Drug Policy News
December 5, 2013 (The Sentencing Project)
Race & Justice News
Research: Prosecutors Primary Cause of Persistent, But Stable, Post-Booker Racial Disparity in Federal Sentencing
Foreign-Born Adjudicated Youth Desist at Higher Rates Than Children of Immigrants and the Native-Born
Law Enforcement: Marijuana Arrests and Their Racial Disparity Increased Nationwide Between 2001-2010
School Discipline: School-to-Prison Pipeline Intact in North Carolina and New York, Curbed in South Florida and Los Angeles
International: Non-Whites in UK More Likely to be Incarcerated and to Serve Longer Sentences Than Whites
December 5, 2013 (The Washington Times)
America's for-profit prisons: Greed over justice
Today, in the U.S., there are privately owned for-profit prisons that contractually require states to maintain a certain number of prisoners. If prison populations fall below the agreed upon quota, there are fines the states have to pay to these prison corporations.
There is something terribly wrong with America.
You can even invest in for-profit prison corporations, or the partnership corrections industry, as they prefer to be called.
One such company is Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA for short, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CXW. Started in 1983, the Corrections Corporation of America was the first for-profit prison company.
The more prisoners a facility holds, the more profitable the corporation is. That is good for stockholders, but not for the rest of the citizens of America
December 3, 2013 (Womensenews.org)
Faith-Based Housing Helps Women Leave Prison
Missy Denard prayed for six years before she rented the first home for New Beginnings in Abilene, Texas, for women who have nowhere to go.
That was in 2011. Since then the two-bedroom house with an attached apartment has been housing up to six women and Denard has acquired another house and an apartment building to rent to approximately 65 more women, all with children.
The female population in prisons in the United States continues to grow at an alarming rate. From 2000 through 2009, the number of women incarcerated in state or federal prisons rose by 21.6 percent, compared to a 15.6 percent increase for men. A total of 205,000 women were in U.S. prisons or jail in 2010, with the families and communities being torn apart as a result, according to a report released earlier this year by The Sentencing Project.
As the need grows, some members of religious communities are creating new ways to respond to women leaving prison, including teaching them that Christ loves and forgives them.
December 2, 2013 (The New York Times)
Sunday Dialogue: Using the Power to Pardon
Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, writes: “Professor Levinson issues an eloquent call to President Obama to use his pardon power. We can only speculate about why he’s been reluctant to do so, but for me, political calculation is the only plausible explanation. If so, this seems misguided.
“We’re well past the “tough on crime” days of the 1980s and ’90s, when Democrats and Republicans tried to outdo one another in promoting harsh crime policies. There’s now broad bipartisan support for treatment for drug offenders, re-entry services for people returning home from prison, and even measures to scale back the severity of mandatory sentencing laws. Witness the positive response to Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech this summer decrying the fact that “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long.” Hardly a word of dissent, clearly an indication that the political climate on these issues has shifted in a more compassionate direction.
December 2, 2013 (C-Span)
Reforming Prison Sentencing
Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, talked about the changing political climate for criminal justice reform on C-Span and why he believes the expanding growth and cost of the U.S. prison system has contributed to an increased desire for reform. He also spoke about the findings of his organization on the rapid growth of life sentencing and the impact of the federal drug ban on welfare families. Watch here.