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Prisons Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

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My Child Is Incarcerated. One Second in This Unjust System Is Too Much.

By Editors' Choice

By Esther Hernández— For several years, I have met weekly with a remarkable group of mothers and one father who, like me, are fighting for the release of their adult children from Chicago-area prisons. We call ourselves the Mothers of the Kidnapped. My new sisters and brother, all in a group no parent wants to join, speak powerfully to the loss of their children and to the agony of being caught up…

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Biden touts his administration’s first steps on racial disparities

By News & Current Affairs

Regardless, civil rights advocates plan to push him to go big to eliminate disparities. By Maya King— The four executive orders President Joe Biden signed on Tuesday on advancing racial equity marked the new administration’s first major address of systemic racism. They signal that Biden plans to attack the problem with sweeping policy changes mandating cooperation across multiple federal agencies — a bold departure from previous administrations which rarely tackled racial inequities…

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Nkechi Taifa

Personal statement of Nkechi Taifa on the granting of compassionate release to William Underwood

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Nkechi Taifa, Esq.— The godsend of the granting of compassionate release to William Underwood today is a matter of preparation and persistence meeting opportunity.  The blessing is the story of a family that never gave up.  Lawyers who were relentless.  The power of strange bedfellows.  And it is a story of the constant demand for justice. William Underwood is a devoted father of four, a grandfather and a former…

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Prison Phones

Op-ed by Dr. Ben Chavis: Stopping the Exploitation of Prisoners and Their Families Requires More Comprehensive Solutions

By Commentaries/Opinions

By: Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.— Companies charge for every call made from prisons across America. But it’s the families and friends of the incarcerated person who end up paying those bills. Stopping the Exploitation of Prisoners and Their Families Requires More Comprehensive Solutions 2020 brought renewed global focus to issues of social justice in America.  From the racial disparities and inequities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic to the killings of…

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Long before President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19, the pandemic was ravaging the country’s poor neighborhoods and prisons.

How Jair Bolsonaro and the Coronavirus Put Brazil’s Systemic Racism on Display

By Reparations

By Anakwa Dwamena, The New Yorker — Several months before the coronavirus first arrived in Brazil, this spring, a series of man-made tragedies befell Maria Marques Martins dos Santos. On November 12th, dos Santos, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of three, whose five-foot frame is crowned by curly brown hair, was at her home, in Favela do Amor, in São Paulo. Just after midnight, her fourteen-year-old son, Lucas, went out to buy soda and…

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#Blaxit: Black Americans leave US to escape racism, build lives abroad

By News & Current Affairs

By Kim Hjelmgaard, USA Today — Editor’s Note: If interested in this article, you may also be interested to know that The Right of Repatriation is included in NAARC’s 10 Point Reparations Program. “Africans in America who choose to exercise the right to return will be provided with sufficient monetary resources to become productive citizens in their new home..” – Read it here. Okunini Ọbádélé Kambon knew: He was arrested in Chicago…

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Prison Phones

Affordable phone calls for the incarcerated take on new urgency in the pandemic

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

By Rebekah Barber, Facing South — During this time of pandemic-related social distancing, phone conversations are helping people stay sane and connected. But incarcerated people, who are among the most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, face significant barriers when it comes to accessing phone calls, which are more vital than ever given restrictions on in-person visits. Prison telecommunications is a $1.2 billion industry dominated by Securus Technologies, headquartered in Carrolton, Texas, and Global Tel…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Old, Sick and Incarcerated

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux — There were 4623 incarcerated people over 65 in federal prisons during the first week of May. Until May 12, Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s one-time campaign manager, was one of them. The 71-year-old petitioned the court for release to home confinement because of his age, heart condition, and “fear of coronavirus.” Yet the federal correctional institution that housed Manafort had no coronavirus cases, and Manafort had…

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NABCJ Position Statement on PPE for Frontline Workers in the Correctional Arena from COVID-19

By Black Family Summit News, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice Position Statement on Personal Protection for Frontline Workers in the Correctional Arena from COVID-19 By NABCJ — NABCJ is an affiliated organization of IBW21 Black Family Summit The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have deemed the Coronavirus (COVID -19) a world pandemic, however, some of the most vulnerable across the United States are in the…

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Prison Labor -

Federal Prison Factories Kept Running as Coronavirus Spread

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

Prisoners have made furniture, license plates and government uniforms during the pandemic. In a factory, social distancing is almost impossible. By Cary Aspinwall, Keri Blakinger and Joseph Neff, The Marshall Project — As the coronavirus spread across the country, Patrick Jones kept reporting to his job in the textile factory at the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana. He’d worked there for years, sewing tidy buttonholes on government uniforms. Though the highly contagious virus…

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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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