Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00

End Mass Criminalization

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The United States houses 25% of the world's inmates despite having only 5% of the world's population. This fact prompted former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia to say, "Either we have the most evil people on earth living in the U.S., or we are doing something dramatically wrong in terms of how we approach the issue of criminal justice." The prison industrial complex has a vested interest in keeping people locked up.

The End Mass Criminalization Team is part of PDA's Civil Rights/Civil Justice platform. We work on the following issues:

  • Mass Incarceration
  • School to Prison Pipeline
  • Racial Profiling
  • Restoration of Voting Rights to People with Past Criminal Convictions
  • Prison Industrial Complex/Privatization of Prisons
  • War on Drugs/Legalization of Marijuana
  • Harm Reduction
  • Stop and Frisk
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences
  • Prison Gerrymandering
  • Criminalization of Poverty
  • Solitary Confinement
  • Militarization of Law Enforcement
  • Incarceration of the Mentally Ill


Mass Incarceration Statistics/Facts

  • There are more African-Americans in prison, on probation or on parole than were enslaved in 1850
  • African-Americans account for 13% of marijuana use; however they make up 80% of the prison population incarcerated for marijuana use
  • More than 5 million Americans have lost their right to vote due to a past felony conviction
  • The US has 5% of the world's population but 24% of the world's prisoners
  • The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world with 2.3 million prisoners; China has 1.6 million
  • For profit prisons have risen 37% between 2002 and 2009. In 2011, Corrections Corporation of America recorded $1.7 billion in total revenue and the Geo Group recorded $1.6 billion. These companies spent more than $19.6 million on lobbying over the past 10 years
  • In 2003, African-American youth made up 16% of the nation’s overall juvenile population, but accounted for 45% of juvenile arrests
  • Children as young as five years old are being led out of classrooms in handcuffs for acting out or throwing temper tantrums
  • In many states, children as young as 13 are tried as adults


Legislation Our Team Has Endorsed

  • S619 (Paul-R-KY)/HR 1695 (Scott -D-VA03) - Justice Safety Valve Act
  • HR 1537 (Jeffries-D-NY08) - End Prison Gerrymandering
  • S1038 (Cardin-D-MD)/HR 2851 (Conyers-D-MI-13) - End Racial Profiling
  • S1410 (Durbin - D-IL) - Smarter Sentencing Act
  • HR 5478 (Johnson D-GA05) - Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement


Team Accomplishments

How You Can Get Involved


Coalition Partners

Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU, LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for a Sensible Drug PolicyDream Defenders, Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Family and Friends of Incarcerated People, Institute for Policy Studies, Peace Alliance, Virginia Alliance Against Mass Incarceration


Issue Team Leaders
Dr. Madeline McKenney Sadler, Exodus Foundation
Valencia Mohamed, New Columbia Times
Andrea Miller, PDA National Deputy Field Director, Congressional Liaison
Mara Cohen, Activist
Elliott Smith, Activist and speaker
Claude Conkrite, Activist and speaker
Rev. Terence Dicks, PDA Georgia State Leader

Read 1308 times Last modified on Friday, 21 November 2014 13:12
Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller was the Democratic Nominee in 2008 for House of Representatives in the Virginia 4th District. Prior to running for office, Andrea was a part of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign, first as Statewide Coordinator for Virginia and subsequently as Regional Coordinator. From 2006 until leading the VA Kucinich campaign Andrea was MoveOn.org’s Regional Coordinator for Central, Southwest and Hampton Roads areas of Virginia and West Virginia. Andrea is also the PDA Virginia co-chair as well as the Technical Director. Andrea co-hosts, organizes and programs PDA's Blog Talk Radio show. She is also the lead designer and production team leader for PDA's websites and printed materials. Andrea co-directs PDA's Capitol Hill letter drops and Hill meetings.

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