THE FOLLOWING IS FROM BLACK AGENDA REPORTS
Time For A Political Response to the Crisis of Mass Incarceration: Join the Campaign To End Mass Incarceration
- Because the U.S., with 4.5 % of the world's population, has 25% of the planet's prisoners. We are the world's first prison state.
- Because African Americans, who are one eighth the nation's population, are almost half it's 2.3 million prisoners, and because Latinos, also an eighth of the U.S., are more than a quarter of the locked down.
- Because prisons do not make us safer. Incarceration rates DO NOT match rates of crime or drug use. Whites, blacks and Latinos have nearly identical rates of drug use, but the "war on drugs" is almost exclusively prosecuted in nonwhite and poor neighborhoods. Local police funding is often tied to drug arrests, and nonwhites are universally charged with more serious crimes, convicted more frequently, and sentenced more harshly than whites.
- Because former prisoners are viciously and almost universally discriminated against in housing, employment, health care and the right to vote for the rest of their lives.
- Because if Dr. King were alive today, he too would oppose the prison state the U.S. has become.Time For A Political Response to the Crisis of Mass Incarceration: Join the Campaign To End Mass Incarcerationby BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon