JAMES CARLIN WATCHED A SMALL AIRPLANE snake over the field beyond the barbed wire fence at Deuel Vocational Institution, a state prison in Tracy, about 60 miles east of Berkeley. He’d seen the plane before. It came at daybreak, flying low and trailing behind it a plume of chemicals. As his years in prison passed, Carlin began to notice a pattern. Each time the plane came, red bumps blistered the skin of the men lifting weights on the yard. Carlin had read environmentalist Rachel Carson; he thought the chemicals and the rashes must be related. Then it got worse.
Since most of the inmates in private federal prisons are immigrants—a population shown to be less violent and less inclined to present security threats—the government’s plan to cut ties with private prisons due to safety concerns show just how sub-par these private prison conditions can be, according to Stephen Raphael, professor at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.
Posted on August 19, 2016 - 5:21pm
Incarceration remains a growing trend in the Land of the Free. The United States, with only 5 percent of the global population, accounts for 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. And as a recent New Yorker article reveals, a trend toward the privatization of criminal justice has only made things worse.
Posted on July 2, 2014 - 10:14am
It was an early fall day when the gates of San Quentin State Prison clanged shut behind the unusual team of consultants on its way to meet the equally unusual team of clients.
“I was apprehensive,” admits Laura Tilghman, an MBA student at UC Berkeley who had never stepped into a prison before. “It was such different circumstances and territory.”
The clients, most of them serving life sentences, didn’t know what to expect either. Why would students from one of the top business schools in the state want to visit inmates at the state’s oldest prison?
Posted on April 29, 2014 - 1:34pm