portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

The Race to Incarcerate: 2,000,000 and Growing

Visit  http://utah.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=703&group=webcast
for the full story - put together from Angela Davis' speech in Utah during International Women's Day, a workshop about prison issues during the "People's Summit on Globalization" in Colorado in March, and interviews with local activists and officials.
During the '90s, the United States surpassed South African, Russia, and China in the proportion of its citizens locked up behind bars. The race to incarcerate has been fueled by a "rage to punish," but in the process, we have inadvertently recreated all the vestiges of a forgotten horror - slavery. Minorities form the majority demographic within the prison system, where they are stripped of their humanity, and exploited for economic gain by the private sector. Some states even permanently disenfranchise their felons. When newborn black males have more than a 1 in 4 chance of going to prison in this country during their lifetimes while white males have a 1 in 23 chance of serving time, we have the moral obligation to reorient our convictions of crime and punishment.