St. Edward’s University’s Black Student Alliance held its second annual “Power to the People” event, with this year’s focus on the intersection of race and incarceration. The main topic was “Justice for Us” and revolved around a panel of experts on the incarceration system.
Conditions of Confinement
On a lower level of the Wynne Unit, a state prison in Huntsville, about 20 men in white jumpsuits and matching white sneakers sit around the perimeter of a room. Their attention is focused on Paul Allen, who stands in front of them. He’s a familiar face in the unit of about 3,000 male prisoners: He’s been teaching there for years. Today, he’s leading the men through their capstone business course, for many the final step on the path to getting their associate of applied science degrees in business.
Today, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity (TCJE) released a policy brief outlining a path to closing Texas’s five youth prisons by 2027.
In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court opined that pretrial detainees maintain their right to vote, and in Texas, you do not lose that right if you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense. Nevertheless, localities and the state government have failed to effectively mobilize the necessary resources to create sufficient voting access for incarcerated, eligible voters to cast a ballot during elections.
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Administrator Liz Ryan discusses sentencing reform during an event hosted by the Sentencing Project.
Academia has an obligation to highlight the voices and experiences of cis and trans women—especially Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color. But as research around mass incarceration shifts to acknowledge the gendered and racialized realities of incarceration, I've seen my fellow academics continually ignore the ways in which women—especially Black, Indigenous, and women of color—are affected by the carceral system.
In Texas, women's incarceration rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades—over 1000 percent since 1980. Within that group, Black single women are the persons with categorically the highest likelihood of ending up incarcerated. Still, conversations about the harms incarceration causes have historically and largely been centered around men.
On June 24, the architecture and design firm HDR Inc. held what it thought would be a standard event as part of the 2022 American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference at its office in Chicago, Illinois. But the firm, which has designed more than 275 jails and prisons while billing itself as progressive and morally responsible, was met with a powerful presence of abolitionists at its doorstep during the conference.