mass incarceration

This Is How A Prison’s Debate Team Beat Harvard

Harvard University vs Prison debate

Bard College, New York is creating real change in the prison industrial complex. Beating Harvard University in a debate is only a small feat when we take into account the many who will be released from prison with a leg up over some that have never seen prison walls. The international “Ban the Box,” which counsels employers across the globe to eliminate judging employment applicants first on whether or not they have been imprisoned, along with prisoners leaving prisons work ready heals societies already burdened with economic trials.

The BPI is the largest prison education program in the U.S. Almost 300 incarcerated men and women are currently pursuing degrees in six prisons across New York State. Yet, gaining admission to the program is no small feat. Applicants are required to write an essay and go through a rigorous interview process.  “It’s a very difficult, very grueling process,” Kenner noted. “But it’s one that rewards student initiative. And something that we take very, very seriously.” In July, BPI was awarded a $1 million grant from the Ford Foundation to help support its work for higher education in prisons and innovations in criminal justice reform.

Source: This Is How A Prison’s Debate Team Beat Harvard

Advertisements

Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Portions Of Federal ‘3 Strikes’ Sentencing Laws |

The United States Supreme Court amended the residual clause  of the Armed Career Criminal Act used to imprison many for non-violent offenses. This has resulted in the mass incarceration of many individuals in already marginalized communities. Occupy Democrats

A “residual clause” in the ACCA allowed third time felons to be sent to prison for any crime that ” presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” That potential risk could include drunk driving, fleeing police, failing to report to a parole officer and even attempted burglary. It seemed to be used as a catch-all sentence enhancer for the sole purpose of throwing people in prison for years longer than they deserved to be. 

The lawmakers in many states are contractually required to fill up the beds in private prisons; so it’s not too hard to figure out why the ACCA is such a popular sentence enhancer. Private prisons have even been known to sue state governments if they aren’t filed to capacity- making taxpayers foot the bill for low crime rates. It’s an absolute travesty and a key piece in the conservative war against minorities and the poor, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and destroying communities around the country. Today’s ruling means Congress will have to clarify the law and you can bet that private prison lobbyists are about to throw even more money at lawmakers, but hopefully it sounds a death knell for mass incarceration in our nation.

via Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Portions Of Federal ‘3 Strikes’ Sentencing Laws |.

Arkansas’s Blood Stained Soil: 237 People Killed In Elaine Race Riot Lynching Massacre | Kulture Kritic

The EJI study is blunt and forthright in its conclusions, stating, “These lynchings were terrorismAfrican-American men, women, and children were forced to endure the fear, humiliation, and barbarity of this widespread phenomenon unaidedLynchings were violent and public events that traumatized Black people throughout the country and were largely tolerated by state and federal officials…many African-Americans who were never accused of any crime were tortured and murdered in front of picnicking spectators (including elected officials and prominent citizens).”

In tying the trauma and systemic violence of lynchings to mass incarceration the study illustrates how the acceptance of casual death and suffering through lynching is present in the current criminal justice system by stating, “Mass incarceration, racially biased capital punishment, excessive sentencing, disproportionate sentencing of racial minorities and police abuse of people of color reveal problems in American society that were shaped by the terror era.”

via Arkansas’s Blood Stained Soil: 237 People Killed In Elaine Race Riot Lynching Massacre | Kulture Kritic.

Congratulations, Charlo Greene : ‘F**k It, I Quit’ Reporter Celebrates Alaska Marijuana Legalization | #OYRchallenge

charlogreenepicEx-Anchorwoman Charlo Greene (Charlene Egbe) for KTVA celebrates her work with Alaska winning the fight to legalized marijuana for recreational use. Greene’s business, The Alaska Cannabis Club, served as the only clearinghouse connecting Alaskan medical marijuana card holders with legal suppliers. Legalizing recreational marijuana in her state not only boosts her business, but lowers the stats for those imprisoned for non-violent crimes in America.

Women of Power organizations, clubs, and seminars draw hundreds of women, yet no one celebrated Charlo Greene’s explosive  on the air exit from her KTVA Anchorwoman position except the media. Greene’s choosing her business over profitable employment should empower many women — and men to consider free enterprise. The November 5, 2014 Huffington Post article goes more into detail about what this means to Alaskan politics. Enjoy and a hearty Congratulations, Charlo Greene. #OYRchallenge

Charlo Green quits, September 22, 2014 video:

“Honestly I don’t even know what to say right now aside from the fact that we just made history,” Greene said in a video posted to her Facebook page early Wednesday morning. “It’s a fact. We just made history for doing a good thing. Congratulations.

via ‘F**k It, I Quit’ Reporter Celebrates Alaska Marijuana Legalization.

NYPD Cop Allegedly Steals $1,300 In Stop-And-Frisk, Pepper Sprays Victim | VIDEO | #OYRchallenge

“I believe that this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft. This assumption was wrong,” Marinelli said. “Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer deserving respect.”The lawyer told the New York Post that his client had $1,300 on him so he could treat he and his wife to a night on the town in celebration of his 35th birthday.“

The cops thought they could just go in his pockets, take his money, mace him and leave,” Marinelli said. “If there wasn’t a video, nobody would believe this happened.”

via NYPD Cop Allegedly Steals $1,300 In Stop-And-Frisk, Pepper Sprays Victim VIDEO.

Fury of Ferguson descends on St. Louis County Council| St. Louis Post |#OYRchallenge

Ferguson, MO residents go after the St. Louis County Council. They would not be dismissed nor did they allow any  other county business to be heard for 2 hours until they got their point across. No Justice. No Peace. One photo displayed below expresses the truisms of many municipalities’ response to public outcry, – NEXT! Ferguson residents stood their ground against a stone-faced panel and their own race-collaborators.

St. Louis County Council

Do you really want to discuss Solar panels – NOW? Not happening!

Excerpt

CLAYTON • The fury of Ferguson descended on the seat of St. Louis County with a vengeance Tuesday night with demonstrators unleashing a torrent of chants, invective and threats at a County Council that listened for two hours in stunned silence….

Ferguson City Council Meeting September 2014

Ferguson residents go up against County Council, September 2014

#OYRchallenge
via Fury of Ferguson descends on St. Louis County Council : News.

Attica Is All of Us: Cornel West on 40th Anniversary of Attica Prison Rebellion | Democracy Now! | #OYRchallenge

This week marks the 40th anniversary of another 9/11 tragedy: the Attica prison rebellion. On September 9, 1971, prisoners took over much of state prison in Attica, New York, to protest conditions at the maximum security prison. Then Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered state police to storm the facility on the morning of September 13. Troopers shot indiscriminately more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, killing 39 male prisoners and guards.

via Attica Is All of Us: Cornel West on 40th Anniversary of Attica Prison Rebellion | Democracy Now!.

Payback (Trailer) 2012

Margaret Atwood’s visionary work Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth is the basis for this riveting and poetic documentary on “debt” in its various forms-societal, personal, environmental, spiritual, criminal, and of course, economic.

“How we think about it changes how it works.” ~ Margaret Atwood