Overincarceration

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:28pm
Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system has failed on every count: public safety, fairness and cost-effectiveness. Across the country, the criminal justice reform conversation is heating up. Each week, we feature our some of the most exciting and relevant news in overincarceration discourse that we’ve spotted from the previous week. Check back weekly for our top picks.
Why Are We Spending So Much To Lock Up Elderly Prisoners Who Pose Little Threat?

Why Are We Spending So Much To Lock Up Elderly Prisoners Who Pose Little Threat?

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 3:07pm

Elderly prisoners are the least dangerous group of people behind bars but the most expensive to incarcerate. Yet despite this truth, the number of elderly prisoners is skyrocketing. Harsher sentences for less serious crimes – one defining characteristic of our failed “tough on crime” and “war on drugs” policies – are responsible for this staggering increase in the number of older prisoners, and taxpayers are taking the hit.

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:12pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

Blame Mass Incarceration on Sentencing Policies, not Mass Crime

Blame Mass Incarceration on Sentencing Policies, not Mass Crime

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 5:16pm

Any competent explanation of why our prison population has grown by 700 percent since the early ‘70s will involve a number of factors, including changes in demographics and in the way prosecutors charge defendants. But new research confirms what…

Two Frustrated Federal Judges Show Us How to Have a More Fair and Effective Justice System

Two Frustrated Federal Judges Show Us How to Have a More Fair and Effective Justice System

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:52pm

In 2010, 22-year-old Jamel Dossie served as a middle-man in a series of hand-to-hand crack sales. After three transactions involving a federal informant, Mr. Dossie had handed over – “sold” – a total of 88.1 grams, or 3.1 ounces,…

States Take Sizeable Steps in 2012 to End Overincarceration

States Take Sizeable Steps in 2012 to End Overincarceration

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:48pm

As states begin to realize that they can reduce their prison populations safely, the pace of reform has begun to pick up a bit this year. State legislative sessions are coming to a close, which makes it a good time to review the actions lawmakers…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:15pm
Illinois Advances Bill to Encourage Prisoner Rehabilitation - Earlier this week, the Illinois Senate voted 55-1 in favor of reinstating a retooled program for well-behaved inmates to reduce their sentences. The bill would allow a prisoner
What We’re Doing About Louisiana’s Prison Crisis

What We’re Doing About Louisiana’s Prison Crisis

By Marjorie Esman, ACLU of Louisiana at 12:02pm

The Times-Picayune recently finished an exposé of the crisis in the Louisiana prison system. Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, at enormous human and financial cost. In an eight-part series that later became the source…

It’s Time to Value Public Safety over Revenge

It’s Time to Value Public Safety over Revenge

By Mike Tartaglia, Paralegal, National Prison Project & Andrew Waks, National Prison Project at 5:31pm

As America’s prison population has grown to unprecedented levels and imposed record-high costs on taxpayers, it is time to evaluate what we hope to achieve through incarceration: is it revenge, or safety? The two values appear to be in conflict…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:56pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

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