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.