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January 2, 2012

"Getting Prison Numbers Down — For Good"

The title of this post is the title of this effective, lengthy piece by Malcolm Young appearing at The Crime Report.  The piece reviews in detail some state sentencing and corrections reforms, and here are excerpts making some important broader points:

Some commentators are celebrating the decrease in prison population numbers reported for 2010 by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — and they should.

Any attention to mass incarceration is welcome in a nation where prison reformers, community groups, advocates from across the political spectrum, major foundations, and many policymakers favor reducing prison incarceration — currently at levels that have no peacetime historical or international precedent.

Yet despite evidence that the U.S. as a whole may at last have turned away from the annual increases in state prison incarceration that began in the early 1970s, it remains to be seen whether progress toward meaningful reductions will proceed at a pace necessary to have a significant impact on the phenomenon.  The basis for broad-based and deep change in sentencing and corrections practices has not yet emerged....

Certainly, the recession has forced policymakers to look to corrections to reduce costs, prompting efforts to reduce incarceration in conservative as well as liberal states: Connecticut, Indiana, Texas, Michigan, New York, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi to name a few.

But the economy as one factor is hardly the same as the economy as an underlying, broad-based engine driving reform.  And against “tough on crime” political assaults, fiscal responsibility stands up like a candle in a hurricane....

Even if we apply these lessons from states that have succeeded in reducing prison incarceration, something is still missing.  Except among highly committed corrections staff, advocates and a handful of political leaders, it is difficult to discern evidence of a genuine consensus favoring reductions in prison populations.

So far, neither the dollar nor human costs of a massive system of incarceration and its racial and class impacts, have ignited a widespread, energized political or social movement opposite of that which resulted in mass incarceration. This has to be a concern if there is any chance of reversing four decades of prison expansion.

January 2, 2012 at 02:30 PM | Permalink

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From the article.

"Malcolm Young was founding executive director of The Sentencing Project, past executive director of the John Howard Associaion of Illinois, and is currently a Soros Senior Fellow directing a project in employment reentry at Northwestern Law School’s Bluhm Legal Clinic."

= credibility of David Duke, PhD. Yes they are learned. Both cite facts and statistics. However, their bias and hate is so extreme these are highly selective, and amount to worthless propaganda, with wrongheaded conclusions.

"The ACLU is Jew filled. The ACLU is making war on Christmas. Therefore Jews are making war on Christmas." No, you moron. Most Jews love Christmas and celebrate it themselves.

"Blacks are overrepresented in prison. Prison destroys the employment prospects of inmates. Therefore imprisonment is racially motivated to keep black men poor, a wrong worthy of a social protest movement." No, you moron. The feminist lawyer destroyed the black family, and bastardy is the cause of black over representation in prison. Therefore a social protest movement should attack feminist lawyers. And the reason for the lack of enthusiasm for a protest movement to free all the black criminals? 90% of their victims are black themselves, and these criminals will wreak havoc on their black neighborhoods, and hurt mostly black crime victims.

No V word in that article, not a single reference.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 2, 2012 3:18:39 PM

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