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But a distinguished committee of scholars working for the National Research Council has now reached the striking and convincing conclusion that all of the research about deterrence and the death penalty done in the past generation, including by some first-rank scholars at the most prestigious universities, should be ignored. The committee found that the research “is not informative about whether capital punishment increases, decreases, or has no effect on homicide rates.” No study looks at what really matters, by comparing the deterrent effects of capital punishment with other penalties, like life without parole.
Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars , our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system has failed on every count: public safety, fairness and cost-effectiveness. Across the country, the criminal justice reform conversation is heating up. Each week, we feature our some of the most exciting and relevant news in overincarceration discourse that we’ve spotted from the previous week.
A prison is a trap for catching time.
WASHINGTON - Tough sentencing laws, record numbers of drug offenders and high crime rates have contributed to the United States having the largest prison population and the highest rate of incarceration in the world, according to criminal justice experts.
December 21, 2006 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Two remarkable developments in Washington in the past week highlight the extent to which the United States has become the land of mass incarceration.
June 17, 2011
Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.
That paragraph opens a devastating eight-part series published this month by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans about how the state’s largely private prison system profits from high incarceration rates and tough sentencing, and how many with the power to curtail the system actually have a financial incentive to perpetuate it. The picture that emerges is one of convicts as chattel and a legal system essentially based on human commodification. First, some facts from the series: • One in 86 Louisiana adults is in the prison system, which is nearly double the national average.
Sunday, 05 February 2012 16:34 Written by Marie Diamond, ThinkProgress | Report ThinkProgress has been reporting on the catastrophic economic consequences of Alabama’s harshest-in-the-nation immigration law.
Nile Bowie Activist Post For anyone paying attention, there is no shortage of issues that fundamentally challenge the underpinning moral infrastructure of American society and the values it claims to uphold.
As state governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, a Wall Street giant is offering a solution: cash in exchange for state property. Prisons, to be exact.
November 2, 2011 Executive Summary The imprisonment of human beings at record levels is both a moral failure and an economic one — especially at a time when more and more Americans are struggling to make ends meet and when state governments confront enormous fiscal crises.
Private Prisons, Politics & Profits By Edwin Bender Early the morning of Aug. 12, 1999, Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist took the podium at the 26 th annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council to welcome attendees to Nashville.
i Rate This The Issues of locking up inmates for profit examined in the academic study Prisons, Privatization, and Public Values. The critical decision to transfer jail management from public to private hands has been done very quietly in Thurston County. It is a big decision with the following issues. Opponents of private prisons argue that their incentive to cut costs to maximize profits presents a threat to the safety of prisoners, prison staff, and the public at large.
Federal imprisonment for unpaid debt has been illegal in the U.S. since 1833. It’s a practice people associate more with the age of Dickens than modern-day America. But as more Americans struggle to pay their bills in the wake of the recession, collection agencies are using harsher methods to get their money, ushering in the return of debtor’s prisons .