BREAKING: United States Will Stop Using For-Profit Prisons

(Photo Credit: Stephen Lam / Reuters)
(Photo Credit: Stephen Lam / Reuters)

The Justice Department announced today that the United States will stop using for-profit prisons. The decision comes just a week after a report revealed that private prisons are less cost-effective and less safe than public prisons.

For those of us committed to fighting America’s “carceral state” — where nearly 1 in every 100 Americans are in jail —  this is an important step in the right direction. Private prisons — where roughly 12% of all American prisoners are held — accrue a disproportionately high number of safety and security incidents each year compared to their public counterparts, in part because regulatory oversight of the day-to-day goings-on in these prisons is minimal.

People of colour are vastly overrepresented in our nation’s prison population. But, studies also show that people of colour — defined as “Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and non-white Hispanic or Latino” are even more overrepresented in our nation’s for-profit prisons. In California, where for-profit prisons picked up additional inmates after the state faced overcrowding of its public facilities, 89% of prisoners in a private facility are non-White, compared to 76% in a public prison.

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Prosecutors Will Not Seek Prison Sentence for Peter Liang

Peter Liang enters the Brooklyn courthouse, in a photo dated February 8, 2016. (Photo credit: Charles Eckert)
Peter Liang enters the Brooklyn courthouse, in a photo dated February 8, 2016. (Photo credit: Charles Eckert)

In a statement given to NBC News this afternoon, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson says that he will not seek a prison sentence for former NYPD police officer Peter Liang, convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Akai Gurley last month. Instead, Thompson will ask Judge Danny Chun to sentence Liang to 5 years probation, 6 months of home confinement, and 500 hours of community service. Defending this statement, Thompson wrote that he felt Liang deserved leniency because he does not pose a danger to society.

Chun is scheduled to make a decision on Liang’s sentence on April 14th, and he is almost certain to take into consideration the prosecution’s recommendations.

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2015 Asian America in Review: Top 10 AANHPI Stories You Might Have Missed

Sherry Chen and Xiaoxing Xi, two Chinese American researchers who faced espionage investigations this year before all charges were dropped. Many within the AANHPI community believe they are one of several victims of a policy of anti-Asian racial profiling currently being pursued by the State Department. (Photo credit: Saul Loeb, AFP, Getty)
Sherry Chen and Xiaoxing Xi, two Chinese American researchers who faced espionage investigations this year before all charges were dropped. Many within the AANHPI community believe they are one of several victims of a policy of anti-Asian racial profiling currently being pursued by the State Department. (Photo credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

As the year winds down to a close, these are the top ten political stories that had a major impact on the AANHPI community highlighting the many political issues that have defined the AANHPI community this year. Sadly, many didn’t receive much mainstream media coverage.

How many of these stories were you following this year?

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