline of potential employment significantly increased drug crimes

In 1984, Nancy Reagan introduced "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign

Los Angeles police chief, Daryl Gates, established DARE drug education program and it was implemented in schools nationwide

Crack vs Cocaine

Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and 1988, Mandatory Minimums

"Street Sweeps" targeted impoverished African American neighborhoods. Increased policing in the neighborhood and allowed narcotic officers to easily catch the public drug sales.

"Broken Windows"

"Stop and Frisk"

Embracing Prison Reform Today
Legislative Reform
Reducing stigmatization of former offenders.

Supporting organizations that help former offenders find jobs.

Support affordable housing for ex-offenders. Many former prisoners find themselves homeless when they are released.

More access to services in prison
The New Jim Crow
"Nothing has contributed more to the systematic mass incarceration of people of color in the United
States than the War on Drugs."

Michelle Alexander,The New Jim Crow (2010)

News Coverage
Experiences of Women in Prison
Experiences of People of Color in the System
Experiences of an LGBTQ* Prisoner
"There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850..."
Modes of Reform
Cultural Reform
95 percent of prisoners—more than 600,000 people each year—eventually go home.

Journalism exists as the watchdog in a democracy and a check on power

Rules on the access the media has in the prisons vary from state to state

There is such a focus
on the crimes
but never the
conditions in which
they are subject to

Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker, proposed bill REDEEM ACT. Deals with juvenile offenders.

Cornyn and Whitehouse bill reduces mass incarceration by reducing recidivism rates and sentence length

Maryland General Assembly Bill to restore voting rights to felons
A study showed the prime time coverage of three separate years

In 1990, 1995, and 1999 there were 4,729 stories on crime, yet only 69 stories on the penal system
Higher rates of sexual assault: in California prisons, transgender women in male prisons are 13 times more likely to be sexually abused than the rest of the prison population

Lack of proper medical care (ex. denial of hormone treatment for trans inmates)

Daily humiliation, homophobic slurs, harassment from staff and other prisoners
"I had to open my eyes and ask myself, 'Is this the life I want to live for the rest of my life?' And I chose not to live like this any more." -Antowan Flores
People of color account for 60% of the incarcerated population in the United States

9% of the world's incarcerated population are black American males

In 2012: Among Black children, 1 in 9 have a parent in jail. Among Hispanic children, 1 in 28 have a parent in jail. Among White children, 1 in 57 have a parent in jail.

1. Clarence Aaron
e, Beth. "Inside S
tories." Columbia Journalism Review. N.p., Mar. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Yousman, Bill. Prime Time Prisons on U.S. TV: Representation of Incarceration. New York: Peter Lang, 2009. Print.

Fights mass incarceration

raises the age of criminal responsibility to 18

expunges or seals the records of non-violent offenders who were under 15

Allows adult non-violent offenders to petition the court to seal their records
Reduces sentences for non-violent drug offenders

promotes programs to reduce recidivism, GED/College course

Allows non violent offenders to earn time off sentences
Cornyn-Whitehouse Bill
Maryland House Bill

Restores voting rights to felons

Helps foster a sense of inclusion with the community when a prisoner is released

Involvement in the community helps lower recidivism rates and incarceration rates as a result.
Problems that prevent reform

Congressional gridlock prevents bills from passing

Both Democrats and Republicans feel pressure to be "tough on crime"

cultural stigma is hard to change
Mcabe, David. "Senators Unveil Prison Reform Bill." The Hill. The HIll, 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

Wiggins, Ovetta. "Freshman Md. Delegate Pushes Bill to Restore Voting Rights for Felons." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

O'keefe, Ed. "Cory Booker, Rand Paul Team up on Sentencing Reform Bill."Washington Post. The Washington Post, 8 July 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

N/A. Image of Cartoon Bill. Digital image. Dear GOP, Here's How You Change a Law. Daily Kos, 01 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
Roundtable sponsored by the College Democrats with Representative Hakeen Jefferies. His major legislative focus is sentencing and prison reform.
Mortara Center Tuesday 21st at 8pm
Petition on change.org to improve prison accommodations for trans individuals.
"A Brief History of the Drug War." A Brief History of the Drug War. Drug Policy Alliance. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <http://www.drugpolicy.org/new-solutions-drug-policy/brief-history-drug-war>.
Coppolo, George. Parole during the 1980s. Hartford: Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative Research, 2008. Print.
2. Rodney
What overlaps and differences did you notice in the testimonies read in class?

After reading these stories, how much do you sympathize with these prisoners knowing that they have been accused of crimes?

3. Benidalys Rivera
4. Cece McDonald
5. Maximum Security Prison Correctional Officer
6. Glenn Martin
7. John J. Lennon
8. Nick Mescas-Faxon
GU Prison Outreach
Western, Bruce, and Becky Pettit. "Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course: Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration." American Sociology Review 69 (2004): 151-69. Print.

Berg, Meredith Derby. "Taking the Shackles off Pregnant Prisoners - The Boston Globe." BostonGlobe.com. N.p., 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.

Goodman, Amy. ""Black Trans Bodies Are Under Attack": Freed Activist CeCe McDonald, Actress Laverne Cox Speak Out." Democracy Now! N.p., 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.

Gray, Katti. "The Evolution of a Prison Reformer." The Crime Report. N.p., 4 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.

Lennon, John J. "Let Prisoners Take College Courses." The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.

"Snitch: Interview with Clarence Aaron." PBS. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.

Szoldra, Paul. "Maximum Security Prison Guard Shares The Most Disturbing Parts Of His Job." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 19 May 2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.

Walshe, Sadhbh. "The Grim Truth of Being Gay in Prison." The Guardian. N.p., 7 Mar. 2007. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Bence, Susan. 2013. ‘Black Men in Prison: Stories Behind the Statistics’, December.

Cox, Robynn. 2015. ‘Where Do We Go from Here? Mass Incarceration and the Struggle for Civil Rights.’ Economic Policy Institute. January 16.

Davis, Angela. 1998. ‘Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex.’ COLORLINES. September 10.

Dubler, Nancy. 2014. ‘Ethical Dilemmas In Prison And Jail Health Care.’ Ethical Dilemmas in Prison and Jail Health Care. Health Affairs Blog. March 10.

John, Elton, and Michael Stipe. 2015. ‘The Silence on Abuse of Transgender Inmates in US Prisons Is Deafening.’ The Guardian, April 14.

Kerby, Sophia. 2012. ‘The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States.’ Center for American Progress. March 12.

‘Reproductive Health Care for Incarcerated Women and Adolescent Females.’ 2012. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. August.

Sayers, Shoshannah. 2014. ‘Mass Incarceration & People of Color - Southern Coalition for Social Justice’, April. Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

‘Standing With LGBT Prisoners: An Advocate’s Guide to Ending Abuse and Combating Imprisonment.’ 2015. National Center for Transgender Equality. January 22.

Women’s Prison Association. 2009. ‘Quick Facts: Women & Criminal Justice- 2009.’ September.

2012. The Sentencing Project. December.
The number of women in prison increased at nearly 1.5 times the rate of men (637% versus 419%) from 1980 to 2011. In comparison to men, they are more likely to be in prison for drug or property offenses.

High risk of sexual assault by the correctional staff: More than 75% of reported staff sexual misconduct

Pregnant women: often can't get proper medical care and many children are taken away from their incarcerated mothers
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