time and punishment

William Widmer for The New York Times

William Widmer for The New York Times

In case you’ve missed the ongoing New York Times series TIME AND PUNISHMENT about the effects of U.S. incarceration policies on offenders, their families and communities, I’m reposting it here.  This collection of articles by reporter John Tierney sheds light on the very latest issues and trends.  It’s must-reading!

The first story, “For Lesser Crimes, Rethinking Life Behind Bars,” examines our current public policy of mass incarceration. (America has the highest reported rate in the world.) Onerous drug laws have resulted in thousands of low-level offenders imprisoned for life.

The Jan. 25th installment, “Prison Population Can Shrink When Police Crowd Streets,” details increasing state budgets spent on prisons (35 percent of criminal justice monies) over local policing (30 percent).  Tierney explores efforts in New York City to change that balance.

This past week, “Prison and Poverty Trap” was published.  It looks at the close relationship between doing time and confinement to a life of impoverishment.

Each of these articles fully mirrors my experience working with incarcerated women.  Read on …