1.Please describe what you learned from the "Prison State" article
below to the Prison State article below or what you found interesting (or boring), and how Kentucky's prison system compares to national trends in prison systems.
There are 2.3 million locked up in the United States. - - I spent more time in prison than I've been in society, that's a shame. Around half for nonviolent crimes. "I shouldn't be here, I'm in here basically for skipping school". These inmates are costing states a billion, they can't afford. Our number one frequent flyer is not dangerous but we have probably spent millions of dollars on this guy. Frontline takes you inside one American neighborhood where getting locked up is a part of everyday life. The system is set up for them to fail because when they come out of prison there's nothing for them. And inside one state that is trying to fix a broken system. Incarceration has become the response to every social problem that we encounter. Jail didn't work. Prison doesn't work. We need to distinguish between who we're mad at, and who we're afraid of.
My name is Keith Huff, I'm from Louisville, Kentucky. I've been incarcerated five times in the Kentucky State prison system. I got a total of 27 years in the system. Keith Huff is a million dollar prisoner. The state of Kentucky has spent an estimated 1.1 million dollars incarcerating him. He's been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Huff said he does great in prison for some reason. It's sad, though I do great in prison. Maybe because I got the people telling me what to and I got somebody behind me, on me, I do great in life, for real I really do. Keith is currently serving five years for burglary, theft, and impersonating a police officer.
He's set to be released in three months. Huff said he's been in and out of prison since 80's. Everytime I had left the prison it was like a revolving door. Just a cycle. It's a curse. And where I come from, the neighborhood that I come from, most everybody get locked up, I mean everybody. Keith is from Beecher Terrace, a housing project in the west end of Louisville, Kentucky. Where around in six people cycle in and out of prison every year. Yes, a lot in my family been locked up. My big brother, daddy , grandfather, and cousins. Kentucky spends more than 15 million dollars a year incarcerating people just from Beecher Terrace and the surrounding neighborhoods. Children getting locked up for the first time says when they go to jail they don't feel like it teaches them a lesson. In these communities where incarceration has become normalized, the system operates practically from cradle to grave. According to professor of law of Ohio University, when you're born, your parents has likely to spend time behind bars. You're likely to attend schools that have zero tolerance policies, where police officers patrol the halls, where disputes with teachers are treated as criminal infractions, where a school yard fight results in your first arrest. You find that a very, very young age even the smallest infractions are treated as criminal.
And that's where it begins. It sends this message that whether you follow the rules or you don't, you're going to jail. Just like your uncle, brother, mother, daddy, just like your neighbor, you too are going to jail, it's part of your destiny. Since the 1970's the number of people locked up in the United States has grown from 300,000 to 2.3 million. Kentucky has been at the center of this prison and jail expansion. The number of inmates here has risen faster than in almost any other state. Our number one frequent flyer has been in and out of here, over the last five years, about 95 times. He is not dangerous, and throughout the entire criminal justice system we have probably spent million of dollars on this guy.
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