The Economic Impact of Incarceration

The Economic Impact of Incarceration By Kelyu Yu - Economic Research Intern Explore the direct and indirect costs of incarceration on individuals in the criminal justice system, as well as their families, communities, and the nation as a whole.  Emory University student and PIN Economic Research Intern Kelyu Yu dedicated a semester to researching this topic.  See her findings and read her full report on our new Economic Impact page.  Below is a preview:   Introduction How much the U.S. is willing to waste on incarceration? Tens of billions of dollars were poured into the U.S prison system for locking up millions of people behind bars. While The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports approximately $80 billion were spent on the prison system, the actual cost far exceeds this number with various other underlying collateral costs. Why should we care about the economic loss associated with incarceration? As Shelia A. Bedi put it: “Every penny our government spends on …
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Medical Care While Incarcerated

Medical Care While Incarcerated By Lindsay B. - Research Intern States are legally required by the constitution to provide people in prisons with necessary healthcare. Incarcerated individuals have reported receiving medical care for specific health issues and injuries more than for general health maintenance. While prison systems are seemingly responsive to the healthcare needs of those incarcerated, former and current offenders have expressed their negative experiences with medical care in the criminal justice system. Mallik-Kane et al. (2018) examined people’s experiences with healthcare in the criminal justice system and noted a common lack of individualized services along with many individuals who perceive their treatment as lesser or disrespectful due to their position in the criminal justice system. Similarly, inmates have difficulty obtaining pain medications or other necessary but potentially addictive medication, with many incarcerated individuals explaining that …
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The Challenges of Female Incarceration

The Challenges of Female Incarceration By Briana J. - Research Intern The rate of female incarceration has greatly increased over the past 30 years. This has resulted in women becoming the fastest growing group of incarcerated individuals within the prison system. Most of these imprisoned women are serving sentences for non-violent drug and property offenses (EJI). Despite this uptick of imprisoned women, there has not been an adequate reallocation of resources to properly address the needs of incarcerated women. An important point to understand is that most facilities within prisons are primarily built for male prisoners. There has not been an active change within these facilities to address the specific needs of incarcerated women. Like many other prisoners around the world, incarcerated women in the United States face deprivations and trauma during their incarceration. Many incarcerated women face problems surrounding separation from children and family, inadequate me…
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The Privatization of Inmate Privileges

The Privatization of Inmate Privileges By Connor H. - Research Intern For the past few decades, the idea of the United States government using private corporations for the use of incarcerating criminals is one that has been under constant scrutiny. The largest argument against the use of private prisons is an ethical argument over whether or not it is right to incarcerate people while the corporation holding them is turning a profit. Along with this, the majority of private prisons only make money when their cells are full, so private prisons keep inmates incarcerated in their facilities for as long as possible. This issue is the one that mainly receives coverage in the media when the topic of private prisons is brought up. However, there have been other aspects of the prison system that have begun being privatized that do not receive the same amount of attention. These two main aspects are the privileges of phone calls and inmate commissary. With more jails and prisons beg…
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U.S. Antitrafficking Efforts

The United States Antitrafficking Efforts: What works, and how can we improve? By LaQuittis L. - Research Intern Introduction In recent years, human trafficking has obtained increased attention from the nation and all media platforms worldwide. In our society, human trafficking is viewed as modern-day slavery that seems to be rooted in our nations' history. Although we've been able to learn about our nation's dark past through school education and textbooks, to this date, modern-day slavery has limited research due to its hidden nature. Not only is the problem of human trafficking a national issue, especially the trafficking of immigrants, but it's also a worldwide issue. This specific crime's growing concern is in desperate need of more effective antitrafficking methods to finally put it all to an end. To understand the methods already implemented by our government, we must first understand what exactly human trafficking is. America's Homeland Security defines it as the …
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Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents: Final Series

Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents Final Series By Davis81 - Research Intern To conclude the incarcerated parent’s series, I would say I had experienced a lot when my mom was in prison. It was all a learning lesson. When I share my story, people always say, “you don’t look like what you been through,” which is honestly true. I tend not to open up and share my journey because I grew to not just want to share it with anyone. I typically share with people I am close to. I am glad that I could share bits and pieces of my life growing up while my mother was incarcerated with the world because I know I am not the only one out there who has experienced this. I want to leave the children who have some parents in prison with some advice: Do not let your parent’s actions define your future – Just because they are your parent does not mean you are a reflection of them. Everyone is entitled to their own actions, and your life is your own. Strive to be the best you can be – D…
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Prison Release Preparation Guide Infographic

Prison Release Preparation Guide Infographic Check out this infographic to help prepare your incarcerated loved one for their release from federal prison.   Download and print or share the infographic here: Infographic Release Prep Guide
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Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents: Views of People

Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents Views of People By Davis81 - Research Intern Think about a time you experienced something tragic, and afterward, you started looking at the people and things around you differently? I am pretty sure we all have. I’ve experienced that when my mom went to prison. I didn’t negatively look at people but more so in a way like “people go through things, and they get through things.” When I was younger, I used to look at people who got into trouble and think they could never get their lives back on track because of the simple fact that they have a record. Society has played a part in that viewpoint for me because they make it seem like your life is over once you get into trouble with the law. Well, I’ve seen firsthand that that statement is not valid. My mom has since come home and wholly done a 360. She did everything she had to do to get herself back on her feet. When she came home, she got a job, lived with some family for a couple of mont…
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Sending Money to Inmates

Sending Money to Inmates Do you have a loved one currently incarcerated?  Believe it or not, everything in prison isn't free.  Phone calls and emails home cost money.  So do commissary items such as clothes, shoes, toiletries, and food.  And while most inmates have job assignments, the pay is often just pennies an hour.  There are three options for sending money to federal inmates, and two of them work for state inmates as well.  We just updated our page on How to Send Money to a Federal Inmate to reflect changes in MoneyGram and Western Union's websites.  We detail each step of the process for both of those options, as well as for sending money through the U.S. Postal Service.  Check it out.                    
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Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents: What it Was Like

Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents What it Was Like By Davis81 - Research Intern When thinking about all the emotions and things I’ve experienced while my mom was in prison, I wish there were some things I could have changed when going through what I went through. So, pretty much I blamed myself for my mom going to prison. It sounds pretty weird, but it was something I struggled with. As a child, I constantly wanted to save everybody from everything, but when I found out my mom was sentenced, I felt defeated. I cried for hours; I did not know what would happen to my siblings and me. Still, to this day, I see that I am one of those people who wants to save everybody from everything they are going through. I know I can’t, but that is just me. I think that is why I know for a fact helping people is my calling. I want to help people better themselves, be better than they were the day before. I’ve watched my mom go through things that broke my heart, but she overcame every ad…
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Fathers Behind Bars

Fathers Behind Bars By Austin Y. - Research Intern Crime not only has an effect on the general public but also the families of the offender. When an offender is incarcerated for long periods of time, it is tearing that individual's family apart. Everyone does not grow up with a complete family, some have their fathers ripped away from them while they are forced to grow up with just one parent. That parent then has to pick up the slack and is forced to pick up more jobs to make up for the lack of income leaving the children unsupervised for long periods of time. When the children are unsupervised they tend to make poor decisions to get the attention they are not getting because the their parent isn’t able to be home as much due to working multiple jobs just to get by. This perpetuates the cycle of crime, a cycle that Fathers Behind Bars hopes to break. “There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail.” That statistic is mind blowing as that is a great deal of …
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Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents: What I Needed

Growing Up with Incarcerated Parents What I Needed By Davis81 - Research Intern So this weeks blog entry has to deal with the listing of what children who have incarcerated parents may need.  Especially while dealing with something of this nature which could mess with your mental health and emotional health. I personally struggled with things regarding my mental and emotional health. When my mom went to prison and I moved with my father and step-mother I wasn’t really interested in doing things. I wanted to sit in the house all day and just keep to myself. My dad wanted me to get outside and make friends in the neighborhood since I was new in the area but I did not have any interest because I was still processing the fact that my mom was gone. I didn’t know when she would be coming back, and I was split from my brother and two sisters Personally, I think there were some things that I needed to know/ needed when my mom left but I did not know them. So…. Here they are: …
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