The Scandal of Prison Rape
In civic life, Jealous is a board member of the California \r\nCouncil for the Humanities and the Association of Black Foundation \r\nExecutives, as well as a member of the Asia Society. He is married to \r\nLia Epperson Jealous, a professor of constitutional law and former civil\r\n rights litigator with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Question: How can the issue of prison rape be brought to serious attention?
Ben Jealous: Yeah, again, when you're smart on crime, you start off by recognizing that both the victim, first of all, the victim, but also the person who did the crime are both human. Have both been broken in various ways and could either be healed more by what happens through the courts, what happens through the justice system, or broken more. And the goal should be a win-win. The goal should be that, at the end of it, anybody who's coming back to society is healed more, as well as the victim getting a greater sense of closure and sense of justice.
When you look at an issue like prison rape, what you see are people being violently broken while inside of the care of our society. The prisons are an extension of our society. People come in there and literally in jails and prisons across this country, people young, old, male, female, who have been convicted, who are awaiting arraignment, are raped on a daily basis by inmates and by guards and by contractors at these facilities. Probably the most heartbreaking situation I saw was in the California Youth Authority, the prison for girls. You know, for females who are not yet 18 in California being systematically raped. I mean, just again, and again. The allegations when I was with Amnesty were unceasing from the girls’ facility in California. And you will see it in jails -- the way that we got consensus on the bill was that a number of men who had gone to prison as a result of the savings and loan scandals. These are white collar criminals, who were raped; spoke up about what their experiences had been. And helped us convince -- and it was sad. You would hope in a representative democracy that things like race and class don't keep a representative from identifying with an issue, but I see privileged white men come in to talk, quite frankly, to other privileged white men who, in this case, former bankers coming in to talk to people in Congress was transformative for those Congressmen. And it got them to understand that this wasn't a joke. In fact, it was their first -- it was probably their worst fear in that their constituents, all of them, **** there for the country to actually do something about it.
Recorded March 10th, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
Why is a subject long treated as a joke now drawing serious attention? Because white-collar criminals are coming forward with horror stories.
A plan to forgive almost a trillion dollars in debt would solve the student loan debt crisis, but can it work?
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just proposed a bold education reform plan that would forgive billions in student debt.
- The plan would forgive the debt held by more than 30 million Americans.
- The debt forgiveness program is one part of a larger program to make higher education more accessible.
America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.
- Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
- Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
- Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.
- The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
- The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
- Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.