After a while I got tired of running, and then I tried to figure out where I could go, since I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I knew I couldn’t go to Lilly’s. She is vehemently opposed to any form of government that is not by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. She’s always said that when sovereignty is vested in a single person whose right to rule is hereditary, the principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community are irrevocably lost.
"Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul."
January 1st marks the 20th anniversary of #NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement) that forced millions of people to migrate.
Image via Nicolas Lampert and Justseeds.
“Media attention on immigration issues rarely, if ever, discusses with any sort of depth the economic, political, and social factors that propel people to risk their lives to travel north across the border,” Lampert said. “Instead, individuals are blamed and a complex issue is reduced to a few soundbites – national security, terrorism, illegal immigrants, etc.” Lampert’s image frames the discussion from the other side of the fence and looks at the systemic reasons for migration. The small text of the print reads, “Since the passing of NAFTA, U.S. subsidized corn has flooded Mexico resulting in the unemployment of 20 percent of Mexico’s small scale corn producers - many of whom head North in search of work.”
Nicolas Lampert is a Milwaukee-based interdisciplinary artist and author whose work focuses on themes of social justice and ecology. His art been exhibited internationally and at museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, MASS MoCA, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Collectively, he works with the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and has also collaborated on creative actions with the Rainforest Action Network, Tamms Year Ten, and the Chicago chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
1. The Federal prison population has grown to 219,000 people, an increase of 27% over the last decade.
Since 1980, the Federal prison population has exploded by 790 percent. Almost 50% of these prisoners are there for drug offenses. According to a new report (PDF) by the Urban Institute, Federal prison overcrowding will worsen if policy changes aren’t implemented. Federal prisons that are now 35 to 40 percent over capacity could reach 55 percent over capacity by 2023. The Justice Department’s budget for the federal prison system has increased from $5 billion in 2008 to $6.9 billion today.
The Government Accountability Office released a report this month about the Bureau of Prisons. In the report, the GAO attributes the increase of the Federal prison population to several factors including mandatory minimum sentences. In an attempt to address overcrowding, this summer, Attorney General Eric Holder gave “new instructions to federal prosecutors on how they should write their criminal complaints when charging low-level drug offenders, to avoid triggering the mandatory minimum sentences.”
[The Sentencing Project published an excellent fact sheet (PDF) outlining trends in U.S. corrections for those who want to learn more the scope of incarceration. Rosa Brooks’s essay in Foreign Policy provides a good overview about theincarceration nation.]
2. We were still sterilizing women in U.S. prisons as late as 2010.
This summer, the Center on Investigative Reporting broke the story that:
Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.
From 1997 to 2010, the state paid doctors $147,460 to perform the procedure, according to a database of contracted medical services for state prisoners.
The women were signed up for the surgery while they were pregnant and housed at either the California Institution for Women in Corona or Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, which is now a men’s prison.
Former inmates and prisoner advocates maintain that prison medical staff coerced the women, targeting those deemed likely to return to prison in the future
The state of California held hearings this fall to collect more information.
3. Prisons are still sites of violence and abuse.
In April 2013, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it had launched an investigation of Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. I had written about the allegations of abuse and violence last year. The DOJ announcement came several months after a scathing report about conditions and abuses at the prison was released by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC).
Tutwiler Prison was named by Mother Jones Magazine as one of America’s 10 Worst Prisons earlier this year.
4. Children are still not exempt from the torture of solitary confinement.
The ACLU launched an online campaign to end the solitary confinement of children. From its petition:
Every day across the country, kids as young as 13 are held in solitary confinement with almost no human contact for days or months at a time. Solitary can amount to torture, and the consequences can be devastating for children because they are still developing—that’s why we must stop this cruelty now.
Earlier this year, we joined with 40 advocacy groups and launched a campaign to pressure Attorney General Eric Holder to ban solitary confinement for youth in federal custody—which would set an important precedent for states to follow suit. We received an initial response from decision-makers at the Department of Justice that signaled interest, but they still have not committed to a ban.
So we’re helping to shine a spotlight on this cruelty with this video—and then next week, we’ll deliver the signatures of the tens of thousands of people calling for an end to this practice. Sign the petition to add your voice to the call for justice now and help us get to 50,000 signatures—to make sure that Holder can’t ignore this issue any longer.
5. People still love TV shows and films about prison.
The show was a instant sensation and generated countless discussions and articles. In fact, In These Times Magazine ran an interesting three-part discussion. You can find it here.
Mary Poppins The Tardis Dr Who Geekery by TheRekindledPage on We Heart It. http://weheartit.com/entry/45927955?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=image_share&utm_source=tumblr
il mio piccolo mondo