October 25, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Setting the record straight on prisons

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To the Editor:

Re: “Political Prisoner Eddie Conway Speaks to Ujaama” News, Oct. 24

In the report about the Oct. 24 discussion of incarceration at the Ujamaa Unity Hour, my words were twice misrepresented:

(1)  In talking about the lower recidivism rate of long-timers, my point was to emphasize that people who commit violent crimes and who spend long periods of time in prison are often at less risk for recidivism than people convicted of non-violent crimes — a fact that the public often does not appreciate.

(2) In addressing the impact of prisons on local communities, I never stated that “ … high-paying prison jobs discourage the predominantly white local population from pursuing higher education.” What I did say is that prisons do not always provide the local population with job opportunities but sometimes end up drawing employees from quite distant towns and cities.

Professor Mary Katzenstein, government