February 20, 2013
Some notable recent NPR coverage of modern incarceration realitiesI was pleased to hear on my local NPR station this afternoon, while I was driving around in my Prius looking for a good place to get a latte, this lengthy feature story concerning US incarceration levels on the On Point program. Here is how the program is described via its website:
The Cost Of Prison: States fed up with high prison costs and mandatory sentencing move to change. Must the U.S. be number one in prisoners?
The USA is number one in the world when it comes to the number of people in prison. Bigger than China. Bigger than Russia. America’s prison population is tops. 2.2 million. Bigger than fifteen American states. And its incarceration rate is number one..... All that American imprisonment is very expensive. And very debatable when it comes to effectiveness, fairness -- to justice itself. Now states across the country are reconsidering the mandatory sentencing policies and more that filled those cells. This hour, On Point: slimming down American prisons.
In addition, last week NPR had two new pieces as part of this special series titled "The Legacy And Future Of Mass Incarceration." Here are links and brief descriptions:
Decades On, Stiff Drug Sentence Leaves A Life 'Dismantled': George Prendes was 23 when he was sentenced under New York's Rockefeller drug laws — tough mandatory sentencing guidelines for nonviolent drug crimes. The 15 years Prendes served for a drug transaction still reverberate for him and his family.
The Drug Laws That Changed How We Punish: Forty years ago, New York enacted tough laws in response to a wave of drug-related crime. They became known as the Rockefeller drug laws, and they set the standard for states looking to get tough on crime. But a new debate is under way over the effectiveness of such strict sentencing laws.
February 20, 2013 at 06:21 PM | Permalink
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