July 23, 2012
University of Phoenix
Plight of the Flightless: Convict Rights
According to the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (1776, para. 2). Within this revolutionary document it never mentions that because one man has done an act against another that he shall be stripped of his rights and basic decency of human life. As the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates, “At year end 2009, state and federal correctional authorities had jurisdiction over 1,613,656 prisoners, an increase of 0.2% (3,897 prisoners) from year end 2008” (West, 2010, highlights). 1,613,656 prisoners with the bare minimum necessities, no freedoms, and stripped away of the rights that the Declaration of Independence was drafted for. Through the integration of mediation and negotiation prisoners have gained a voice from behind the iron bars and have made strides in changing their accommodations.
American Civil Liberties Union
One large campaigner of human’s rights and prison reform is the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU. Through litigation and education these lobbyists, lawyers, and concerned citizens strive to enhance the living conditions for this nation’s large population of prisoners. As stated by the ACLU’s mission statement, “Our goals include substantially reducing the existing incarcerated population, especially among people of color, the mentally ill, and other vulnerable populations; ending cruel, inhuman, and degrading conditions of confinement; increasing public accountability and transparency of jails, prisons, and other places of detention; and expanding prisoners’ freedom of religion, expression, and association” (2012, para. 1). One tactic the ACLU uses is mediation between the... [continues]
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