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Our Story — New Earth. The Third Reconstruction and the Carceral State. Ta-Nehisi Coates mournfully excavates how the carceral state is deeply entangled in the racial DNA of the United States, and convincingly demonstrates that, for all the talk of a Kumbaya moment in penal reform between the left and the right, the carceral state remains largely intact with barely a nick. In identifying how the carceral state is deeply entangled in the racial, political, social, and economic fabric of the U.S., Coates takes his readers to the edge of dystopian despair.

But Americans need to be careful about not stepping into the abyss: the idea that ending mass incarceration must be predicated on tackling the root causes of crimes such as unemployment, poverty, and unconscionable levels of social and economic inequality stratified by race and ethnicity. Four decades ago, the U.S. had many similar structural problems found today, but it did not have such an expansive penal system. The changes needed to slash the country’s incarceration rate are no mystery. On Mass Incarceration, We Have Reached a Tipping Point | Aspen Institute. Watch video highlights from the related event "Unlocking Communities: Ending Mass Incarceration in America. " The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions, the Center for Community Change, the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, and the Vera Institute of Justice recently held an event called "Unlocking Communities: Ending Mass Incarceration in America" featuring in-depth conversation on the mass incarceration crisis (watch our YouTube playlist of the videos from this event).

Below, My Brother's Keeper Alliance members Scott Budnick and Shawn Dove explain why now is the time to address the incarceration crisis. The path to prison does not begin the moment a crime is committed. For boys and young men of color, the risk of incarceration exists at nearly every stage of life. Nearly 2.3 million Americans are currently in prison, and the Prison Policy Initiative reports that nearly 80 percent of them are black and Latino males -- despite making up only 15 percent of the U.S. population. Activist spends a day in Anniston City Jail - by choice. Ed Moore III stepped out into the sunshine of Saturday afternoon from the Anniston City Jail. After spending 24 hours there, he said he was grateful for freedom. But Moore wasn't just another inmate.

The civil rights activist, founder of the Justice & Civil Rights Initiative, spent the night in jail by choice as part of a "mock inmate project," to get an idea of what it's like behind bars. Working with the City of Anniston, City Manager Brian Johnson and Police Chief Shane Denham, Moore asked for permission to spend 24 hours in the city jail. He was booked in at 5 p.m. Friday, wearing a wig and street clothes, and released this afternoon, spending the whole time in solitary confinement. Moore said he wanted to experience a night in jail to increase his awareness of the criminal justice system, evaluate inmate living conditions and get inside the mindset of someone who is incarcerated.

"As I came in, all the inmates were sitting down to eat," he said. What did he learn? Obama administration may soon announce experimental access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students. The U.S. Department of Education is poised to announce a limited exemption to the federal ban on prisoners receiving Pell Grants to attend college while they are incarcerated. Correctional education experts and other sources said they expect the department to issue a waiver under the experimental sites program, which allows the feds to lift certain rules that govern aid programs in the spirit of experimentation. If the project is successful, it would add to momentum for the U.S. Congress to consider overturning the ban it passed on the use of Pell for prisoners in 1994. “The idea is under consideration,” a department spokesperson said. Sources said the Obama administration backs the experiment, and that it would be unveiled this summer.

A likely scenario would be for state and federal prison education programs from a handful of colleges to become eligible for Pell Grants. Even a limited experiment will provoke controversy. “People go back as workers and parents,” said Steurer. Names Do Hurt: The Case Against Using Derogatory Language to Describe People in Prison. Too often, news stories about people in prison or jail use dehumanizing language to describe those under government control. While this coverage draws attention to widespread abuses in the criminal justice system, it frequently undercuts the humanity of the people featured with derogatory phrases.

The term “inmate” is the most pervasive of these words; it is widely used by judges, prison and jail officials and staff, and the media. Far from being neutral, this word objectifies and disparages people who are imprisoned. We encourage writers to jettison this term once and for all, and instead to talk about “people in prison or jail”—phrasing that emphasizes the personhood and humanity of each individual before locating that individual in an institution of punishment. In its exhaustively reported investigative series, “Women, Incarcerated,” RH Reality Check delved into the problems routinely faced by women who are pregnant or parenting from behind prison walls. Action Center | California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Amy Preasmyer’s powerful article was just published in the SF Bayview. CCWP has visited Amy for several years and supported her when she wanted to write about her recent terrible experience with Administrative Segregation at CCWF.

A strategy meant to break me fuels my passion for human rights October 16, 2013 by Amy Preasmyer I am an inmate at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, California. This little girl and her grandmother and hundreds more traveled to CCWF, California’s main women’s prison, in January for the Chowchilla Freedom Rally to demand, “Bring our loved ones home.” The federally mandated Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) protocols and the complexity of its consequences turned my world upside down in seconds.1 This protocol has no intelligence or consideration of the law or constitutional rights that the judicial system offers and in many cases merely lacks.

When a Cartoonist Landed in L.A. County Jail, She Drew What She Saw, Using Only a Golf Pencil - Los Angeles. In June 2014, I was arrested for violating a court order. I bailed out on July 3. But because I had no money and an overworked public defender, I knew I’d have to serve time for my violation. That’s when my mentor, animator-director Ralph Bakshi, advised me to “document my exploits.” Jailed in the women’s division of the Los Angeles County jail system for two months, I was sent first to Century Regional Detention Facility (CRDF) in Lynwood and then to Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles for my final three weeks.

Armed with nothing more than a golf pencil and whatever paper I could get my hands on, I drew the strange world into which I’d been dropped. One of the most difficult parts about jail is traveling to and from court. It’s a long, arduous day that begins at 4 a.m. and often doesn’t end until after midnight. The dreaded squat-and-cough: You have to do it every time you enter the jail. A few deputies were kind, but about a quarter of the L.A. From Prison to NYU. The Only Man Who Can Fix Mass Incarceration Is Barack Obama. Waiting for Congress or the courts or a popular movement to fix America's prison crisis is a waste of time. Lauren Giordano/The Atlantic Today, like any other day, there are around 2.4 million people incarcerated in America’s federal, state, and local prisons and jails. Together, the nation’s inmates would constitute the fourth biggest city in the United States, knocking Houston down a notch. Expand that grouping to everyone under correctional control, including probation and parole, and you’d have a metropolis of nearly 7 million, second only to New York.

Finally, reunite the number of people that see the inside of a jail cell in a given year, and you’d have a prison city with a population as big as New York and Los Angeles combined (11.6 million). This is not because society is struck by criminality. Mass incarceration cripples families and communities, perpetuates poverty, recreates conditions for crime, and institutionalizes a form of racial control. For writers in juvenile hall, sentences can be liberating - LA Times. Eminem's "The Monster" ricocheted off the cinder-block walls and worn linoleum floor at Sylmar's Juvenile Hall. I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed Get along with the voices inside of my head You're trying to save me, stop holding your breath And you think I'm crazy, yeah, you think I'm crazy Ten teenagers, some of them awaiting trial on charges of murder, attempted rape or armed robbery, sat around a makeshift table in a hallway near the guard station, eyes closed, heads nodding to the beat.

In the middle of the group, appearing scarcely older than the inmates and wearing a dark hoodie and canvas sneakers, Scott Budnick asked the young men to write about the lyrics that spoke to them. One had caught his eye. "I think it refers to you guys sometimes — 'Save me from myself and all this conflict / 'Cause the very thing that I love's killing me and I can't conquer it.'" Magic, then 17, smiling broadly, told Budnick that was the very passage he underlined.

"He's relentless. Gonzalez.pdf. Prison Arts Project | William James Association. What is the Prison Arts Project? The major program of the William James Association is the Prison Arts Project (PAP), created through the vision and efforts of Eloise Smith. A pilot project was set up in 1977 at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville, with funding provided by the San Francisco Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Eloise Smith’s vision was based simply on the value of providing all individuals with the most meaningful art experience possible; in her words, “that mysterious life-enhancing process we call the arts, a realm in which patient application and vivid imagination so often produce magic.”

The success of this initial program led to the formation of Arts-in-Corrections, an administrative office within the California Department of Corrections, which oversees the staffing of artist-facilitators at all prisons in California. Philosophy - a prison inmate Research. Documentaries: Watch The University of Sing Sing videos including trailers, previews & clips on Education. California Death Penalty System Is Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules. LA QUINTA, Calif. — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that California’s death penalty system is so arbitrary and plagued with delay that it is unconstitutional, a decision that is expected to inspire similar arguments in death penalty appeals around the country.

The state has placed hundreds of people on death row, but has not executed a prisoner since 2006. The result, wrote Judge Cormac J. Carney of United States District Court, is a sentence that “no rational jury or legislature could ever impose: life in prison, with the remote possibility of death.” That sense of uncertainty and delay, he wrote, “violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.” About 40 percent of California’s 748 death row inmates have been there more than 19 years. Judge Carney, who was appointed by President George W. Calling it “a stunningly important and unprecedented ruling,” Elisabeth A. Douglas A. “But,” he added, “that’s a heck of a lot easier said than done.” Mr. Mr. Eric M. Arts in Corrections. Arts in Corrections A Glowing Hope By Boston Woodard Since the eighteenth-century, prisoners of every ilk develop methods to survive in the tumultuous and violent insanity inherent throughout the history of the prison system.

It was a consuming struggle just to find a meal each day in the early days of confinement, as the authorities made little or no provision for the support of prisoners. It took more than a hundred years for society to figure out that those who meticulously manufactured the U.S. Constitution clearly wrote it for all citizen’s -- including prisoners. Prisoners have historically been an under represented group within the social strata and in this epoch of ‘Three Strikes, You’re Out,” brought on by the “tough on crime” crowd, the atmosphere inside prison walls has become enveloped by a shadow of hopelessness and frustration, as even the most liberal members of our society turn their backs on prisoners and their families for fear of appearing to be soft on crime. Historic Prison Tours. Being Poor Has Never Been A Crime In Our Country. Until Now. Arts In Corrections – Pilot Project | William James Association. The WJA Prison Arts Project, in collaboration with the California Lawyers for the Arts, is undertaking a $65,000 arts-in-corrections initiative testing the benefits of arts programs for incarcerated persons. It has been launched at several state prisons with funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and several private foundations.

With this seed funding we are coordinating a series of 8 to 12-week courses at five California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) sites across the state. Lawrence G. Brewster, Professor of Public Administration at the University of San Francisco School of Management, is leading a formal evaluation of the demonstration project. “These art programs offer inmates an opportunity to develop discipline and work skills, while learning to express themselves in constructive ways. It’s exciting to work with Dr. Past studies of arts-in-correction programs have shown favorable outcomes. Update 8.29.13.pdf. CRED/ability | Developing accredited training programmes for delivering arts in prisons. Shakespeare Behind Bars | PRISON ARTS PROGRAMS – Adult Population. The Prison Performance Network This is a networking/storytelling site for people who facilitate performance work with prison inmates. The purpose of this site is to share information about our work, so that we may learn from and support each other as practitioners, and so that we can serve as a resource for others who are interested in this work. Actors’ Gang – Prison Project The Gang recognizes and promotes the fact that the Arts have the power to effect change in the lives of people and thereby can create change in society.

As part of our education work, we propose to bring theater workshops, led by professional actors, into adult correction facilities. The Gang’s experienced team of artists and facilitators work with a diverse range of groups including young people at risk of offending, adult drug users and adult prisoners. Art and Culture in Prison Project – Europe Arts in Prisons, Inc. Cultural Odyssey Fine Cell Work Geese Theatre Company Insight-Out Insight Prison Project The Medea Project. Something Extraordinary Is Happening at Ironwood State Prison | Scott Budnick.

I know a good movie when I see one, but recently I had a day that was more fascinating, inspiring and compelling than the greatest of films. And every minute of it was real. Picture driving on a desolate two-lane road, past one low flat building after another, before seeing the tall steel fences and razor wire that signal your destination: a maximum security prison, blazing hot, in the middle of the desert, not far from the border between California and Arizona, an hour past the sunny vacation destination of Palm Springs. After several checks of your identification and passing through multiple sets of sliding steel gates, you're directed down a long sidewalk with an empty yard on one side and concrete buildings on the other. It's eerily quiet, though you know 3,280 men live here in a space built for 2,200. But inside these concrete buildings, something extraordinary is happening. Most of the men at Ironwood are in for hard time -- though not necessarily for hard crime.

The National Academies Press. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. End Mass Incarceration Now. Razor Wire Women | A blog about women, prisons, the arts, and activism. Buy the book! The Bard Prison Initiative: Bringing Hope to a Broken System / News / Higher Education for Social Justice / Educational Opportunity and Scholarship. Education in prison | New Pittsburgh Courier. Words Within the Walls - A Journal for Youth in Jail. Exactly Where America's Prison System Went Wrong, in One Simple Video. Faculty Focus: Lori Pompa. Search/node?keys=incarceration. Workshops look at transforming Pa. inmates. Women in Prison. New York State in Deal to Limit Solitary Confinement. Study: Nearly Half of Black Men Arrested by Age 23. CJJ | The Coalition for Juvenile Justice. This World Map Shows The Enormity Of America's Prison Problem. Rights When The Cops Pull You Over. Tim Robbins uses acting classes to help prisoners ‘create new truths for themselves’

Officials open Security Housing Unit at Corcoran prison to reporters. California Reentry Council Network | Bringing Community Collaborations Together to Support Sucessful Reentry. Contact | California Reentry Council Network. Episode 4 | Freedom | Watch The March @50 Online. L.A. County literacy initiative reaches juvenile offenders. Reforming America's Criminal Justice System | Cory Booker for Senate. New York City Spends More Than $167,000 Per Inmate Every Year. Journal of Educational Controversy - Article: Feeding the School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Convergence of Neoliberalism, Conservativism, and Penal Populism. Restorative Justice Is on the Rise | Molly Rowan Leach. University of San Francisco (USF) - Restorative Justice.

Tim Robbins and Wayne Kramer show support for arts in prisons. Joint Committee on the Arts: Undereducate/Overincarcerate - Can the arts help turn this around?on Assembly Access. Edited by Stephen John Hartnett, Eleanor Novek, and Jennifer K. Wood | Working for Justice: A Handbook of Prison Education and Activism. Lyrics on Lockdown: Art and Transformation from the Inside Out | IOW.

The Prison Industrial Complex. Sociation Today Fall 2006, Volume 4, Number 2. Safe Communities, Fair Sentences. Mandatory Sentences Face Growing Skepticism. Long Prison Terms Eyed as Contributing to Poverty. Harvard's Bruce Western advocates new prison, rehabilitation policies | Harvard Magazine Mar-Apr 2013. Incarceration rate for African-Americans now six times the national average.

Rd_Changing Racial Dynamics 2013.pdf. US: A nation of inmates? - Inside Story Americas. Media | Equal Justice Initiative. Doc/publications/inc_Trends_in_Corrections_Fact_sheet.pdf. Dangerous Worlds: Teaching Film in Prison. Prison Town, USA.

Why Mass Incarceration Defines Us As a Society | People & Places. Sally Lee: Teaching in Prison's Shadow. California Coalition for Women Prisoners. How Corporations Make Money from Prison Labor: They’re Happy to Have More Inmates. Pell Grant Fact Sheet.pdf. Prisoners in 2011. Research « Art Therapy In Prisons. INTERVIEW + VIDEO: Angela Davis. Mandatory Sentences Face Growing Skepticism. Why Mass Incarceration Defines Us As a Society | People & Places. New Documentary, ‘Broken on All Sides,’ Calls Mass Incarceration of Blacks the ‘New Jim Crow’ SoundCloud. Shining our spotlight on: Auburn Correctional Facility » Correctional Association of New York: Correctional Association of New York: A Force for Progressive Change in the Criminal Justice System Since 1844. Boxed In | The true cost of Extreme Isolation in New York's prisons.

Juvenile In Justice. Youth 4 Justice » Mission and History. Essential PIC Reading. Humanizing Justice.