Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orange and the New Black, Reality, American Mass Incarceration

Let's all emerge from our binge-watching and ask a different question: what, exactly, are we achieving with America's great experiment in mass incarceration?... Prisons were designed to confine people and keep them alive, and not much else. We lock people up, strip them of all authority over themselves, disempower them in a very real way – and then expect them to be able to function in the community after they are released. It simply doesn't work. Indeed, if the intention really is to "correct and rehabilitate" our female prisoners, then we might as well be flushing taxpayer money down the toilet. In New York alone, one-third of women released each year are back in prison within three years. (source infra)

Orange is the New Black in real life is a prison epidemic of too many women in jail – and taxpayers like you in the red | Sadhbh Walshe | "... Reality alert: the United States female prison population has increased 800% in the last three decades. During that same period, the male prison population also exploded, but only at half the rate of the female one. The result is that today, the US imprisons more women than any other country in the world, two-thirds of whom are low-level, non-violent offenders guilty of crimes of poverty and addiction. They are our real-life Taystees and Pousses and Dayas – small-time offenders who rob stores, or forge checks, or use or sell drugs to feed a habit or feed their kids – and their languishing costs you hundreds of millions of dollars...." (read more at link above)

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