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Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in America

Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in America
A prison is a trap for catching time. Good reporting appears often about the inner life of the American prison, but the catch is that American prison life is mostly undramatic—the reported stories fail to grab us, because, for the most part, nothing happens. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich is all you need to know about Ivan Denisovich, because the idea that anyone could live for a minute in such circumstances seems impossible; one day in the life of an American prison means much less, because the force of it is that one day typically stretches out for decades. It isn’t the horror of the time at hand but the unimaginable sameness of the time ahead that makes prisons unendurable for their inmates. The inmates on death row in Texas are called men in “timeless time,” because they alone aren’t serving time: they aren’t waiting out five years or a decade or a lifetime. The basic reality of American prisons is not that of the lock and key but that of the lock and clock.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/01/30/120130crat_atlarge_gopnik

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The Sentencing Project News - Incarceration “Felon voting” sounds ominous but in Minnesota, it poses a potent political and civil rights question: When should felons who are trying to rebuild their lives regain their right to vote? People convicted of a felony lose that right as part of their punishment. The Minnesota Constitution denies the right to “a person convicted of treason or felony, unless restored to civil rights.” In Minnesota, such rights cannot be restored until the person has first completed all the terms of the sentence, including incarceration, probation and parole and supervised release.

The Abu Ghraib of Los Angeles? The state has also faced lawsuits over prison conditions; click for a slideshow. From Brown v. PlataOn Wednesday, citing "a sick culture of deputy-on-inmate hyper-violence [that] has been flourishing for decades in the darkness of the L.A. County Jails," the ACLU sued the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department seeking better training for deputies, and better oversight, investigation, and discipline in cases involving prisoner mistreatment. Business is Booming for the Prison Profiteers Private corrections company The GEO Group celebrated the holiday season by opening a new 1,500 bed prison in Milledgeville, Georgia on December 12th. The $80 million facility is expected to generate approximately $28.0 million in annual revenues. Though GEO (formerly Wackenhut) is hardly a household name, they are a major player in the private corrections sector, combining a self righteous amorality in profiting from human misery with a ruthless sense of just how to make a buck in this business.

The end of the for-profit prison era? Early this year, the United Methodist Church Board of Pension and Health Benefits voted to withdraw nearly $1 million in stocks from two private prison companies, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). The decision by the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States came in response to concerns expressed last May by the church’s immigration task force and a group of national activists. “Our board simply felt that it did not want to profit from the business of incarcerating others,” said Colette Nies, managing director of communications for the board. “Our concern was not with how the companies manage or operate their business, but with the service that the companies offer,” Nies added. “We believe that profiting from incarceration is contrary to church values.”

"Private Prisons Don't Work" Social Issues: Prisons "Private Prisons Don't Work" For-profit facilities face a barrage of criticism--and overbuilding has cut into profits and hurt stock prices In the spring of 1999 in western Tennessee, a convicted murderer serving a 220-year sentence scaled the wall of the privately run Mason Correctional Facility in broad daylight.

Incarceration in the United States Sentenced USA prisoners under jurisdiction of State and Federal correctional authorities, as a Percent of Population. 1925–2003. Does not include prisoners held in the custody of local jails, inmates out to court, and those in transit.[3] 6,977,700 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2009.[4][5] A graph showing the incarceration rate under state and federal jurisdiction per 100,000 population 1925–2008. Does not include prisoners held in the custody of local jails, inmates out to court, and those in transit.[3] The male incarceration rate is roughly 15 times the female incarceration rate. Inmates held in custody in state or federal prisons or in local jails, December 31, 2000, and 2009–2010.[6]

Inside the secret industry of inmate-staffed call centers By msnbc.com staff and NBC News Inmates at Greene Correctional Institution in Coxsackie, N.Y., staff a state Department of Motor Vehicles call center. When you call a company or government agency for help, there's a good chance the person on the other end of the line is a prison inmate. On-the-Spot Support: Using the Scaffolding Technique in Your Teaching Approach When you think about scaffolds, you probably visualize the structures used during construction to support workers and materials. Scaffolded instruction is very similar, in that the teacher applies educational techniques to support the thought processes of the student. Teachers break lessons into smaller pieces and provide assistance to allow the student to master the material. Scaffolding offers an approach that is ideal for dissecting complicated material. Understanding the Basics of Scaffolding

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law hide captionGlenn Nichols, city manager of Benson, Ariz., says two men came to the city last year "talking about building a facility to hold women and children that were illegals." Laura Sullivan/NPR Last year, two men showed up in Benson, Ariz., a small desert town 60 miles from the Mexico border, offering a deal.

The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States SOURCE: AP/ California Department of Corrections Eliminating the racial disparities inherent to our nation’s criminal-justice policies and practices must be at the heart of a renewed, refocused, and reenergized movement for racial justice in America. By Sophia Kerby | March 13, 2012 This month the United States celebrates the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965 to commemorate our shared history of the civil rights movement and our nation’s continued progress towards racial equality.

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