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Stop For-profit #Incarceration

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Privatization is not the answer, especially in the prison sector. As a nation, we’ve gone from championing each citizen’s day in court to bailouts for the wealthy while lower- and middle-class citizens go to jail.

It’s far past the time to stop corporations from taking advantage of our citizens in exorbitant bail and for-profit prisons.

Stop the corporate hold on citizens’ lives and support The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 by contacting your local, city, state and federal representatives. Ask your representatives to support the new Senate Bill because it creates incentives to reduce mass incarceration.

Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man. – Johnnie Cochran

 

 

What do Bill Moyers, Jon Oliver & The Pope have in common? Prison Issues.

September 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Prison

Unbelievably, the “home of the free” incarcerates more of its citizenry than any other nation. Moreover, it invests more in prisons than its educational system. In prisons today, we incarcerate the guilty, but also the poor, the sick, the old, the young, and the innocent. While the rich pay bail and go free, the poor are incarcerated until trial–if they don’t take a plea bargain. All the while, families are left without fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. In this blog post, Bill Moyers and Jon Oliver provide a wealth of information about our culture of imprisonment, and Pope Francis offers his sage advice.

As noted by a CNN Money graph entitled, Education vs Prison Costs, data from 40 states depict how much government money is spent per year to educate an elementary/secondary school student compared to the cost of keeping an inmate imprisoned.” In addition, Online Degrees provides a list of the 10 States That Spend More on Prisons Than Education.

krogh_040205_335cc-6ef52bb049898a969421a3026fe4f9ce89ec44f7-s6-c301Bill Moyers, Political Talk Show Host and Former White House Press Secretary, offers enlightening episodes via Moyers & Company in regards to incarceration, as you can see from the following episodic titles (which you can click on to see the episode):

  1. Stop Punishing People After They Have Been Released From Prison January 30, 2015 by Jeremy Haile
  2. These Five Corporations Are Making Millions From Mass Incarceration January 21, 2015 by James Kilgore
  3. The School-to-Prison Pipeline Starts in Preschool March 31, 2014 by Mychal Denzel Smith
  4. Higher Profits Explain Why There Are More People of Color in Private Prisons February 7, 2014 by Joshua Holland
  5. Just Kids (in Prison for Life) December 31, 2013 by Matt Stroud
  6. Land of the Free? US Has 25 Percent of the World’s Prisoners December 16, 2013 by Joshua Holland
  7. Report: “Low-Crime Tax” Keeps For-Profit Prisons Profitable September 20, 2013 by Joshua Holland

Not to be outdone (but he still needs a few episodes to catch up to Bill), Jon Oliver discusses our penchant for prison, mandatory minimums, and bail.john-oliver-last-week-tonight (2)

  1. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison
  2. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mandatory Minimums
  3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Bail
  4. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Public Defenders

By now, you’re asking yourself, what can I do? I know because you wouldn’t have read this far down the post, otherwise. So, yes, you can help. You can help by voicing your concerns to elected officials, advising them to invest in schools not prisons, and you can advocate for those who received sentences that do not or no longer fit the crime. We need pardons and commutations to reduce sentences that were mandatory, especially for judgments that no longer are applicable. You can also help “Witness to Innocence” produce a short documentary that shares the incredible journey of our many Witnesses to Innocence.”

Lastly, we can take the words of Pope Francis to heart and action:

“This time in your life can only have one purpose: to give you a hand in getting back on the right road, to give you a hand to help you rejoin society,” the pope said in the gymnasium of the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. “All of us are part of that effort, all of us are invited to encourage, help and enable your rehabilitation.”

Pope Francis also rebuked society for not doing enough to rehabilitate prisoners. “It is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities,” the pope said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “It is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society.”

Pope Francis greets inmates during his visit to Curran-Fromhold correctional facility.
Pope Francis greets inmates during his visit to Curran-Fromhold correctional facility. Photograph: David Maialetti/AP