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'Ironic, Misguided, and Harmful': Prisons Slammed for Banning Book on Racist Legacy of Mass Incarceration


'Ironic, Misguided, and Harmful': Prisons Slammed for Banning Book on Racist Legacy of Mass Incarceration

Julia Conley, staff writer

"It is one thing to prevent incarcerated people from reading how-to manuals on lock-picking. It is something altogether different to deny people access to a book that 'offers a timely and original framework for understanding mass incarceration.'"


From the article:

“New Jersey’s correctional facilities offer an especially egregious example of this, incarcerating black people more than 12 times as often as white residents—compared with the national ratio of five-to-one.”

That’s a startling fact—and it probably explains why the state Dep’t of Corrections wants to keep the book out of the prison library. I remember the howls of outraged denial from law enforcement when Dylan’s “Hurricane” first dropped, for its reference to the Garden State’s rampant racial profiling. The more things change, and all that.


An objective review of history will show that the majority of our laws (especially our selective drug laws) were created to oppress/disenfranchise the non-whites in this country.

Despite out Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, we have NEVER been a country of equality or equal treatment. The American experiment is just another example in a long line of attempts by a selective group of privileged individuals to control the health, wealth and opportunities of a captive majority.

With corporate power now completely overshadowing the rights of citizens, I fear we have gone over the edge.


Not to mention (which should have been emphasized over and over) that ratio of black to white in the general population (1 to 7.5) is roughly the reverse of the ratio in prison populations (5 to 1).

That is an over-representation of, what, 35 times? Yeah, nothing racist about that.


Never stop speaking truth to power. Never let hate and harmful practices be normalized.


13th Amendment:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Legalized Slavery in the US

Congress allocates money to run the Private Prisons that operate as Slave Labor Camps.


If you look closely at the way our jails and prisons are run - the people running them appear to have no concern for harmony, corrections, fairness or decency. There are too, too many examples of things being done exactly the opposite of the way one would think they should be done if we want a decent and humane system. As with so many other things, the people running the system are not true corrections professionals but career politicians masquerading as corrections professionals. Like so much else - they are not interested in the science of corrections but more in the effort of supporting social or political agendas that have nothing to do with running a corrections system. This is an outrage but prisons are not the only place this goes on in US society.


It’s strange but I think the statistics in the past - like pre 1970s actually showed much smaller percentages of black prisoners than today. I may be wrong but I believe the prisons used to house much larger white populations. And no matter who was incarcerated, the number of prisons and inmates was a very, very small amount compared to the colossal system of today. As the economy worsened, the elites behind outsourcing, off-shoring and human obsolescence due to technology - made sure there was a place for those who had no jobs left.