UPDATE: April 24, 2012. Mississippi’s department of corrections canceled its contracts with the GEO Group for all of the private prison facilities it had run in Mississippi. You can read more here.
Youth incarcerated at a privately-run correctional facility in Mississippi will no longer have to live in a nightmarishly abusive and violent environment. They will no longer be regularly subjected to beatings, sexual abuse, and long periods of solitary confinement. Earlier this week, a settlement was announced in a federal lawsuit that demands that children who are housed at the facility be moved elsewhere. The facility is run by the GEO Group, the nation's second-largest operator of private prisons.More »
Just over a year ago, many of our members read Michelle Alexander's book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness and participated in a conference call with the author. In the book Alexander writes about how racism in the criminal justice system works to create a modern caste system in the United States. Check out the Democracy Now! interview with Michelle Alexander and Randall Robinson (founder of TransAfrica) that broadcast earlier this month.More »
New Orleans is the only major city in the United States that funds its jail based on a per diem system, billing the city $22.39 per day for every individual held at Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). Much like the model for private prisons, this has created a perverse incentive to keep more people in jail on a daily basis. More prisoners for more days equals more money for the Sheriff's budget. We're working with our New Orleans partners and allies to do something about this.More »
When we saw this article in the Huffington Post we knew we had to share it. News like this is a powerful reminder of how significant our members' advocacy can be. We all know that the so-called war on drugs has proven to be an all out war on communities of color across the nation. But victories in the battle against discriminatory drug policies are slowly paying off. Today new federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine become permanent, and next week more than 1,000 federal inmates become eligible for immediate release.
ColorofChange.org members consistently pressured Congress to eliminate the disparity in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine offenses, so news of a halt in prison population growth is of particular importance to our community. Low-income Black and Latino communities have been devastated by discriminatory drug policies -- policies that have contributed to placing in one in nine Black men between the ages of 20 and 34 behind bars. Victories in the past year have begun to turn the tide. Before Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act in the summer of 2010, there was a 100-to-1 disparity in sentences for crack and powder cocaine offense. Now there's an 18:1 ratio.More »