Mass Incarceration And Prisoners’ Rights

Note: The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Rolla (UUFR) recently read The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, about the mass incarceration of Persons of Color in the United States. A number of people in the Fellowship found this book profoundly disturbing, so this page on the UUFR website is a place for interested persons to learn more about this issue. No information is posted as an endorsement, as UUFR does not take political stances. We do seek to learn about the important ethical questions of the day, however.

Mass Incarceration of Persons of Color

The “Take Action” webpage from “The New Jim Crow” website
Contains links to many organizations taking leadership on this issue. Description from the website: “Since the publication of The New Jim Crow, a number of groups and organizations have dedicated themselves to the task of genuine movement building to end our nation’s current caste system. Others have been working to end mass incarceration for many years. This is not a complete list by any means, but it is a place to start.”

Webpage from the Unitarian Universalist Association about The New Jim Crow
“Racial profiling, criminalization, disenfranchisement, and mass incarceration of African Americans and other people of color constitute today’s legal system for institutionalized racism, discrimination, and exclusion in the United States. Dr. Michelle Alexander, civil rights advocate, litigator, scholar and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness exposes today’s racial caste system and how to resist it. Dr. Alexander spoke to an audience of over 600 people at Justice General Assembly 2012 in Phoenix and challenged Unitarian Universalists to learn more, witness, and act to stop the oppression of people of color perpetuated through the criminal legal system in our communities and across the country.”

Mass Incarceration of LGBT Persons

“Standing With LGBT Prisoners: An Advocate’s Guide to Ending Abuse and Combating Imprisonment” by Jody Masksamer and Harper Jean Tobin
From the report: “JAILS ARE TRAUMATIZING AND OFTEN DANGEROUS PLACES, ESPECIALLY FOR lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and anyone who is gender nonconforming. In a country that incarcerates more of its people than any other in the world, LGBT people are more likely to end up behind bars, and more likely to face abuse behind bars. Being LGBT in a US jail or prison often means daily humiliation, physical and sexual abuse, and fearing it will get worse if you complain. Many LGBT people are placed in solitary confinement for months or years just because of who they are. Fortunately, advocates across the country are working to change this. Today, there are new national standards, legal developments, and other new tools—as well as many allies beyond the LGBT community who are combating mass incarceration and abuse behind bars—that make this a better time than ever to press for change.”

Prisoners’ Rights

ACLU National Prison Project
The ACLU National Prison Project is dedicated to ensuring that our nation’s prisons, jails, and other places of detention comply with the Constitution, domestic law, and international human rights principles, and to ending the policies that have given the United States the highest incarceration rate in the world. We promote a fair and effective criminal justice system in which incarceration is used only as a last resort, and its purpose is to prepare prisoners for release and a productive, law-abiding life at the earliest possible time.

“Prisons and Prisoner’s Rights: An Overview” from the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School
This page from the Legal Information Institute gives a basic overview of the legal rights of prisoners.

Legal Help In Missouri

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Rolla provides the information on our website for informational purposes only. Information included on our website is not an endorsement.

2 thoughts on “Mass Incarceration And Prisoners’ Rights

  1. Is it legal for phelps county jail to put restrictions on non pornographic reading material? Charge 10$ per phone call charge 2$ for1 stamp 1 envelope and 1 piece of paper while not letting these basic things be given to prisoners by family? How could I find out the profit made by the jail on phone and comisarry? Thank you

    • Hello,

      I have to be honest, Sir, I don’t know the answers to your questions. You might ask the reference librarian at the Rolla Public Library. That is what I would do if I needed to learn something about local government. I would suspect that if they don’t know, they could tell you who to ask.

      I hope that is helpful.

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