Mass Incarceration: Not OK

Updated: Nov 12, 2019



Research by Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as Oklahoma City's ABC affiliated channel called KOCO, in June 2018 about updated mass incarceration statistics study Oklahoma's increase in inmate retention to recently surpass Louisiana as first in imprisonment rates. However, another state locking more people up is not reason to celebrate. Louisiana has a long way to go in making progress.

Louisiana still corruptly spends taxpayer money on incarcerating people for profit via policy regardless of reforms to minimize arrests. Lack of reduction in prisoners despite a decrease in arrests is due to the continued lockup of people who do not need to be in jail just because it is someone's job. Follow the Money of Mass Incarceration from Prison Policy Initiative.

Prison Legal News on motivation to keep people incarcerated, March 2017: “Sheriffs build prisons, and they make money off of those prisons by housing state prisoners, which is good, it can do more for its citizens, it creates jobs, but because those prisons need to make a profit, we have to put more people in there," stated Paul Carmouche, who served as a Caddo Parish District Attorney for 30 years before becoming a defense attorney. “The amount of money that the state spends to keep people in jail is significant. The debate is, well, it’s worth it because it keeps us all safe," said career defense attorney Peter Flowers. "Well, I understand that, and I think to some, when it does keep us all safe, that’s a good thing. But what happened is there’s a lot of people being kept in jail that pose no danger to us and the reason for that, in my mind, it’s just easier that way.”

Today someone can be arrested in America simply for not being born here. Articles by NPR on Supreme Court Immigration Ruling, February 2018, and ACLU Detained Children Abuse Report, May 2018, show that people who have done nothing wrong are being treated like animals in a zoo.

As reported on by community outlets (such as American Association of Geographers in February 2018, Washington Post in October 2017, and American Civil Liberties Union in June 2017), our current state policy in action is providing free labor to the sheriff's department. It has nothing to do with public safety, redemption, restoration, or self-improvement. Saving money is valued more than others' lives.

More than 800 out of every 100,000 residents are imprisoned (if including statistics by the ACLU of Louisiana, LA incarceration rates have been double the U.S. average at 1,619:100,000). The ratio of African Americans, who make up only 32% of Louisiana's population, outnumber whites in incarceration by an evaluation of 2:1. These are just Louisiana state statistics. Research by the Equal Justice Initiative shows that the U.S. only has 5% of the world's population but nearly 25% of its prisoners. What about progress?

Links:

Following the Money of Mass Incarceration

Report: Oklahoma Tops States in Incarceration Rate

Fight to cut Louisiana’s High Mass Incarceration Rate Must Continue

ACLU of Louisiana on Mass Incarceration

American Civil Liberties Union on Louisiana Prisoners

LA Times on Inequality

American Association of Geographers: Carceral State

The Washington Post on Working Prisoners

Equal Justice Initiative on Mass Incarceration

NPR on Supreme Court Immigration Ruling

NPR on ACLU Detained Children Abuse Report

Free Your, Have a Heart: Fight Mass Incarceration