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Youth asks West Virginia to reform prisons, for children's sake

Jasmine talking to Channel 13

Jasmine Murphy, sophmore at Logan High School, speaking up for prison reform 

Editor's note: Not long after Jasmine addressed the legislature, SB 379—the state's prison overcrowding billwas passed. It gives judges the authority to grant early releases to nonviolent offenders, categorizes offenders in terms of risks vs. needs and treating them appropriately, and addresses technical parole violations that shorten time spent back in prison.

“I want to share with you a little bit about my life because I hope that maybe if I speak up, people who make the decisions that affect so many people’s lives will listen.”

Books and Videos from Nancy Shippen

Nancy Shippen's list of recommend resources on prison conditions and prison ministry, from the 2013 All New Hampshire Gathering of Friends

Youth Advocate for Justice in the Prison System

As the West Virginia Economic Justice Project addresses prison overcrowding on a policy level, the Appalachian Center for Equality Youth Leadership Program explores the racial and economic injustices of the prison industrial complex and the impact this has on their lives.

Dropping the Flag: An Insider's Look at America's Prison System

Wahid was a participant in AFSC’s Friend of a Friend at the Maryland Correctional Institution – Jessup. While in the conflict resolution mentoring program, he shared his story with author and Friend of a Friend mentor Craig Muhammad.

The following story is taken from the chapter, “Dropping the Flag,” in the soon-to-be published book, From Jericho to Jerusalem: Organizing Street Organizations. It is one of several “testimonies” from young men who are former members of gangs, or what many refer to as street organizations.

The growing problems of the prison system

razor wire

fence outside a Michigan prison

Fence outside a Michigan prison

According to the Bureau for Justice Statistics, the number of adult federal and state prison inmates increased from 139 per 100,000 residents in 1980 to 502 per 100,000 in 2009 — an increase of 261 percent. Over two million Americans are now incarcerated in prisons or jails and the total number of Americans under some form of penal supervision (including jail, prison, parole and probation) is over 7.2 million.

How Much Does It Cost to Keep a Criminal?

Cost of Incarceration

Cost of Incarceration

Cost of Incarceration

How Much Does It Cost to Keep a Criminal?

How Expensive is justice?

Pretty darn costly. But depending on your point of view, the costs of keeping criminals behind bars or executing them might be worth it.

The Caging of America

This is an interesting article on the Caging of America that we recommend:


New York Times Article

A Critic at Large
The Caging of America
Why do we lock up so many people?
by Adam Gopnic

January 30, 2012

Stemming the tide: the racial and economic impacts of West Virginia's prison system

Stemming the Tide Cover

Photo © Cico

Despite little growth in either its population or crime rate, West Virginia has seen a marked increase in the number of people housed in its corrections facilities. As the state's prisons become overcrowded, West Virginia is facing a corrections crisis that not only impacts the state's budget but also the low-income and minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by drug addiction and substance abuse issues that land them in prison instead of treatment programs.

Incarceration's Forgotten Victims Conference - Children of Prisoners

Friday, August 24, 2012 - 9:15am

Child and Family Policy Center and Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents are sponsoring a conference focusing on empowering the children of incarcerated parents.  It will be held on Friday, August 24th, 9:15 AM to Noon.  Keynote speaker is Charity Lee, of the ELLA Foundation.  Other speakers include Dr.

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AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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