think there’s something to be optimistic about because I believe that many people
throughout the country and world are starting to realize that we’ve made some
deep, deep mistakes in terms of building prisons to the detriment and exclusion
of building up our educational systems. Developing punitive programs for teens
instead of focusing on programs that will really benefit and advantage our children.
-- Ellen Barry
We've entered a
disturbing period that promotes a retributionist, punitive attitude toward people
in our society who haven't 'made it,' who are underdogs, who don't have the financial
means that other people have, and who may have disabilities like mental illness
and addictions to deal with,"
|We live in a country
that is addicted to incarceration as a tool for social control. As it stands now
justice systems are extremely expensive, do not rehabilitate but in fact make
the people that experience them worse and have no evidence based correlatives
to reducing crime. Yet with that track record they continue to thrive, prosper
and are seen as an appropriate response to children in trouble with the law. Only
an addict would see that as an okay result.|
“Society has used
the juvenile courts to create a caste system where there are throw-away people.”
-- James Bell
system is one of the few unaccountable systems in the country. It doesn’t make
decisions based on best practices…or in the best interest of the young people
and families involved. As a result, there is a 70 percent recidivism rate. The
decision makers can administer this misery and not take any responsibility for
want to address racial disparity in the juvenile justice system, everybody has
to have a role in it. Everybody has some responsibility."
is a multi-headed, multi-tentacled monster out there devouring blacks who live
in certain neighborhoods. Incarceration is just one aspect of this menace, but
it is an overwhelmingly damaging aspect. Our job, in working to achieve fairness
and equity, is to sound the alarm about the unjust criminal justice system and
demand that our leaders and those in power act now to halt this destructive, unfair
treatment of our brothers and sisters, especially of our children.
we must challenge individuals, communities, cities, counties, regions, states,
and the nation to be accountable for the outcomes of the justice systems at every
level of government.
"Torture is banned but in
two-thirds of the world's countries it is still being committed in secret. Too
many governments still allow wrongful imprisonment, murder or "disappearance"
to be carried out by their officials with impunity."
"Open your newspaper
- any day of the week - and you will find a report from somewhere in the world
of someone being imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion
are unacceptable to his government."
candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison,
who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who
"disappeared". That's what the candle is for."
the concentration camps and the hell-holes of the world were in darkness. Now
they are lit by the light of the Amnesty candle; the candle in barbed wire. When
I first lit the Amnesty candle, I had in mind the old Chinese proverb: 'Better
light a candle than curse the darkness.'"
line that connects the bombing of civilian populations to the mountain removed
by strip mining ... to the tortured prisoner seems to run pretty straight. We're
living, it seems, in the culmination of a long warfare -- warfare against human
beings, other creatures and the Earth itself."
"The most potent weapon
in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
How do we redefine education so that 30-50 percent of inner-city children do not
drop out of school, thus ensuring that millions will end up in prison?
Grace Lee Boggs
I believe that we are at the point now, in the United States, where a movement
is beginning to emerge. I think that the calamity, the quagmire of the Iraq war,
the outsourcing of jobs, the drop-out of young people from the education system,
the monstrous growth of the prison-industrial complex, the planetary emergency,
which we are engulfed at the present moment, is demanding that instead of just
complaining about these things, instead of just protesting about these things,
we begin to look for, and hope for, another way of living. And I think that--
that's where the movement-- I-- I see a movement beginning to emerge, 'cause I
see hope beginning to trump despair.
They are torturing
people. They are torturing people on Guantanamo Bay. They are engaging in acts
which amount to torture in the medieval sense of the phrase. They are engaging
in good old-fashioned torture, as people would have understood it in the Dark
-- Richard Bourke
1 | Page 2 | Page
3 | Page 4 | Page