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End Mass Incarceration Now
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, May 25, 2014
Posted: June 2nd, 2014

For more than a decade, researchers across multiple disciplines have been issuing reports on the widespread societal and economic damage caused by Americas now-40-year experiment in locking up vast numbers of its citizens. Several recent reports provide some of the most comprehensive and compelling proof yet that the United States has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits, and that mass incarceration itself is a source of injustice. That is the central conclusion of a two-year, 444-page study prepared by the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The report highlights many well-known statistics: Since the early 1970s, the nations prison population has quadrupled to 2.2 million, making it the worlds biggest. That is five to 10 times the incarceration rate in other democracies. A report by Human Rights Watch notes that ... in its embrace of incarceration, the [US] seems to have forgotten just how severe a punishment it is. The severity is evident in the devastation wrought on Americas poorest and least educated, destroying neighborhoods and families. From 1980 to 2000, the number of children with fathers in prison rose from 350,000 to 2.1 million. Since race and poverty overlap so significantly, the weight of our criminal justice experiment continues to fall overwhelmingly on communities of color, and particularly on young black men. After prison, people are sent back to the impoverished places they came from, but are blocked from re-entering society.

Note: For more on the prison-industrial complex in the US, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.

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