Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Costs of Justice, American Style

POPULATION AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS Hearing on Costs of Mass Incarceration Called by VA Sen. Webb in Light of 500 Percent Increase in Prison Populations In Last 30 Years Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) will hold a Joint Economic Committee (JEC) hearing to explore the economic consequences and causes of and solutions to the steep increase of the U.S. prison population. The hearing entitled, “Mass Incarceration in the United States: At What Cost?” is scheduled for Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 10:00am in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. The United States has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners,despite having only 5 percent of the world’s population. The JEC will examine why the United States has such a disproportionate share of the world’s prison population, as well as ways to address this issue that responsibly balance public safety and the high social and economic costs of imprisonment.

Expert witnesses have been asked to discuss the costs of maintaining a large prison system; the long-term labor market and social consequences of mass incarceration; whether the increase in the prison population correlates with decreases in crime; and what alternative sentencing strategies and post-prison re-entry programs have been most successful at reducing incarceration rates in states and local communities.
WHAT: Joint Economic Committee Hearing:

“Mass Incarceration in the United States: At What Cost?”
WHEN: Thursday, October 4, 2007 – 10:00am
WHERE: 216 Hart Senate Office Building
Witnesses (as of September 27):

• Dr. Glenn Loury, Economics and Social Sciences Professor, Brown University
• Dr. Bruce Western, Director Inequality and Social Policy Program, Harvard University
• Alphonso Albert, Executive Director, Second Chances
• Michael Jacobson, Executive Director, Vera Institute for Justice
The Joint Economic Committee, established under the Employment Act of 1946, was created by Congress to review
economic conditions and to analyze the effectiveness of economic policy.
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