Tuesday, July 29, 2003

US prison population 2.1 million

The US prison population grew more than twice as fast last year as in 2001, bringing the total number of people held behind bars in the United States to more than 2.1 million, a record, according to a government report.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics said the overall number of inmates held in US federal and state prisons as well as county jails and other correctional facilities was up 2.6 per cent in 2002, compared to a 1.1 per cent increase the previous year.

However, the figure was significantly lower than the growth rate in 1995, when the number of US inmates [prisoners] grew by a whopping 6.7 per cent. The bureau, a branch of the US Justice Department, did not provide any explanation for the spike.

But the Justice Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, blamed the situation on politicians' reluctance to spend significant money on crime prevention at a time of severe budget shortfalls due to a sluggish national economy.

"As legislators are struggling to fund education, health care, and stave off spending cuts, many are continuing to choose to pay for an expensive justice system that damages communities, and does not produce safe, healthy neighbourhood," commented Jason Ziedenberg, the institute's director of policy and research.

All in all, US correctional facilities held 2,166,260 individuals [prisoners] at the end of last year, according to the report. These included more than 1.2 million state prisoners, more than 151,000 in federal facilities and more than 665,000 in local jails. More than 110,000 individuals [prisoners] were incarcerated in both public and private juvenile facilities [prisons], while the immigration and customs service held more than 8,700 individuals [prisoners.]

Posted by Just Us 29 July 03


McKean Federal Prison: An Alleged Model
McKean, a federal correctional institution [? prison], does everything that "make 'em bust rocks" politicians decry--imagine, educating inmates [prisoners]! And it works. [Allegedly works.]

Prisoners Justice Day Press Release (Montreal)
On August 10th, 1974, Eddie Nalon bled to death in a solitary confinement unit at Millhaven Maximum Security Prison near Kingston,Ontario when the emergency call button in his cell failed to work. An inquest later found that the call buttons in that unit had been deactivated by the guards.

Notebook of a Prison Abolitionist
In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass recalls how as a slave he would occasionally hear of the "abolitionists." He did not know the full meaning of the word at first, but he heard it used in ways that he found appealing.

Study Warns of Rising Tide of Released Prisoners
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Incite Statement Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex
We call social justice movements to develop strategies and analysis that address both state AND interpersonal violence, particularly violence against women.

Second International Conference on Human Rights & Prison Reform
**This second gathering will be much smaller and more in depth in participation. A report on the human rights violation of discrimination in regard to prisoners will be produced. This report will be given to the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights which will be having its annual meeting near our conference and is the"think tank" for the human rights agenda of the United Nations.

Judged Forever- The Orange County Register
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California Family Visiting Case
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Prison Rates Among Blacks Reach a Peak, Report Finds
An estimated 12 percent of African-American men ages 20 to 34 are in jail or prison, according to a report released yesterday by the Justice Department.

Justices question prison visitation policies
WASHINGTON: In a case that could affect the visitation rights of millions of prisoners, Supreme Court justices on Wednesday struggled with the question of whether inmates have a constitutional right to visits with friends and family.