Her father, Jeff Kaeppeler, said he
served 18 months in federal prison for mail fraud as his daughter was
graduating from high school and going on to college.
Laura said: 'There are many of you out
there - and I was one of them - but it doesn't have to define you."
paragraph from the beginning of a piece comparing Jim Crow to
today's mass incarcerations:
In the five decades since African
Americans won their civil rights, hundreds of thousands have lost their
liberty. Blacks now make up a larger portion of the prison population
than they did at the time of Brown v. Board of Education, and their
lifetime risk of incarceration has doubled. As the United States has
become the world’s largest jailer and its prison population has
exploded, black men have been particularly affected. Today, black men
are imprisoned at 6.5 times the rate of white men.
The piece concludes that the analogy of Jim Crow to today's mass
incarceration of black men holds true in a number of ways, but the
analogy is seriously flawed in other ways and should be used with great
care and precision if it's used at all.
A local paper in Nashua NH commented
on a disturbing fact about New Hampshire, that the state has "one
of the nation's lowest crime rates" but "has one of the nation’s
highest per-capita rates for jailing Latinos."
The higher incarceration rate for
minorities can stem from a number of factors, such as policy set by
legislatures, stepped-up policing in communities and neighborhoods with
large minority populations and decisions made by people in the criminal
justice system, said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing
Speakers at the rally.
Fareed Zakaria of CNN pointed
to statistics that
...760 of every 100,000 Americans is
incarcerated, more than seven times the incarceration rates for most
European countries. Those high incarceration rates have forced states
across the country to spend more on prisons than they do on education.
The audience for the rally was small but appreciative. Two major
soures for the issue of excessive incarceration are DecarceratePA and The Sentencing