I went from prison to professor – Here's why criminal records should not be used to keep people out of college -
The Conversation US by Stanley Andrisse
Beginning next year, the Common Application – an online form that enables students to apply to the 800 or so colleges that use it – will no longer ask students about their criminal pasts.
As a formerly incarcerated person who now is now an endocrinologist and professor at two world-renowned medical institutions – Johns Hopkins Medicine and Howard University College of Medicine – I believe this move is a positive one. People’s prior convictions should not be held against them in their pursuit of higher learning.
While I am enthusiastic about the decision to remove the criminal history question from the Common Application, I also believe more must be done to remove the various barriers that exist between formerly incarcerated individuals such as myself and higher education.
The Long Term, Resisting Life Sentences, Working Toward Freedom,
Edited by Alice Kim, Erica R. Meiners, Audrey Petty, Jill Petty, Beth E. Richie, and Sarah Ross.
The editors have worked in Illinois prisons and cover the broad range of issues comprising the the title, including a section on abolition politics. One of the chapters is by Monica Cosby, "On Leaving Prison: A Reflection on Entering and Exiting Communities"
The voices of those experiencing life in the long term are often not heard. This collection of essays and personal stories from the people most impacted by long-term incarceration in Stateville Prison bring light to the crisis of mass incarceration and the human cost of excessive sentencing. Compelling, moving narratives from those most affected by the prison industrial complex make a compelling case that death by incarceration is cruel and unusual punishment.
Implemented in the 1990’s and 2000’s harsh sentencing policies, commonly labeled “tough on crime,” became a bipartisan political agenda. These policies had real impacts on families and communities, particularly as they caused the removal of many non-white and poor individuals from cities like Chicago.
The Long Term brings into the light what has previously been hidden, a counter-narrative to the tough on crime agenda and an urgent plea for a more humane criminal justice system. The book is a critical contribution to the current debate around challenging the mass incarceration and ending mandatory sentencing, especially for non-violent offenders.
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America's Other Family-Separation Crisis
The New Yorker by Sarah Stillman
... America imprisons women in astonishing numbers. The population of women in state prisons has increased by more than eight hundred per cent in the past four decades. The number of women in local jails is fourteen times higher than it was in the nineteen-seventies; most of these women haven’t been convicted of a crime but are too poor to post bail while awaiting trial. The majority have been charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession, shoplifting, and parole violations. The result is that more than a quarter of a million children in the U.S. have a mother in jail. One in nine black children has a parent who is, or has been, incarcerated. ...
You’ve Served Your Time. Now Here’s Your Bill.
Huffington Post By Chandra Bozelko and Ryan Lo
September 16, 2018
...(T)he economic exploitation of prisoners doesn’t end when they’re released. In 49 states, inmates are charged for the costs of their own incarceration.
The way this works varies. In some states, formerly incarcerated people are sent bills, and in others they are charged fines (sometimes called legal financial obligations, or LFOs). Some states collect the cost of incarcerating someone through windfall statutes, grabbing any inheritances, lottery winnings or proceeds from litigation.
Robbed’ of His Life by a Wrongful Conviction, He’s Now Free, and Bewildered
New York Times by Edgar Sandoval
October 2, 2018
Larry McKee at the Bronx corner where a fight derailed his life. Mr. McKee, 47, spent two decades in prison for a murder there, which he has maintained he did not commit.
Mr. McKee spent two decades in prison for a murder he has long maintained he did not commit. Eight months ago, a state judge threw out his conviction on the recommendation of the Bronx district attorney’s office, which determined important evidence had never been given to the defense.
From Prison to Parole an ex-con's transition
Chris Carney, an ex-convict, rebuilds a life in the real world after landing a job as a building superintendent
Getting Out of Prison Meant Leaving Dear Friends Behind
The Marshall Project : By ROBERT WRIGHT
... I grab my mattress, as inmates are made to do, along with a few personal belongings—photo albums, holiday cards, and personal letters—and walk out of my cell. I turn around, mentally bidding farewell to the tomb in which I spent the last nine years of my life. I’ve only told a few people I was going home. How can I look into the eyes of a man who will probably spend the rest of his life in captivity and tell him that my exodus has come? We were comrades in sorrow. What united us was pain. What now could I say to this friend to convince him we are still in this fight together? ...
Article: Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.
May 26, 2018 NBC | Adam Edelman
Half the states bar ex-cons from getting the occupational licences they need to re-enter the workforce. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say it doesn't make sense.
Mike Grennan, a former convict who's getting by piecing together small construction gigs in Port Huron, Michigan, says he's paid his debt to society — but, when it comes to getting an occupational license to be a home-building contractor, he just can't outrun his criminal past.
That's because Michigan, like two dozen other states, has laws on the books that prevent ex-felons like Grennan from getting the professional licenses they need to work in a variety of blue-collar trades, including cutting hair, welding, doing makeup and cosmetics, construction and more.
Life on Parole — FRONTLINE and The New York Times' investigation of one state’s effort to reduce recidivism and lower prison populations by rethinking how parole works.
With unique access inside Connecticut’s corrections system, the film follows four former prisoners as they re-enter society and navigate the challenges of more than a year on parole — including finding work, staying sober and parenting -- all under intense supervision from the state.
From Vaughn Gresham, who was arrested for the first time at age 16, to Jessica Proctor, who spent nearly a decade behind bars for assault with physical injury, Life on Parole is a remarkable, firsthand look at why some people stay out of jail, why some go back, and how one state is trying to break the cycle of recidivism.
"I make a living on second chances — that’s what parole is," Officer Katherine Montoya says in the documentary.
Don't miss this inside look at how one state's experiment with second chances has played out for offenders, the communities they return to, and the system that's responsible for supervising them.
When They Get Out: how prisons
Atlantic (1999) by Sasha Abramsky
Popular perceptions about crime have blurred the boundaries between fact and politically expedient myth. The myth is that the United States is besieged, on a scale never before encountered, by a pathologically criminal underclass. The fact is that we're not. After spiraling upward during the drug wars, murder rates began falling in the mid-1990s; they are lower today than they were more than twenty years ago. In some cities the murder rate in the late twentieth century is actually lower than it was in the nineteenth century. Nonviolent property-crime rates are in general lower in the United States today than in Great Britain, and are comparable to those in many European countries.
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive