Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Urban Institute Report on Federal Prisons

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From the abstract:
The federal prison population exceeds 218,000, a tenfold increase since 1980. This massive growth is projected to continue and is accompanied by increasing costs, which account for 25% of the Department of Justice's budget and edge out other important public safety priorities. This brief describes the main drivers of the federal prison population, half of whom are drug offenders. Front-end decisions about who goes to prison and for how long have the greatest impact, suggesting that reductions in sentence lengths -particularly for drug offenders - can most directly contain future growth. "Back-end" changes, such as increasing earned credits for early release, can also help alleviate the pressure. The federal system can learn much from state efforts to contain prison populations and costs; doing so will require the cooperation and support of numerous players across all branches of the federal system.
Access the report here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Publication Announcement

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Thanks to PCARE's own Eleanor Novek for passing this along!

"Torture in United States Prisons - Evidence of Human Rights Violations," 2nd edition.

Published by the American Friends Service Committee, Northeast Region Healing Justice Program. Edited by Bonnie Kerness, MSW, Coordinator, a longtime prison activist. The book can be ordered via e-mail at bkerness@afsc.org. or by telephone at 973-643-3192.

It is free for prisoners and $3.00 for others.

This 93-page pamphlet includes testimonies of torture being committed in US prisons as well as relevant and graphic prisoner art and photographs. The testimonies are prefaced by the United Nations Covenants and Treaties which are violated by the treatment described. The book can be used by educators, lawyers, advocates and other practitioners who want to hear the direct voices of courageous people in prison speaking out about the practice of "no touch" torture, and the abuse of chemical and physical restraints in US prisons domestically and overseas.