Oldie: Meria With Marsha Weissman – The State of Our Prison System


4/28/15 While riots are happening in Baltimore, what could be more timely than this golden oldie about the disparity of African Americans in our “justice” system? No one asks “why” when these things escalate…..Originally aired 1/28/08, still holds up today.

Meria interviews Marsha Weissman, Executive Director of the Center for Community Alternatives; our criminal “justice” system; the alternatives to prison, penalties and restitution; paying to be on parole and probation; bankruptcy doesn’t apply; Attica; CCA- non governmental agency; Re-integrative justice; community and individual responsibility; client specific planning; no rehab in prison; overcrowding; prisons as abnormal environments; drug addiction is a HEALTH problem – treatment works, prison doesn’t; prisons as increasing punitive; $30,000 per prisoner a year; Black Americans in the justice system; from schoolyard to prison; inequity of black Americans vs. white Americans in prison; return of Jim Crow; racial desparities of those with criminal records; undermined voting rights; lifetime punishment- the job market; financial penalties in addition to jail time; “governing through crime”; poverty-desperation-crime; the racial wealth gap; women more disenfranchised in prison than men; programs for rehab; community based solutions are needed; parents in prison- effects on the family and more. Who benefits?







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