Center Force Summit

I’m off in the morning to San Francisco, to a two day criminal justice forum.

The center-piece of the event is a “Socratic Dialogue” between various criminal justice reformers the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, and various prison administrators and employees. What will they say? That, I guess, I’ll have to wait to find out. What should they say? That the California prison system is in an extraordinary crisis. We’ve got 175,000 prisoners these days and within a couple years the state will be spending more dollars locking people up than it will funding the state univeristy system. That’s extraordinary.

The other day I worked out that we could take nearly one quarter of a million average-earning Californians, take all of their money and that’s what it would take to fund the state’s prisons. Or, to put it another way, we currently spend on prisons in California a sum equivalent to the entire state income tax base coming out of Los Angeles County.

Something’s outta whack in the Golden State…

1 Comment(s)

  1. Sasha, I’m interested in the outcome of this meeting. My book, MAGGOTS IN MY SWEET POTATOES: Women Doing Time has a pub date of 9/’08. I value the terrific work you’ve done on American incarceration and its flaws. I’d like to send you a BLAD and dummy of the book in the event you may have some comments. It’s a 286pg. B&W study conducted at a local jail. Several years ago I sent you off the first version, DIFFUSED: emotional and physical incarceration. This book is more in depth.
    Susan Lankford

    susan Lankford | Feb 26, 2008 | Reply

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