Fri Feb 8, 2013, 09:39 PM
Enrique (27,461 posts)
Corrections Corporation of America celebrates Black History Month
We can honor Dr. King's legacy by embracing his dream of equality for all people – regardless of race, creed or color. We can also make a decision to be of service – to take actions that improve our communities and, ultimately, our society.
—Damon Hininger, President and CEO, Corrections Corporation of America
That quote comes from a short message from Mr. Hininger entitled, "Celebrating Black History Month." It's a fine sentiment that would be unobjectionable but for the fact that it's utterly incompatible with the fundamental mission of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which profits from the incarceration of over 80,000 men and women each day, whom they variously describe as a "revenue stream" and "unique investment opportunity."
Nowhere in Mr. Hininger's message is it mentioned that 38 percent of CCA's "revenue stream" consists of black men and women, or that his company spends millions of dollars each year to influence campaigns and lobby elected officials to keep that revenue stream flowing into CCA's prisons. His message is also silent on the tragic realities that result from the laws and practices that make his business possible:
1 in 9 black men age 20-34 are behind bars.
A black man born today will have a 1 in 3 chance of going to prison during his lifetime.
Today, there are more black men in prison and jail, or on probation and parole, than were slaves before the start of the Civil War.
Indeed, there is nothing about the modern criminal justice system that promotes equality for all people. As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised by felon disenfranchisement laws than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was passed to prohibit laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race. Spending time in prison means a lifetime of higher unemployment, lower income, and minimal social mobility; because such a high percentage of black men are incarcerated, we're actually seeing widening racial income inequality. These are the consequences of CCA's business.
What's most unsettling about Mr. Hininger's missive is that it's so completely unconscious of the reality that his company supports and depends upon a system of mass incarceration that has devastated the black community, and that has done more than anything since Jim Crow to perpetuate a racial caste system in America. CCA might celebrate Black History Month, but no part of Black History Month celebrates CCA.
7 replies, 1298 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Corrections Corporation of America celebrates Black History Month (Original post)
|Joe Shlabotnik||Feb 2013||#1|
|Fire Walk With Me||Feb 2013||#5|
Response to Enrique (Original post)
Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:16 AM
ProSense (116,464 posts)
7. Federal Prison Population Spiked 790 Percent Since 1980
Federal Prison Population Spiked 790 Percent Since 1980
By Nicole Flatow
The U.S. federal prison population has increased almost 790 percent since 1980 from about 25,000 inmates to 219,000 in 2012, according to a new Congressional Research report. Federal prisons make up the largest component of a U.S. prison system that dwarfs all others in the world. The agency tasked with providing policy analysis to Congress attributes the spike to a host of tough-on-crime reforms that include draconian mandatory minimum sentences, the elimination of parole for any federal crime committed after 1987, and increasing enforcement by federal officials:
Research by the Urban Institute found that increases in expected time served contributed to half of the prison population growth between 1998 and 2010. The increase in amount of time inmates were expected to serve was probably partially the result of inmates receiving longer sentences and partially the result of inmates being required to serve approximately 85% of their sentences after Congress eliminated parole for federal prisoners.
Noting diminishing safety returns in incarcerating nonviolent individuals in prison for short-term stints, CRS urges Congress to consider repealing or reducing the sentences for mandatory minimums, repealing federal criminal statutes wholesale, and expanding early release and probation programs, particularly for nonviolent criminals, which in 2010 made up just 6.4 percent of the federal prison population. Those incarcerated for drug and immigration offenses, meanwhile, make up well over half of the federal prison population.
The federal government has yet to follow suit, although Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy recently called sentencing and drug reform a major priority for the coming congressional session. And just yesterday, two members of Congress introduced a new measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol in those states that have legalized it.
The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues,and Options