The Poor Get Prison

The Institute for Policy Studies released their report on March 19, 2015:  “The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty” with a Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.   They have asked us to share it widely, and once you read it, we know you will find it compelling as well. The full report is here  Excerpt:

Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. A broken taillight, an unpaid parking ticket, a minor drug offense, sitting on a sidewalk, or sleeping in a park can all result in jail time. In this report, we seek to understand the multi-faceted, growing phenomenon of the “criminalization of poverty.”  In many ways, this phenomenon is not new: The introduction of public assistance programs gave rise to prejudices against beneficiaries and to systemic efforts to obstruct access to the assistance. This form of criminalizing poverty — racial profiling or the targeting of poor black and Latina single mothers trying to access public assistance — is a relatively familiar reality. Less well-known known are the new and growing trends which increase this criminalization of being poor that affect or will affect hundreds of millions of Americans. These troubling trends are eliminating their chances to get out of poverty and access resources that make a safe and decent life possible. In this report we will summarize these realities, filling out the true breadth and depth of this national crisis.

Please join us in our efforts to disseminate this important research.   IPS Suggests the Following Sample tweets:

  • Poor people are criminalized for non-criminal activity.
  • New @IPS_DC report: The Poor Get Prison http://bit.ly/1FJzUGB#BlackLivesMatterPoverty is becoming a crime in America. Read how and why in NEW @IPS_DC report: “The Poor Get Prison”  http://bit.ly/1FJzUGB #talkpoverty #Ferguson IS America. New report details the increasing criminalization of the poor: The Poor Get Prison” http://bit.ly/1FJzUGB #BlackLivesMatter
  • NEW Report:”The Poor Get Prison,” foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich. It’s now a crime to be poor in America http://bit.ly/1FJzUGB #P2

Categories Justice Work | Tags: | Posted on March 20, 2015

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