WGXC-90.7 FM

NY Times investigation exposes racism in state prison system

Dec 06, 2016 12:02 am

The New York Times Sun., Dec. 4, published the first part of a series of stories that look at racial bias in the state's prison and parole systems. The Times reporters examined nearly 60,000 disciplinary cases and interviewed individuals and determined that racism is fact of life in upstate prisons. The environmental is especially hostile to people of color in the maximum-security penitentiaries of Attica, Clinton and Great Meadow, all located in rural areas where the community population is almost entirely white and nearly every corrections officer is white, as well. The Times found that in state prisons blacks and Latinos were disciplined at higher rates than whites — in some cases twice as often. They were also sent to solitary confinement more frequently, and for longer periods of time. The disparities were often greatest when it came to infractions that allowed corrections officers more discretion, like disobeying a direct order. In these cases, the officer has a high degree of latitude to determine if a rule has been broken and does not need to produce physical evidence in support of their decision. At present, The Times reported, blacks make up 14 percent of the state population but almost 50 percent of the state prison population. The State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision was presented with the The Times's findings. It responded, saying that while there were racial issues in any large organization, these were not a factor, and had little impact on the system's disciplinary process. The department provided no data to contradict the paper's findings. Read the full story in The New York Times.

Wave Farm / WGXC Acra Contact Info
Mailing: PO Box 13 Acra, NY 12405
Main Office / Acra Studio
(518) 622-2598
WGXC Office
(518) 697-7400
WGXC Hudson Studio
(518) 828-0290
WGXC Feedback
(518) 212-7509 feedback@wgxc.org
Wave Farm / WGXC Acra Studio: 5662 Route 23 Acra, NY 12405
WGXC Hudson Studio: 369 Warren St. Hudson, NY 12534