What Are Your Chances of Going to Prison?

By: Monday April 21, 2014 4:20 pm

If you follow Brave New Films you already know that the United States locks up more people than any other country on Earth. And you know that the 40-year-old War on Drugs has done nothing to decrease drug addiction.

But did you know your race determines your chances of going to prison? That the incarceration of women is on the rise? Or that there’s a pipeline that sucks kids in from school and deposits them behind bars at alarming rates?

 

Podcast: Michael Dunn Trial, Colorblind Prosecutions & a System That Permits Racist Violence

By: Sunday February 23, 2014 9:07 am

With “stand your ground” laws, “it’s very hard for people to acknowledge that there might be a racial bias and that’s why it’s such an issue,” according to Raven Rakia, an independent journalist.

Rakia believes that, in cases like the Michael Dunn case, where Dunn was put on trial for shooting and killing Jordan Davis, that one needs to look at the history of “respectability politics” in the United States and how society creates this image of good black people and bad black people.

Should It Cost Less to Get Out of Jail if You’re Rich?

By: Saturday October 19, 2013 12:50 pm

Eric Amparan likes the system the way it is now. As a bail bondsman, he’s part of an industry that pulls in $2 billion in revenue every year. Eric lays out how he profits off of financial desperation in our latest video in the Prison Profiteers series:

Here’s how it typically works: If you’re booked into jail, you can either sit in a cell for months waiting for your trial — losing your job and missing your childcare commitments in the process — or you can pay bail to the court. Bail functions like a promise; the court will return it to you when you show up for your court date.

America’s Death Penalty Is Crumbling

By: Monday March 18, 2013 2:00 pm

Satirist Stephen Colbert called the death penalty “as American as killing someone with an apple pie,” but jokes like that might not work much longer.

America’s death penalty appears to be crumbling.

New Study Shows That Blacks Are 3x as Likely to Get the Death Penalty in Texas (Harris County) – Duane Buck Case Is Proof

By: Saturday March 16, 2013 10:00 am

Can your race be used against you when it comes to punishment? For minorities in Harris County, Texas, the answer is yes. The proof? A new study by University of Maryland Professor Raymond Paternoster. His research reveals that among the 504 capital cases he sampled in the county between 1992 and 1999, prosecutors were more than 3X as likely to seek death against black defendants than white defendants.

Film Highlights Public Defenders Fighting Against Creation of Permanent Underclass

By: Friday January 25, 2013 7:25 pm

An HBO documentary on the right that everyone has to a defense lawyer when they are charged with a crime, even if they cannot afford one, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film “Gideon’s Army,” was featured on “Democracy Now!” this morning.

Why Ending Prison Sexual Violence Won’t Be Easy

By: Friday January 25, 2013 6:10 pm

It’s an optimistic headline: “Prison Rape: Obama’s Program to Stop It”. It leads into a comprehensive New York Review of Books article on three recently released Federal government publications.

Felix Salmon’s Unpersuasive Argument to Hold HSBC and Its Executives Harmless

By: Friday December 14, 2012 9:25 am

You don’t have to be a big fan of the drug war to suggest that extending a helping hand to murderous gangs is probably not activity an allegedly reputable bank should be involved in.

The HSBC Money Laundering Case as a Perfect Symbol of Too Big to Fail

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 6:41 am

Maybe I was too blasé about the federal government letting HSBC off the hook; certainly the story has effectively shown how Too Big to Fail continues to be the watchword of the financial regulatory community. My pet theory here is actually that, because practically every mega-bank engaged in this same type of money laundering for drug cartels and countries under sanction – all of the big four in the US, including Wells Fargo (who admitted it in court), Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan Chase – if they threw the book at HSBC, they would have to do the same to everyone else. So we’ve migrated from Too Big to Fail to Too Caught Up In The Same Criminality to Fail.

First Libor Arrests Net Three Former Low-Level Traders

By: Wednesday December 12, 2012 12:05 pm

Maybe at some point, banks will face prosecution or at least fines in the Libor case. Everyone expects UBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland and several others to face some sort of sanction. But we’ve been hearing about imminent charges for months now, with nothing to show for it. Banks have individually terminated people they claim are responsible for the rate-rigging, but that internal discipline has been the only kind on offer.

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