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FAILURE OF HUMANITY




        iStockphoto.com/lpettet




                                  The Pennsylvania Prison Soci...
America’s justice system


 Our justice system is
built on legalities — not
fairness
                           The Pennsy...
America’s justice system


As a result, we have seen
rapid growth and severe
overuse of prisons over
the past 25 years
   ...
America’s justice system


There are glaring and
unconscionable
disparities such as …
                           The Penns...
America’s justice system


 Penalties for crack vs.
 powdered cocaine


                           The Pennsylvania Prison...
America’s justice system


 Extraordinarily long
 mandatory sentences for
 minor or coincidental
 involvement in a crime
 ...
America’s justice system

 And, giving juveniles
 with underdeveloped
 mental capacity
 sentences of life without
 parole
...
America’s justice system


 This distorted version of
 justice falls most heavily
 on marginalized
 members of society
   ...
America’s justice system




 The poor


                           The Pennsylvania Prison Society
                      ...
America’s justice system




                   The weak


                           The Pennsylvania Prison Society
    ...
America’s justice system




The unskilled
                           The Pennsylvania Prison Society
                    ...
America’s justice system


The mentally ill


                     www.flickr.com/Yanapaskova



                         ...
America’s justice system

    The undereducated



                           The Pennsylvania Prison Society
            ...
America’s justice system

And, of course, minorities




                           The Pennsylvania Prison Society
      ...
America’s justice system


 Sadly, these are the
 people caught up in our
 obsession with
 punishment
                    ...
America’s justice system

 Some say they wind up
 in prisons because
 they commit the most
 crimes . . .
                 ...
America’s justice system


   … that’s not entirely
           true!


                           The Pennsylvania Prison ...
Unequal justice



In our justice system —


                  The Pennsylvania Prison Society
                  Social ju...
Unequal justice

 Police are more active in
 poorer neighborhoods
 than wealthier
 communities . . .
                    T...
Unequal justice




. . . so more poor people get arrested
                           The Pennsylvania Prison Society
    ...
Unequal justice

 More poor people are
 convicted because they
 cannot afford competent
 defense lawyers
                 ...
Unequal justice

   Minorities receive
   longer sentences
   because prosecutors
   have discretion in
   levying charges...
Unequal justice



 The numbers don’t
       lie . . .

                  The Pennsylvania Prison Society
                ...
Unequal justice
 In 1993, 851 per 100,000 black
 males were incarcerated in South
 Africa under apartheid
 In 2006, 4,919 ...
Unequal justice

 Substantial racial and
 ethnic disparities are
 found in virtually all
 jurisdictions within the
 United...
Unequal justice

Beginning with arrests




                  The Pennsylvania Prison Society
                  Social jus...
Unequal justice



 Continuing through
 incarceration and
 parole
                  The Pennsylvania Prison Society
      ...
Unequal justice in PA

 Consider: Nine out of 10
 inmates sentenced to
 death were too poor to
 afford an attorney at tria...
Unequal justice in PA


 Pennsylvania ranks
 second in the
 percentage of African
 Americans on death
 row                ...
Unequal justice in PA


 Blacks are sentenced at
 a disproportionately
 higher rate than non-
 blacks for the same
 charge...
Who is in prison?


       “One in 30 men
  between 20 and 34 is
        behind bars.”
        Pew Center on the States’ 2...
Who is in prison?


Men 18 and older
 WHITE      HISPANIC   BLACK
 1 in 106   1 in 36    1 in 15


                       ...
Who is in prison?


Men
  99 percent of the 140,000
  veterans in state and federal
  prisons are male

                  ...
Who is in prison?


Women 18 or older
 WHITE      HISPANIC   BLACK
 1 in 859   1 in 436   1 in 203


                     ...
Who is in prison?

Women 18 or older
 Majority have suffered physical
 and mental abuses
 One out of three diagnosed with
...
Who is in prison?

Juveniles
 Children under 18 sentenced to
 life without parole:
    In US prisons           2371
    In...
Who is in prison?

Juveniles in PA
 More than 400 juvenile
 lifers
 More than half sentenced
 in Philadelphia County
     ...
Who is in prison?

            Percentage of prisoners by race




     Black
     White
     Hispanic
     Other




    ...
The original intent of penitentiaries

Contrary to popular
belief, penitentiaries
were initially
supposed to be more
human...
19th   century prisons

In the 19th Century criminal
punishment in America was a model
for the world
Governments around th...
The modern prison

But, the
next few
centuries
told another story…
                    The Pennsylvania Prison Society
   ...
The modern prison

 Modern penitentiaries
 have moved away from
 physical torture, but
 heightened mental and
 emotional s...
The modern prison
 Confinement far from home
 Lack of jobs and other productive
 activities
 Catch-22 type regulations tha...
The modern prison

                    The Dramatic Rise in Incarceration


             2500000
                         ...
US vs. world numbers

 More than any other nation
 2.3 million people are
 incarcerated
 US is global leader in
 incarcera...
US vs. world numbers

              The United States vs. World's Prison Populations
                                     ...
US vs. world numbers

    Rate of Incarceration per 100,000 of National Population
                       World           ...
Pennsylvania numbers



          ►




                       ► ►
                       ►►
                        ►



...
Pennsylvania numbers


 There are more than
 14,000 federal prisoners
 costing about $40,000
 annually per inmate
        ...
Pennsylvania numbers
►


        ►




                                                                  ►
               ...
Pennsylvania numbers


 More than 46,000
 state inmates costing
 about $34,000/year
 per inmate
                       The...
Pennsylvania numbers
        And 67 county prisons — one in each county
     ▲
                ▲           ▲       ▲      ...
Pennsylvania numbers


 More than 35,000
 county inmates costing
 about $25,000/year per
 inmate
                       Th...
Pennsylvania numbers
  ►




      ▲                               ▲                   ▲
                                 ...
Pennsylvania
State Budget Projections

    The FY 2009 Capital
    Budget calls for
    construction of three
    new stat...
Pennsylvania
State Budget Projections

    Budget also requests four new
    housing units
    $800 million more may also ...
Corrections projections
for Pennsylvania

 State prisons are
 expected to grow by
 170 inmates a month
 for the next four ...
Corrections projections
for Pennsylvania

  It will cost taxpayers:
   $650,000,000 in capital
   expenses
   $180,000,000...
Cost of corrections

   In 2007, the US
spent more than
$49 billion on
corrections and is
expected to spend
another $25 bi...
Cost of corrections
vs. higher education

 In 2007, the rate of
 increase for prison costs
 was six times greater than
 fo...
Cost of corrections
vs. society

► Weakens     fabric of communities
► Creates   a huge tax burden
► Drains money from edu...
Distorts government representation

                        Increases political
                        disenfranchisement...
Distorts government
representation




                      The Pennsylvania Prison Society
                      Social ...
Failure of humanity

Prisons are
being overused,
but not because
of increases in
crime
                      The Pennsylva...
Failure of humanity


 Instead, this overuse
 results from poor
 policy choices . . .
                      The Pennsylvan...
Failure of humanity



. . . and a penchant to
punish rather than
rehabilitate
                      The Pennsylvania Pris...
Failure of humanity


Many people think
problems are solved and
the story ends when
someone goes to prison
               ...
Failure of humanity



 But prison is closer to
 the beginning of the
 story
                      The Pennsylvania Prison...
Failure of humanity


Nine out of 10 inmates
return home and face
extraordinary obstacles to
re-entry
                    ...
Failure of humanity

We must
put fairness
at the
forefront of
justice . . .

                      The Pennsylvania Prison...
Failure of humanity



. . . or accept a continued
Failure of Humanity

                      The Pennsylvania Prison Soci...
FAILURE OF HUMANITY
 “A man who has lost his self-respect
has nothing valuable to lose in society.”
                      ...
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Failure of Humanity

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Failure of Humanity presentation touching on the history of the criminal justice system and its current state by Bill DiMascio, Prison Society Executive Director, from his Failure of Humanity speaking tour.

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Transcript of "Failure of Humanity"

  1. 1. FAILURE OF HUMANITY iStockphoto.com/lpettet The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  2. 2. America’s justice system Our justice system is built on legalities — not fairness The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  3. 3. America’s justice system As a result, we have seen rapid growth and severe overuse of prisons over the past 25 years The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  4. 4. America’s justice system There are glaring and unconscionable disparities such as … The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  5. 5. America’s justice system Penalties for crack vs. powdered cocaine The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  6. 6. America’s justice system Extraordinarily long mandatory sentences for minor or coincidental involvement in a crime The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  7. 7. America’s justice system And, giving juveniles with underdeveloped mental capacity sentences of life without parole The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  8. 8. America’s justice system This distorted version of justice falls most heavily on marginalized members of society The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  9. 9. America’s justice system The poor The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  10. 10. America’s justice system The weak The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  11. 11. America’s justice system The unskilled The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  12. 12. America’s justice system The mentally ill www.flickr.com/Yanapaskova The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  13. 13. America’s justice system The undereducated The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  14. 14. America’s justice system And, of course, minorities The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  15. 15. America’s justice system Sadly, these are the people caught up in our obsession with punishment The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  16. 16. America’s justice system Some say they wind up in prisons because they commit the most crimes . . . The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  17. 17. America’s justice system … that’s not entirely true! The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  18. 18. Unequal justice In our justice system — The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  19. 19. Unequal justice Police are more active in poorer neighborhoods than wealthier communities . . . The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  20. 20. Unequal justice . . . so more poor people get arrested The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  21. 21. Unequal justice More poor people are convicted because they cannot afford competent defense lawyers The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  22. 22. Unequal justice Minorities receive longer sentences because prosecutors have discretion in levying charges The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  23. 23. Unequal justice The numbers don’t lie . . . The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  24. 24. Unequal justice In 1993, 851 per 100,000 black males were incarcerated in South Africa under apartheid In 2006, 4,919 per 100,000 black males were incarcerated in America The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  25. 25. Unequal justice Substantial racial and ethnic disparities are found in virtually all jurisdictions within the United States The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  26. 26. Unequal justice Beginning with arrests The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  27. 27. Unequal justice Continuing through incarceration and parole The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  28. 28. Unequal justice in PA Consider: Nine out of 10 inmates sentenced to death were too poor to afford an attorney at trial in Pennsylvania The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  29. 29. Unequal justice in PA Pennsylvania ranks second in the percentage of African Americans on death row The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  30. 30. Unequal justice in PA Blacks are sentenced at a disproportionately higher rate than non- blacks for the same charges The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  31. 31. Who is in prison? “One in 30 men between 20 and 34 is behind bars.” Pew Center on the States’ 2008 Report www.Flickr.com/Mark Regan The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  32. 32. Who is in prison? Men 18 and older WHITE HISPANIC BLACK 1 in 106 1 in 36 1 in 15 The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  33. 33. Who is in prison? Men 99 percent of the 140,000 veterans in state and federal prisons are male The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  34. 34. Who is in prison? Women 18 or older WHITE HISPANIC BLACK 1 in 859 1 in 436 1 in 203 The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  35. 35. Who is in prison? Women 18 or older Majority have suffered physical and mental abuses One out of three diagnosed with mental health problem The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  36. 36. Who is in prison? Juveniles Children under 18 sentenced to life without parole: In US prisons 2371 In the rest of the world 0 The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  37. 37. Who is in prison? Juveniles in PA More than 400 juvenile lifers More than half sentenced in Philadelphia County The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  38. 38. Who is in prison? Percentage of prisoners by race Black White Hispanic Other The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  39. 39. The original intent of penitentiaries Contrary to popular belief, penitentiaries were initially supposed to be more humane because they eliminated physical punishment and torture The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  40. 40. 19th century prisons In the 19th Century criminal punishment in America was a model for the world Governments around the globe sent delegates to study America’s much- admired prison system The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  41. 41. The modern prison But, the next few centuries told another story… The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  42. 42. The modern prison Modern penitentiaries have moved away from physical torture, but heightened mental and emotional suffering … The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  43. 43. The modern prison Confinement far from home Lack of jobs and other productive activities Catch-22 type regulations that require completion of programs that are unavailable Overcrowding The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  44. 44. The modern prison The Dramatic Rise in Incarceration 2500000 2, 273, 407 2000000 Numbers of 1, 965, 667 1500000 People in Prison 1000000 1, 148, 702 338, 029 474, 368 500000 180, 889 272, 955 252, 615 332, 945 110, 099 112, 362 0 Year 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2007 Source: Justice Policy Institute at the U.S Department of Justice Data and www.prisonsucks.com The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  45. 45. US vs. world numbers More than any other nation 2.3 million people are incarcerated US is global leader in incarceration rate — 750 per 100,000 The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  46. 46. US vs. world numbers The United States vs. World's Prison Populations The U ni t e d St a t e s All othe r countries The United S ta tes 28% Chi na 24% Ru ssi a Ira n Br a zi l S ou th Af ric a 2% T ha ila n d 2% I ndi a 3% Me xi c o Me xi c o I ndi a 4 % Tha i l a nd China % B r a z il 5 Ira n 19% So ut h Afr i c a Russia 2% 11% Al l o t he r c o unt r i e s Source: The Justice Policy Institute and the International Centre for Prison Studies, London The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  47. 47. US vs. world numbers Rate of Incarceration per 100,000 of National Population World Competitor HR US Average EU Countries Abusers 800 600 400 200 0 Source: The National Council on Crime and Delinquency The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  48. 48. Pennsylvania numbers ► ► ► ►► ► ► ► ► There are nine federal prisons The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  49. 49. Pennsylvania numbers There are more than 14,000 federal prisoners costing about $40,000 annually per inmate The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  50. 50. Pennsylvania numbers ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ►► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► ► There are 26 state prisons in mostly rural areas The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  51. 51. Pennsylvania numbers More than 46,000 state inmates costing about $34,000/year per inmate The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  52. 52. Pennsylvania numbers And 67 county prisons — one in each county ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  53. 53. Pennsylvania numbers More than 35,000 county inmates costing about $25,000/year per inmate The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  54. 54. Pennsylvania numbers ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ► ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ►► ► ▲ ► ► ▲ ► ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ►► ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ► ▲ ► ►► ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ► ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ► ▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲▲ ▲ ► ▲ ▲ ▲ ► ► There are a total of 102 federal, state and county prisons The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  55. 55. Pennsylvania State Budget Projections The FY 2009 Capital Budget calls for construction of three new state prisons $200 million each The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  56. 56. Pennsylvania State Budget Projections Budget also requests four new housing units $800 million more may also be needed if policy and sentencing changes are not enacted The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  57. 57. Corrections projections for Pennsylvania State prisons are expected to grow by 170 inmates a month for the next four years The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  58. 58. Corrections projections for Pennsylvania It will cost taxpayers: $650,000,000 in capital expenses $180,000,000 in annual operating costs The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  59. 59. Cost of corrections In 2007, the US spent more than $49 billion on corrections and is expected to spend another $25 billion by 2011. Pew Center on the States 2008 Report The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  60. 60. Cost of corrections vs. higher education In 2007, the rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  61. 61. Cost of corrections vs. society ► Weakens fabric of communities ► Creates a huge tax burden ► Drains money from education, child care and welfare ► Increases crime, poverty and unemployment The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  62. 62. Distorts government representation Increases political disenfranchisement — loss of voting rights 13.6 percent of black men in Flickr.com/Ben Heine the US can’t vote because of a felony conviction The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  63. 63. Distorts government representation The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  64. 64. Failure of humanity Prisons are being overused, but not because of increases in crime The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  65. 65. Failure of humanity Instead, this overuse results from poor policy choices . . . The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  66. 66. Failure of humanity . . . and a penchant to punish rather than rehabilitate The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  67. 67. Failure of humanity Many people think problems are solved and the story ends when someone goes to prison The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  68. 68. Failure of humanity But prison is closer to the beginning of the story The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  69. 69. Failure of humanity Nine out of 10 inmates return home and face extraordinary obstacles to re-entry The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  70. 70. Failure of humanity We must put fairness at the forefront of justice . . . The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  71. 71. Failure of humanity . . . or accept a continued Failure of Humanity The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
  72. 72. FAILURE OF HUMANITY “A man who has lost his self-respect has nothing valuable to lose in society.” Dr. Benjamin Rush Signer of Declaration of Independence and Founder, Pennsylvania Prison Society The Pennsylvania Prison Society Social justice since 1787
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