Jonathan Gordon


Thanks/Praise to God

In 1790 the Walnut Street Jail was built in Philadelphia, PA. The word “Penitentiary” means: “A place to seek penitence”.
“Penitentiary” is derived from the word: “Penitence” which means: “Sincere & humble regret for one’s deeds.”

The Walnut Street Jail was the first Penitentiary for men built in America.

In the 1870’s the first women’s prison in the USA was built in Indiana.

Since these first 2 prisons was built, the USA has been building more & more prisons at an unprecedented & astronomical pace…Now here are some recent numbers:

From 1980-2013 the population in prison in the USA flew from 500,000 to about 2.4 million people.

The population of county jails in 1980 was about 171,000 people.
In 2013 it was about 747,000 people.

Mass incarceration was first dreamed up by Presidents Nixon & Carter but actually put into existence by President Reagan.
From 1980 to 1988 while Reagan was in office the number of people in prison doubled to about 1 million.

Also in 2013, an average of 702 out of every 100,000 people, all races includes, were incarcerated

In contrast to the overall average of 702 per 100,00.
Individually 2,805 out of every 100,000 African Americans were incarcerated.
That rate is almost 4 times the national average.

African Americans are about 13% of the population of the USA, yet the incarceration rates are almost 4 times higher than the average!!! HOW DOES THAT LOGICALLY WORK OUT? Without something more than meets the eye at the surface going on?

RACISM & TARGETING about sum that up!!!

In 2012 at least 6 States had prisons that held at least 140% more people than they were designed to hold:
Alaska, Deleware, Illinois, Nebraska, North Dakota, Alabama had the highest overcrowding rate at 195.7% ALMOST TWICE CAPACITY!!!

So 2 questions pop out in my mind regarding overcrowding:

1) Where are all the extra people being housed, & how?

2) what are the living conditions?

I personally have been in Benton County jail in Kennewick, WA when it was overcrowded. This is how they dealt with it: They give you a blue makeshift bed called a “Boat”, you put your green mattress on top of it & slept on the floor. It’s 3 people in a 2 person cell, & after all the cells got 3 people, than the extra people who come into then tank sleep on a “Boat” on the day room floor

Is that humane?

Overcrowding puts an already stressful & tense situation on steroids, fights & aggression become many times more frequent. Whatever little bit of privacy & space you had before, now completely is wiped away.

That type of madness drives people CRAZY…Literally.

An ex prison Administrator in New York & Pennsylvania named Martin Horn said: “We are on a prison binge. We’re addicted to incarceration in this country.”

Thanks for your time!!!

Jonathan Gordon
DOC #793350

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