By Michael Martin, Photo: Unsplash in site, National Public Radio, August 20, 2022
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with The Sentencing Project's Senior Director of Advocacy Nicole D. Porter about her new study on states repurposing closed correctional facilities.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Defund the police - that phrase has become a rallying cry for some and a political hammer to swing at opponents for others, depending, of course, on your view of the movement to move resources away from traditional law enforcement into other strategies to improve community safety. But while activists and their antagonists have been fighting over this, there's been a quiet revolution in the way many states and cities are using their prisons and jails. Since 2000, some 21 states have partially or fully closed at least one correctional facility, and they're using them for everything from film studios to housing, even a whiskey distillery. That's according to a new report from the Sentencing Project. But the study also asks if this trend will continue as episodes of violent crime spike across the country.
We called Nicole Porter to hear more. She is the senior director of advocacy for The Sentencing Project, and she is with us now. Nicole Porter, thanks so much for joining us.