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"With this work I hope to bring that ideal one small step nearer, but no one realizes so well as I how far short of my goal I have fallen.

The road stretches into the dim future, far beyond the possible accomplishments of any single lifetime, but if in this I have been able to point the direction and inspire others to carry on from the point where I have left off, I shall consider my efforts worthwhile."

Robert F. Stroud (The Birdman of Alcatraz) June 1, 1937

Downsizing Prisons: How To Reduce Crime And End Mass Incarceration by Michael Jacobson. Over 2 million people are incarcerated in America's prisons and jails, eight times as many since 1975. We no longer have the revenue to continue prison expansion while supporting education, health care, and lower taxes. Jacobson offers solutions and strategies, including: changing parole and probation agencies, reducing punitive sentencing or "technical" parole violations, and supporting drug-treatment programs for low-level drug offenders.

At least 95% of all state prisoners will be released.

Prisons are long-term state or federal operated facilities. Jails are short-term, holding, and detention facilities operated by local government. People in jails are frequently awaiting trial and are legally innocent. Some are awaiting sentencing others are convicted but serving short sentences for relatively minor crimes.

There were less than 200,000 US inmates in state and federal prisons in 1971. The state and federal population by the end of 1996 was 1.2 million. Local jails brought the total number of inmates up to nearly 1.7 million. The growth rate of the prison population more than quadruples the overall growth of general population. From 1991 to 1996, the increase of prisoners in Texas out of a population of 18 million was 80,000; equal to Germany, a nation of over 80 million people. Criminal Offenders Statistics

Incarceration rates since the sharp increases of the 1980s and 1990 are rising at a slower rate.

In 2004:

Nearly 7 million people, 1 in every 31 adults, were on probation, in jail, or prison, or on parole. Probation and Parole in 2004

Out of a total of 1,421,911 inmates; 1,244,311 were in state custody and 170,535 were in Federal custody. Prisoners in 2004

713,990 persons were in held in local jails awaiting trial or serving a sentence. 70,548 persons were serving a sentence in the community. Prison & Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004 and Probation and Parole in the United States, 2004

Between 1995 and 2004, the incarcerated population grew at an average of 3.4% annually. Population growth for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2004 was lower in State prisons, up 1.8%, than in local jails, up 3.3%, and Federal prison up 5.5%. Prisoners 2004

The School-To-Prison Pipeline And The Private Prison Industry -- As if the US did not have a bloated enough prison population –our school systems are being transformed into yet another way to funnel people into the private prison system.

Federal oversight of prison healthcare in California is nearing an end, six years after he ruled that abysmal medical conditions were contributing to an inmate death every week.

Behind bars at San Quentin, California's Death Row. Merle Haggard served three years in San Quentin, Kevin Kemp served 10 years for second degree murder and worked on death row. The wife of Erik Menendez describes their visit behind bars.

The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor -- Goods have long been produced by state and federal prisoners for the US government, but prison labor for the private sector was barred to avoid unfair competition with private companies. This has changed thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison Industries Act and PIE. -- The Nation

Prisons/Corrections Resources, Facilities, and Organizations. MegaLaw

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Library offers services and resources covering corrections, criminology, sociology, psychology, and business. Federal Bureau of Prisons Library

Prison Legal News. Prison Legal News

Guantanamo Bay News. Scotsman

Prisons in the UK. Guardian Unlimited

Innocence Project provides representation and investigative assistance to convicted prison inmates who claim to be innocent. Truth in Justice

Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC). Progressive information on prisons and the criminal prosecution system. Prison Activist Resource Center

US notches world's highest incarceration rate. By 2010, the number of Americans in prison or with prison experience is expected to jump to 7.7 million, 3.4 percent of all adults. Christian Science Monitor

The Land of the Jailed. Will the prison population peak? Time

Banking on Bondage: Mass Incarceration and Private Prisons -- The history of prison privatization finds that private prison companies boom with immigration detention post September 11 with a tight hold on elected and appointed officials.

Controlling Sexually Violent Predators: Continued Incarceration at What Cost?--Sexually violent predator (SVP) laws incarcerate people not for what they have done, but because of what they might do. Recent recidivism data challenges the core motivation for the SVP laws—that sex offenders cannot control themselves.

Petty criminals doing hard time. The US has the largest incarcerated population on earth, incarcerating over one fifth of the world's prisoners. San Francisco Chronicle

Social Work, Corrections, and the Strengths Approach. The shift from social work to custodial care in the criminal justice system parallels the move from rehabilitation to punishment. Katherine van Wormer Professor of Social Work and Mary Boes Associate Professor of Social Work University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls

The Sentencing Project promotes reform in sentencing laws, practice, and incarceration alternatives by working for a fair and effective criminal justice system. Sentencing Project

ACLU's National Prison Project advocates for justice policy reform and increased awareness of the social and fiscal ramifications of increased incarceration and decreased rehabilitation. American Civil Liberties Union

As communities across the country face the exodus of700,000 prisoners, FRONTLINE filmmakers return to Ohio to tell this disturbing story: what happens to mentally ill offenders when they leave prison. The Released is an intimate look at the the seriously mentally ill as they struggle to remain free. Typically, these offenders leave prison with a bus ticket, $75 in cash, and two weeks' worth of medication. Studies show that within 18 months, nearly two-thirds of mentally ill offenders -- often poor and cut off from friends and family -- are re-arrested.FRONTLINE's previous film, The New Asylums, went inside the Ohio prison system as it struggled to provide care to thousands of mentally ill inmates.

Society of Professional Journalists’ guide to state media access policies governing correctional facilities and inmates. Society of Professional Journalists

America's brutal prisons are where inmates are savaged by dogs, electrocuted with cattle prods, and burned by toxic chemicals... Information Clearing House

Florida prisoner beaten. Due to his refusal to submit to anal sex, he suffered a serious eye injury after an inmate assaulted him with a knife. He chronicled unsuccessful efforts to get authorities to protect him. After 6 months of threats and attacks he attempted suicide. He wrote: "The opposite of compassion is not hatred, it's indifference." Human Rights Watch

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is responsible for 185,000 Federal offenders -- 85 percent are in Federal prisons, others are in state, local, or private correctional facilities. Federal Bureau of Prisons.

New Orleans: Prisoners Abandoned to Floodwaters. Officers deserted a jail building, leaving inmates locked in cells. Human Rights Watch

Rikers Island jail is a temporary home to 80% of NYC's 14,600 inmates, has 9 jails for men and 1 for women. Two-thirds of the inmates are legally innocent detainees, awaiting trial. One-third are sentenced and serving a less than a year or are waiting for a bed in a prison. Rikers daytime population, of prisoners, employees, and visitors is nearly 20,000. CBS Broadcasting

A Prison Where Detainees Disappear -- The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), has an attrocious reputation for violations of constitutional and human rights. It is the high-security federal prison where Arabs and South Asians are taken after being nabbed from taxis, mosques, and their homes. For months immigrants disappear into isolation, accused of no crime that justifies their jail time or treatment. Village Voice

The Rock. Alcatraz penitentiaryfrom the mid 1930's through the mid 1960's, held the most incorrigible inmates. Brief narratives on their famous inmates. Alcatraz History

Richmond, Va Civil War Prisons and places used as prisons. Civil War Richmond

Union and Confederate Civil War Prison Camps. (Census Diggins)

Out of Sight, Out of Mind. The men inside California's sprawling San Quentin State prison are absent from the public's consciousness. About 174 African Americans have been executed for killing a white person, while only 12 whites have been executed for killing a black person. University of California Berkeley

The crime of black imprisonment. Rather than devoting resources to proven failed strategies like massive imprisonment, we should pursue strategies to build a human society and prevent crime. The Committee to End the Marion Lockdown 3/27/95

California prisoners face poor health care and neglect despite their right to medical treatment. San Diego Union-Tribune

WHO Health in Prisons Project. The HIV/AIDS epidemic, tuberculosis, and communicable diseases have a high prevalence in prisons. HIPP was formed in 1995 to address prison health.  World Health Organization

Stop Prisoner Rape. SPR ends sexual violence in detention through institutional accountability, attitude changes toward prisoner rape, and resources for sexual assault victims behind bars. Stop Prisoner Rape

The National Institute of Justice estimates 80% of prisoners, probationers, and parolees have substance related problems. Public Broadcasting System

Families Left Behind: The Costs of Incarceration and Reentry. More than half of the 1.4 million incarcerated adults in state prisons have minor children; over half are under 10. Parents are incarcerated an average of 100 - 160 miles from their children. More than half receive no visits from their children. The telephone company surcharge costs make collect calls expensive. The Urban Institute

The Children of San Quentin. Fatherless families are stigmatized with "guilt by association." Children of incarcerated fathers can cycle into the same vicious antisocial behavior. A huge percentage of children with a father in prison will end up there themselves. Pacific Sun Newspaper

Prisons, Prisoners & Outlaws Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

From Prison to Home. The effect of incarceration and reentry on children, families, and communities. US Department of Health and Human Services The Urban Institute

Post Incarceration Syndrome. PICS contributes to relapse and high recidivism rates among addicted and mentally ill offenders released from correctional institutions. Terence T. Gorski

Highly structured behavioral treatment that targets high risk offenders' criminal attitudes, values, and behaviors reduce re-offense rates by 30 percent. Alive & Free

At a 1987 libel trial, after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice, by lying and besmirching other's reputations Lord Jeffrey Archer, was sentenced to 4 years work in the theater at Old Bailey, an open prison. He still attended the House of Lords, made laws; went home every weekend, maintained his social life and signed a book deal worth 10 million. Scotsman

Puppies Behind Bars. Inmates train puppies to be guide dogs for the blind and explosive detection canines for law enforcement. Puppies Behind Bars

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Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2011


Go Directly to Jail: the Criminalization of Almost Everything. Due to federalization and mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, the centralized American criminal justice system is punitive. Go Directly to Jail examines proposes reform, fairness and common sense.

Convict Criminology by Jeffrey Ian Ross, Stephen C. Richards -- The book includes provocative discussions of rehabilitation, recidivism, drug addiction, life inside different prison systems, transincarceration, discrimination against felons, fathers in prison, and children in adult jails. The book merges autobiographical stories with criminological research to introduce a convict perspective that includes new ideas, vocabulary, and policy recommendations.

Inside Rikers: Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony by Jennifer Wynn -- Rikers Island penal colony, a world unto itself, has its own power plant, schools, hospital, even a tailor. But the 16,000 people forced to live there, unlike free worlders, are "usually known by their single worst deed." How can NYC, home to the sharpest business minds in the country, spend $860 million a year on inmates with a 75% rate of return to prison after release.

Aging Prisoners: Crisis in American Corrections
by Ronald H. Aday There are more elderly offenders entering the criminal justice system or growing old behind bars. Aday addresses challenges and issues local, state, and federal corrections systems face handling this group. The current state of our prisons, crime patterns among the elderly, problems associated with long-term inmates, treatment of older women prisoners, and the possibility of an elderly justice system.

Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion by Joy James The US has the highest incarceration rate in the industrialized world, over 2 million people in jails, prisons, and detention centers; over 3 thousand on death row, one of the few developed countries that continues to deploy the death penalty.

Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover became a New York State corrections officer: "I wanted to hear the voices one truly never hears, the voices of guards--those on the front lines of our prison policies, the society's proxies." Conover with other new recruits, undergo 7 weeks of pseudomilitary preparation at the Albany Training Academy. Then off to Sing Sing. Conover details how the guards experience confinement at the hands of the inmates. Instead of feeling like a big, tough guard, the gallery officer at the end of the day often feels like a waiter serving 1,800 inmates convicted of violent felonies: murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, assault, kidnapping, burglary, arson.


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