The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and within the United States, the top 7 states with the highest incarceration rates are all Southern states (Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina). Even as states like Georgia cautiously explore ways to reduce their prison populations, more and more prison beds continue to be built, increasingly by for-profit companies that have little oversight.
The region's addiction to incarceration is not a reflection of higher crime rates or a stronger commitment to public safety. To the contrary, the overuse of incarceration as a "solution" to drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty has caused a number of serious problems: the level of overcrowding in prisons and jails throughout the South is inherently dangerous; prisons and jails compromise public health systems by making people sicker and disrupting care; and conditions inside prisons and jails often contribute to the creation of a culture of violence and abuse that spills out beyond the prison walls. Violence, guard brutality, extreme heat, poor medical care, and intolerable living conditions have all been challenged in litigation brought by SCHR.
For books about Prisons, Jails and Incarceration, click here.
For films about Prisons, Jails and Incarceration, click here.
For links to other organizations working in similar issues, click here.
For general articles and resources written and assembled by SCHR staff, click here.
|Title||Publication||Date of Publication|
|Southern Center for Human Rights Sues Georgia Department of Corrections for Violations of the Open Records Act||04/04/2013|
|SCHR identified by experts as a top nonprofit working in criminal justice in the U.S.||11/02/2011|
|SCHR Report Details Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Priorities||10/21/2011|
|Lawsuit Filed Against Georgia Department of Corrections Officers for Beatings of Handcuffed Prisoners at Hays State Prison||07/12/2011|
|Amicus Brief filed in lawsuit challenging Georgia’s “show me your papers” law||06/17/2011|
|State Division of Child Support Services Sends Indigent Iraq War Veteran to Debtor’s Prison||12/15/2010|
|SCHR Launches The Damon Lee Project for Accountability and Transparency in the Criminal Justice System||07/22/2010|
|SCHR Responds to ADOC; Data Reveals Assaults on Corrections Officers at Donaldson Also Underreported||12/12/2009|
|Alabama Department of Corrections Significantly Underreports Assaults on Incarcerated Men||12/09/2009|
|SCHR Releases 5th Edition of Georgia Advocacy Handbook: A Guide to Helping Loved Ones in Georgia Prisons||11/09/2009|
|Alabama Supreme Court Sides with People in Prison in Open Records Act Lawsuit||09/18/2009|
|Federal Judge Eyes Way to Thin Jail Crowds||Fulton County Daily Report||08/31/2009|
|Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Injured Prisoners to Prevent Future Violence||SCHR Press Release||02/26/2009|
|Alabama Sheriff Locked in Own Jail For Feeding Inmates Skimpy Meals||Associated Press||01/08/2009|
|Bartlett Busted: U.S. Marshals Arrest Morgan County Sheriff||WHNT News Channel 19 Transcript||01/08/2009|
|As His Inmates Grew Thinner, a Sheriff’s Wallet Grew Fatter||New York Times||01/08/2009|
|Sheriff jailed for pocketing money meant for inmate meals||CNN||01/09/2008|