Trish reblogged this on 10 Years a Single Mom and commented:
The graph in this article horrifies me.

http://ideas.ted.com/the-unintended-consequences-of-being-tough-on-crime/

“We’re in this exciting moment where we’ve had 40 years of being ‘tough on crime,’ and we’ve finally come to recognize that it really hasn’t worked very well,” says sociologist Alice Goffman bluntly. “Scientists have shown in the past few years that the relationship between incarceration and crime is basically zip. The crime rate goes up and down, incarceration just continues to grow. It’s not a good way of fighting crime.” …

“Incarceration is targeted at poor African-American and Latino communities,” she says. “So what you have is not just young people going to prison and returning home, but people dealing with court fees, dealing with probation regulations, dealing with parole, living in halfway houses, on house arrest, going to court date after court date. It’s a very corrosive system that’s way bigger than just locking people up and returning them home with criminal records. It creates this culture of fear and suspicion where young people are looking over their shoulder, wondering when the police are going to come, wondering where they’re going to be seized or who around them is helping the police.”

Young people like Tim, who was placed on probation because his brother, Chuck, drove him to school in a car that it transpired had been stolen in California. Tim was charged with being “accessory to receiving stolen property” and placed on three years of probation. He was eleven years old. “And this is the point where Chuck starts teaching him how to run from the police,” says Goffman…

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