Vesla Weaver’s Op-Ed on the Effects of High Incarceration Rates

Updated December 23, 2014

In the Baltimore Sun, Velsa Weaver writes an op-ed entitled, “High Inceration Rates May Be More Harmful than High Crime.” Using the City of Baltimore as an example because it “confiines more of it’s citizens than any other major city in the nation,” Weaver looks at how the high rate of incarceration harms poor neighborhoods and their citizens’ relationship to government and the entire democratic process.

“Let us talk a little about what it means to live in a Baltimore neighborhood pocked by the constant removal and return of one’s neighbors and friends. Children routinely experience the sudden disappearance of a guardian. One in five young Baltimore men is a criminal justice system veteran, and many are consigned to inconsistent work because even a misdemeanor on their record makes finding a decent job a little bit like winning the lottery: The chances are not good.”

Read the Baltimore Sun op-ed here. 

Also, in a piece co-authored with Amy Lerman for Slate titled, “Protest Is Democracy at Work,” Weaver writes, 

“Many of the groups exhibiting political agency at the present moment are some of the most disadvantaged and marginalized. Those concerned with the health of our democracy should fear only the quiet acquiescence of the oppressed. In contrast, we should celebrate the recent round of protests as a sign that our democracy remains strong.”

In addition, the video from the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, which was aired on PBS is available. Weaver was interviewed by Douglas Blackmon on the “Consequences of American Crime Control:”