Douglas A. Berman
March 14, 2022
Jail Coverage Initiative releases “Mass Incarceration: The Complete Pie 2022”
Many of us like calling March 14 “Pi Day,” and for sentencing followers at present is very value celebrating as a result of the wonderful people on the Prison Policy Initiative have at present posted their newest, biggest model of PPI’s wonderful incarceration “pie” graphic and related report. “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2022” offers a spectacular accounting of the particulars of who and the way persons are incarcerated in america. As I’ve mentioned up to now, the extraordinary “pies” produced by PPI impart extra data in a single picture than simply about another single useful resource. Right here is a part of the report’s introductory textual content and the concluding dialogue:
Can it actually be true that most individuals in jail are legally harmless? How a lot of mass incarceration is a results of the warfare on medicine, or the revenue motives of personal prisons? How has the COVID-19 pandemic modified selections about how persons are punished once they break the legislation? These important questions are more durable to reply than you would possibly count on. The assorted authorities businesses concerned within the legal authorized system accumulate plenty of knowledge, however little or no is designed to assist policymakers or the general public perceive what’s occurring. As public help for legal justice reform continues to construct — and because the pandemic raises the stakes increased — it’s extra vital than ever that we get the information straight and perceive the large image.
Additional complicating issues is the truth that the U.S. doesn’t have one “legal justice system;” as an alternative, we have now hundreds of federal, state, native, and tribal techniques. Collectively, these techniques maintain nearly 2 million individuals in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 native jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional services, 186 immigration detention services, and 82 Indian nation jails, in addition to in navy prisons, civil dedication facilities, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons within the U.S. territories.
This report provides some much-needed readability by piecing collectively the information about this nation’s disparate techniques of confinement. It offers an in depth have a look at the place and why persons are locked up within the U.S., and dispels some fashionable myths to focus consideration on the actual drivers of mass incarceration and ignored points that decision for reform….
America has the doubtful distinction of getting the best incarceration fee on this planet. Wanting on the large image of the 1.9 million individuals locked up in america on any given day, we will see that one thing wants to alter. Each policymakers and the general public have the accountability to rigorously think about every particular person slice of the carceral pie and ask whether or not professional social objectives are served by placing every group behind bars, and whether or not any profit actually outweighs the social and financial prices.
Even slender coverage adjustments, like reforms to bail, can meaningfully scale back our society’s use of incarceration. On the identical time, we needs to be cautious of proposed reforms that appear promising however may have solely minimal impact, as a result of they merely switch individuals from one slice of the correctional “pie” to a different or needlessly exclude broad swaths of individuals. Protecting the large image in thoughts is essential if we hope to develop methods that truly shrink the “entire pie.”
March 14, 2022 at 11:38 AM | Permalink