More Attention Paid to the Moon Than “…the millions of souls locked inside our very own prisons.”

Posted: 02/20/2012 in Capitalism, Inequalities, Justice, Mexico, United States, Violence

There has been some terrible news out of America’s prisons in the past few days. Yesterday, a prison riot in Mexico near Monterrey resulted in 20 deaths, the latest in a string of prison riots in the country (31 deaths in Altimara, Tamaulipas in January, another 20 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas in October of 2011 to cover just the past six-months). In Honduras, an indescribable tragedy occurred last week when 358 prisoners, at latest count, burned alive in a fire. Most had not been convicted of any crime.

Although we have more effective facilities in terms of control –better systems, I suppose, to prevent the destructive chaos of riots and fires– the United States ought take the longest and hardest look at itself following these grievous and preventable outrages. The state and federal governments of the United States incarcerate  far more of their own citizens than any other industrialized country in the world –a large percentage for non-violent drug crimes.

I am grateful for Chris Hayes reporting on this silent population that we too often discount in our minds as being undeserving of our attention. How dare we, or any other government authority, shutter people away in such great numbers and with so little recourse?

I highly recommend watching his excellent reporting here.

  1. jcsprenger says:

    Yes, Elizabeth, we conveniently forget the silent population in jail; they have become the pariahs of our society, sometimes with justification, and sometimes due to youthful indiscretions and mistakes. What happened in Central America simply reflects the obscene overcrowding in most prisons with prisoners who sometimes wait 2 years for their day in court. Let’s hope it won’t happen here, but a word of warning would be in order.

    You again put your finger on the crux of the problem

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