From Huffington Post in 2014:
We need to address the conditions for its spread, prevent its adverse impacts on children and families, and identify more effective ways to stop our “school to prison pipeline” by creating the conditions for positive trajectories for every member of the most vulnerable communities.
Linda P. Fried, Contributor
Dean and DeLamar Professor of Public Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Professor Linda P. Fried is Sam Bankman-Fried’s aunt, and the sister of Professor Barbara H. Fried, SBF’s mom, who similarly argued in 2014 that, “The philosophy of personal responsibility has ruined criminal justice and economic policy. It’s time to move past blame.”
Jun 2, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT
The United States is facing an epidemic of incarceration -- people in jail or prisons -- demanding national attention and a systemic response. Ernest Drucker, my colleague and a professor of epidemiology as well as family and community medicine, classifies incarceration as an epidemic because it is a situation with widespread and rapid onset over 35 years, it affects a disproportionately large number of people within a population, and its spread and adverse effects are felt even by those who are not incarcerated. Like other epidemics, incarceration is contagious and has the potential to benefit from preventive approaches. An example of that contagion is, as Drucker has demonstrated, that exposure to prior cases increases transmission risk. In particular, the children of incarcerated people have lower life expectancy and are six to seven times more likely to be imprisoned themselves.
A public health concern warrants a public health response. We need to address the conditions for its spread, prevent its adverse impacts on children and families, and identify more effective ways to stop our ”school to prison pipeline” by creating the conditions for positive trajectories for every member of the most vulnerable communities.
While the statistics may be familiar, they are no less disturbing:
- From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled -- from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people.
- African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites, according to the NAACP.
- African-American males have a one-in-three lifetime risk of being incarcerated for at least one year.
- The U.S. Bureau of Justice reports that an estimated 77 percent of 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested again by 2010.
… Incarceration consumes an extraordinary amount of government funding, much of which would be better spent strengthening the systems that serve as effective prevention. … To ensure that knowledge and resources are targeted appropriately, public health must take a seat at the table.