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Incarceration Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

An order was signed late Sunday authorizing the release of offenders serving certain types of sentences in county jails.

1,000 inmates will be released from N.J. jails to curb Coronavirus risk

By COVID-19 (Coronavirus), News & Current Affairs

No other state is thought to have taken such sweeping action to reduce its jail population in response to the pandemic. By Tracey Tully, NYT — New Jersey will release as many as 1,000 people from its jails in what is believed to be the nation’s broadest effort to address the risks of the highly contagious coronavirus spreading among the incarcerated. New Jersey’s chief justice, Stuart Rabner, signed an order late Sunday authorizing the…

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Karen Bass

CBC Holds Telephone Town Hall to Address Stimulus Packages

By COVID-19 (Coronavirus), News & Current Affairs

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA — Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) held an emergency telephone town hall on Friday, March 20, to discuss the coronavirus and its impact on the Black Community. The discussion also included the coronavirus’ impact on the prison population and the homeless. “Even though we’re in a crisis, we can’t lose momentum,” Bass stated in kicking off the one-hour discussion. Led by…

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Chris Rabb

Philly lawmaker wants Pa. to pay reparations to the wrongly convicted

By Reparations

By John L. Micek, The Philadelphia Tribune — State Rep. Chris Rabb wants the state to pay reparations to people who are wrongfully sent to prison. In a memo seeking co-sponsors for his proposal, Rabb, D-Philadelphia, notes that Pennsylvania is one of 15 states without a law mandating compensation for innocent people for the years they lose behind bars. “Without a state compensation law, the only option for exonerees to…

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in St. Augustine, Florida. June 1964.

‘Until We Are All Free’: Learning from Tubman, King, and Stevenson

By Commentaries/Opinions

All of them returned to the South’s frontline struggle for racial justice. By R. Drew Smith — In 2020, January remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. are occurring against the backdrop of two high-profile films emphasizing sacrificial servant leadership. First, the film Harriet provided a renewed focus on celebrated abolitionist Harriet Tubman. This biopic chronicles her mid-19th century enslavement in Maryland, her daring escape to a hard-won freedom in Philadelphia, and her…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

The Thriving System of Convict Labor

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux — As 2019 ticked to a close, the screamingly outrageous headlines have not slowed. Every day there is something, whether it is a flurry of presidential tweets or yet another Republican spouting off about something or other. Who would have thought, though, that amid the Christmas holiday we would learn that billionaire candidate Michael Bloomberg is using convicted prisoners to make calls for his campaign? He…

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Aerial view of Rikers Island

Making Sense of the Fight over New York City Jails

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Gabriel Sayegh, Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice — The fight to close Rikers is reaching a boiling point again. Next week, the New York City Council will vote on the land-use proposal for the construction of replacement jail facilities in the boroughs. The proposal is a major component of the City’s contentious plan to close Rikers, and the entire process has generated controversy within the movement to…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Nothing Just About ‘Justice’

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux — Twenty-one-year-old Deandre Sullivan overslept one morning. Selected to serve on a jury, he was supposed to report by 9 a.m. He didn’t awaken until 11 and figured he’d have to pay a fine for his no-show. But hours after he failed to appear, he was hauled into a West Palm Beach, Florida court. There, Judge John Kastrenakus sentenced him to 10 days of incarceration, a fine,…

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Prisons

American Gulag: Our Prisons Get More Oppressive by the Day

By Editors' Choice

By John W. Whitehead, CounterPunch — “The exile of prisoners to a distant place, where they can ‘pay their debt to society,’ make themselves useful, and not contaminate others with their ideas or their criminal acts, is a practice as old as civilization itself. The rulers of ancient Rome and Greece sent their dissidents off to distant colonies. Socrates chose death over the torment of exile from Athens. The poet…

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Central Park 5 Casts a Hideous Glare on the Wrongful Conviction Epidemic

Central Park 5 Casts a Hideous Glare on the Wrongful Conviction Epidemic

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson — The Central Park 5 has been the textbook poster case for the one thing that has consistently and horribly racially disfigured America’s criminal justice system. That’s the stain of wrongful convictions. The 5 have the happy and tragic distinction of being the most celebrated wrongfully convicted prisoners released from prison but in the decade since their exoneration and release hundreds of other prisoners with much…

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Black Lives Matter Poster

The Racist Roots of American Policing: from Slave Patrols to Traffic Stops

By Commentaries/Opinions

But the persistence of racially biased policing means that unless American policing reckons with its racist roots, it is likely to keep repeating mistakes of the past. Connie Hassett-Walker, The Conversation — Outrage over racial profiling and the killing of African Americans by police officers and vigilantes in recent years helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. But tensions between the police and black communities are nothing new. There are many precedents to the Ferguson,…

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