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Establishing “State Reinvestment Commissions”

Adopted as amended

WHEREAS, the NAACP reiterates its commitment against the United States having the largest prison population in the world and the current state of education in the country; and 

WHEREAS, over a 30 year period, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million; and 

WHEREAS, America has the dubious distinction of having the world's largest prison systems and the highest incarceration rate in the world (754 per 100,000 people). African-Americans constitute about 12% of the non-incarcerated residential population but in 2007 black males comprised 30% and black females 27.8% of the incarcerated population; and 

WHEREAS, one in three African-American males born in 2001 run the risk of serving time in prison or death before their 34th birthday; and 

WHEREAS, between 1987-2007 State spending on incarceration increased 127% as spending on higher education has only increased 21%; and 

WHEREAS, the United States spends $70 billion a year incarcerating people, 6 times more than on higher education; and 

WHEREAS, there needs to be an entity which will identify policies responsible for over incarceration; and 

WHEREAS, these entities will perform an economic impact analysis of how much money will be saved by eliminating policies responsible for over incarceration; and 

WHEREAS, these entities will make recommendations to state legislators on what laws should be changed to reduce the prison population, save state dollars tagged for incarceration and shift dollars saved from incarceration to education budgets each year. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP urge each state to establish Reinvestment Commissions to identify policies responsible for over incarceration, reform economic policies responsible for over incarceration, and make recommendations to shift state dollars from incarceration to education.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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