“Certainly the prison is big business in this country these days,” says Dr. Maddy deLone, Executive Director of The Innocence Project. “We lock up more people in absolute number or as a percentage of our population than any other country in the world.” Sometimes the New York prison system is defended because it creates so many jobs, but “the jobs of the rural New York community cannot be at the expense of the freedom of the people of color who come from the city.”
Few institutions have done more damage to lower income African American and Latin American communities than the incarceration of males between 18 – 25 years old. If the money being expended to keep thousands of young men incarcerated were to be reinvested in rebuilding lower income communities, we could see astounding long-term systemic change.
From The Justice Conference 2012.