Even when prison is funny, it’s no joke — Jersey City Free Books is proud to supply books for the production of Orange Is the New Black

For the Hunger Games internal colonies of rural and inner-city America, incarceration is the peculiar routine. Vast numbers pass through prison, going from little to less opportunity, and then only when life is not shattered or converted completely to crime.

For the many more favored — with concrete walls and steel bars not in city’s centers, but hidden by darkness at the edges — the places of captivity are easy not to see. To ignore suffering is in itself an evil, but if that’s not reason enough, the outcome of nurturing a rot deep within society cannot be good.

Orange Is the New Black — with a light touch — opens the doors of a prison and brings millions inside for a brief visit. The human spirit shines through with the humor, but the situation’s reality is not disguised. And maybe, hopefully, viewers will continue to think at the end of each episode about the Country and the times in which they live.

Jersey City Free Books is proud to supply books for the production of Orange Is the New Black.

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Since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world. Although prison populations are increasing in some parts of the world, the natural rate of incarceration for countries comparable to the United States tends to stay around 100 prisoners per 100,000 population. The U.S. rate is 500 prisoners per 100,000 residents, …

… And these men are overwhelmingly young: Incarceration rates are highest for those in their 20s and early 30s. Prisoners also tend to be less educated: The average state prisoner has a 10th grade education, and about 70 percent have not completed high school. Incarceration rates are significantly higher for blacks and Latinos than for whites. In 2010, black men were incarcerated at a rate of 3,074 per 100,000 residents; Latinos were incarcerated at 1,258 per 100,000, and white men were incarcerated at 459 per 100,000. …

Blacks, particularly young black males, make up a disproportionate share of the U.S. prison population. In 2008, young black men (ages 18-34) were at least six times more likely to be incarcerated than young white men (see Table 2), according to a recent analysis by Becky Pettit, a University of Washington sociologist.7 She finds that young black males without a high school diploma were more likely to be in prison or jail (37 percent) on any given day in 2008 than to be working (26 percent).

Only in the last few decades has the passage into prison of young black men with little schooling emerged as routine. “For these young men, born since the mid-1970s, serving time in prison has become a normal life event,” note Pettit and Bruce Western, a Harvard sociologist.

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