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Activism, Penal excess, Prison, Private sector interests, Social justice

Prison reform: The continuation of the carceral State

Tennessee Students and Educators for Social Justice

Guest post by Judah Schept

There has been recent and welcome attention to the carceral state in major media outlets like the New York Times and from unlikelier sources, like conservative political commentators. Indeed, the Times’ May 24th editorial focused on the bipartisan support for prison reform as evidence for its call to “end mass incarceration now:”

The insanity of the situation is plain to people across the political spectrum, from Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who agree on the urgent need for change. The research is in, and it is uncontestable. The American experiment in mass incarceration has been a moral, legal, social, and economic disaster. It cannot end soon enough.”

While the Times’ critique is direct and pointed, some of the most outspoken public critics of mass incarceration in recent years have been politicians on the right, from Grover Norquist…

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