So, a little known fact about me is that I have a strong interest in criminology and, in particular, prison studies. You might even call me an ‘expert’ on the topic of male-on-male prison rape. Just kidding! That sounds weird!
However, I did publish two articles on the topic with a professor in undergrad. One article was on the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a symbolic act passed in 2003 to
reduce eliminate rape in prisons (which hey, is a huge problem by the way and you shouldn’t joke about it!!!) that hasn’t made much of an impact, if any, on the problem. The second article was a concise version of my senior thesis. I wrote about rape crisis services for male inmates. If anyone would like to read this crap, let me know. I don’t know why you would but I can maybe scan the articles cuz I don’t think they’re online.
So why am I writing about this? OH YEAH. Because the issue you NEVER hear about in the mainstream media and politics is the startling growth of prisons and insane increase of incarcerated individuals since the 1980s. Like, you know that whole thing about how society has basically criminalized an entire demographic of people (young black men)? One of the biggest issues plaguing our country. But are we gonna hear about that in the debates? No. In election coverage? No. Townhall style meetings? MAYBE but probably not.
So if for some reason, they have a brief Q&A at this Obama event tomorrow, I’m going to ask our president when is someone going to put an end to the war on drugs, starting tearing down prisons (literally and metaphorically), and get this country right?! Because I’m angry! And you should be too.
For further, less spazzy, more lucid information please read: The Rich Get Richer & the Poor Get Prison or The New Jim Crow. My especially astute students/blog reader might also be interested in Are Prisons Obsolete? by the venerable Angela Davis.