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  • The day American shoppers lose their minds for moderately awesome, limited supply discounting is upon us! Black Friday is here, and some of the largest retailers across the country are following the annoyingly disturbing trend of opening their doors even earlier this year than the last.
  • The second round of open enrollment for Obamacare begins today, allowing those who didn't obtain health insurance last year the opportunity to get covered. If you are one of those individuals who didn't get health insurance during the first open enrollment, or if you are like me and want to search for new options, you have until February 15, 2015 to make your decision.
  • President Obama's deal with China to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions may go down as one of his lasting legacies once everything is said and done with his Administration. The deal, which was announced at a joint press conference, set far reaching goals of reducing carbon emissions that surprised most everyone over how much the two countries agreed to cut.
  • We have seen this story play out in countless midterm elections before. Members of the party the President belongs to run as far away from him as possible and members of the opposition try to tie members of the President's party to him at every turn.
  • Walmart, our nation's largest retailer, is cutting some 30,000 part-time employee's health care benefits, due to the rising costs for the company.
  • The instant access, video streaming juggernaut Netflix makes this claim on their YouTube homepage about their recent commitment and success with offering original content to subscribers: Netflix original series - The Future of Television is Here.
  • There has been a lot of talk about the FCC destroying net neutrality. How former lobbyists and council of Verizon and Comcast have made their way on to the board of the FCC and how they have started enacting policy to make net neutrality a thing of the past.
  • There is a lot of discussion (and confusion) over Internet Neutrality, or 'net neutrality' as it was coined back in 2003 by Columbia media law professor Tim Wu.
  • At a speech in Harlem on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton will call for a $2 billion plan to help end punitive school policies that can push black children from schools to jails and prisons. The new $2 billion plan, which goes after the so-called "school-to-prison pipeline," will incentivize the hiring of "school climate support teams" — made up of social workers, behavioral health specialists, and education practitioners — to work with school staff to reorient and develop comprehensive reform plans for school discipline policies.
  • How could US politicians possibly think it was a good idea to incarcerate millions of Americans starting in the 1980s, creating the system of mass incarceration we have today? It's a question that gets tossed around a lot nowadays, with varied answers — from claims it was an attempt to control the population to arguments that private prisons created a profit motive for locking up millions of Americans.
  • Jun 23 2015
    Jailed for Being Broke
    A little over a week ago, a 23-year-old construction worker in the Bronx named Jeff Rivera got in an argument with his wife, from whom he is separated. During the argument, he struck her door, pushing in the screen. Rivera was arrested and brought to court, where he was charged with criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, for pushing in the screen door. Though the sentence for being convicted of a misdemeanor offense like criminal mischief is hard to predict, the more immediate question for Rivera was whether or not he'd be jailed before trial.
  • For the last forty years, America's approach to criminal justice has grown steadily more punitive. Successive waves of state and federal legislation lengthened prison sentences, reduced opportunities for rehabilitation, expanded the powers of law enforcement agencies, and imposed new restrictions after release. The cumulative result of these various initiatives is a sprawling prison system filled with millions of bodies, leaving deep scars on American society. This carceral fever could be close to breaking at last. The Coalition for Public Safety, a new alliance of political groups and think tanks, is the latest signal that opposition to mass incarceration has gone mainstream.
  • There's growing momentum for reducing mass incarceration in America. Both the federal government and states are beginning to take a hard look at how many people they're sending to prison and for how long. But how did the US get here? Why did the US prison population grow so muchover the past 40 years? A National Research Council report from 2014 debunked two big misconceptions about what caused the increase, and offered two big reasons: prosecution has become more efficient, and prison sentences have lengthened. Here's a guide:
  • Today, like any other day, there are around 2.4 million people incarcerated in America’s federal, state, and local prisons and jails. Together, the nation’s inmates would constitute the fourth biggest city in the United States, knocking Houston down a notch. Expand that grouping to everyone under correctional control, including probation and parole, and you’d have a metropolis of nearly 7 million, second only to New York. Finally, reunite the number of people that see the inside of a jail cell in a given year, and you’d have a prison city with a population as big as New York and Los Angeles combined (11.6 million). This is not because society is struck by criminality. Incarceration has increased by 700 percent in 40 years despite crime rates dropping.
  • Sep 16 2014
    How Gangs Took Over Prisons
    On a clear morning this past February, the inmates in the B Yard of Pelican Bay State Prison filed out of their cellblock a few at a time and let a cool, salty breeze blow across their bodies. Their home, the California prison system’s permanent address for its most hardened gangsters, is in Crescent City, on the edge of a redwood forest—about four miles from the Pacific Ocean in one direction and 20 miles from the Oregon border in the other. This is their yard time. Most of the inmates belong to one of California’s six main prison gangs: Nuestra Familia, the Mexican Mafia, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Northern Structure, or the Nazi Lowriders (the last two are offshoots of Nuestra Familia and the Aryan Brotherhood, respectively).
  • A new Justice Department study shows that allegations of sex abuse in the nation’s prisons and jails are increasing — with correctional officers responsible for half of it — but prosecution is still extremely rare. The report, released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, takes data collected by correctional administrators representing all of the nation’s federal and state prisons as well as many county jails. It shows that administrators logged more than 8,000 reports of abuse to their overseers each year between 2009 and 2011, up 11 percent from the department’s previous report, which covered 2007 and 2008.

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