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Prison Reform

For this meetup I am very interested in discussing the following topics in relation to prison reform, this is by no means an exhaustive list as the discussions under this heading are vast:

- Discrepancies in our legal system in regards to who goes to jail and what sentencing looks like for different populations.  In a new book "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," Journalist Matt Taibbi asks why the vast majority of white-collar criminals have avoided prison since the financial crisis began, while an unequal justice system imprisons the poor and people of color on a mass scale (for an interview on the book: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/4/15/who_goes_to_jail_matt_taibbi)


- Reports that the prison population in the US (while still larger than any other any other country: http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2012/us-incarceration.aspx)had the largest decline in 2012 (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/us/us-prison-populations-decline-reflecting-new-approach-to-crime.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) why is this?  What impact has this had on jail systems, legal systems and social issues in general?

- Why is prison reform rarely discussed in politics?  Could reinstating the right to vote following incarceration change the political talks surrounding this issue (in other words do politicians not care because this population can't vote)?

- Health care including psychiatric care in jails.

- Job and skill training- what can be done to prevent the revolving door effect?

- Jail term sentences- harsher sentencing laws int eh US lead to larger jail populations, should sentence lengths have a maximum that is lower than we have now?  http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n417/a04.html

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  • Tee C.

    I loved the topic especially since I had jury duty that week.

    April 30, 2014

  • Peter J.

    It was a great meetup with different ideas and solutions moving about the group.

    April 28, 2014

  • Jim

    Interesting topic, well moderated with a lot of alternative views put forward.

    April 28, 2014

  • Patty

    Thanks for a terrific job and terrific moderating, Katie! I wish I could have stayed longer.

    April 27, 2014

  • van w.

    Nice people and discussion

    April 27, 2014

  • Charlotte W.

    Great topic that could go on for another Meetup. Dumbing down was a topic that 3 more groups would not be enough. to hear the .fascinating opinions.

    Prison reform quite varied opinions....most made good sense & wish they could be implemented in to the system.

    April 27, 2014

  • Tony

    As we move towards the Chinese system of allowing the state and now corporations to PROFIT from prison slave labor, it's going to take a mass grassroots movement to end this spiral into a police/prison state. The prison lobby along with ALEC and other conservative / right-wing organizations are writing the laws that seek harsher and harsher penalties to increase profits and keep the prisons full. Add to that...the US taxpayer now pays about $200 per cell whether occupied or not. It's another privatization scam which un-elected big-business, who controls the conservative movement, wants to further their control over America while destroying elected government.

    1 · April 27, 2014

  • Sam

    This state-by-state summary of voting laws re offenders and ex-offenders may be useful to the discussion. http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    April 27, 2014

  • Katie

    At this time it would be great if those on the RSVP list would check their availability and update their RSVP status accordingly so that others on the waitlist can join the discussion if you are unable to make it. I especially ask that those with guests confirm that they are able to attend this sunday. Thank you.

    April 24, 2014

  • Charlotte W.

    Prison reform has been a hot topic for years.
    Exciting discussion to say the least.

    April 17, 2014

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