Roadblocks to Prison Reform

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Michelle Alexander strikes a cord in this piece in The New York Times.  Money and vested interests block real reform of our mass incarceration senselessness.  I especially like Alexander's reference to the Martin Luther King's 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail where he chastizes white pastors for their cautious indifference to racial injustice.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ ”

King continued: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”

I've written about the need for prison reform before; you can read it all here.