December 21st, 2018
#NoMoreShackles: Why Electronic Monitoring Devices Are Another Form of Prison [OP-ED]
In his recent New York Times video essay “Prisoners Deserve a New Set of Rights,” rapper Meek Mill lists the many ways that the criminal legal system fails to protect and uphold the rights of the accused—from arrest, through sentencing and all the way up to release. Mill says, “We had the right to be silent. Now it’s our right to speak up,” as he goes on to describe how formerly incarcerated people are systemically barred from a range of resources.
One thing to add to Mill’s powerful set of demands though is the right to return home freely without being digitally imprisoned.
It is well known that the United States has the highest prison population in the world, however our system of mass incarceration extends beyond the lives of those who are locked away. At this time, there are 5 million people under some version of correctional control—usually within the form of probation or parole. This expansion of parole in particular is ushering in a new wave of technological incarceration with a heavy reliance on electronic monitors.
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